In an unanimous decision by the Ashe County Board of Commissioners, a .2 acre property that was in the deeds of both the County of Ashe and the Ashe County Veterans of Foreign Wars was officially given to the VFW.
“There has been some discussion about this in the past, but I don’t know if it has ever came up in the regular meeting,” County Manager Sam Yearick said, during the Board’s scheduled meeting on Monday, July 7. “I’m here today to ask the Board to resolve a property line that is in question
According to documents, the area being discussed is located on undeveloped property between the Ashe County Park and the VFW building.
“A survey of the property by the Thomas Herman Company, PLLC, dated July 31, 2012, revealed a .15-.20 acre section of property to be present in both the Ashe County and VFW deeds,” according to the documents.
Yearick said the VFW had acquired their property from the Ashe County Board of Education in the 1960s, while the Park acquired its property from the former property owners in 2009.
Documents state that the cost to litigate the property line would cost more than the property in question, which is estimated to be worth $3,800. In addition, “the section of property in question is not crucial to the operation of the park and there are no current plans for developing that area of the park.”
Yearick said he believed the county should go ahead and give the VFW the property in question.
“The general thought was that the Ashe County veterans, they’ve served the county and country greatly, in times of peace and times of war, and I don’t think it is one of those things where we want to fight with anybody over two-tenths of an acre,” he said. “(The land) doesn’t mean much to us. We have an entire park out there, but where they are at, they have a small piece of property that is right up against their parking lot.”
Commissioner Larry Rhodes then asked for clarification on why the same property was on both deeds.
“Nobody can really say 100 percent that this is my property or your property,” Yearick said.
Chairman Gary Roark then mentioned that he had made the county aware of the VFW property line three years ago. Roark is a member of the Ashe County VFW.
“We asked the County back then for the property, so we could fix the parking lot,” Roark said. “I did some research on the property and came up with the deed in the mapping office, which was issued to (the VFW) by the Board of Education in 1966 when the school was closed and they moved the high school and elementary school to Family Central.”
Roark said according to Ashe County attorney John Kilby, the deed from 1966 had priority over the county’s deed from 2009.
“As far as giving property to one entity over another, the VFW has priority over this property,” he said.
Rhodes then asked if the deed says it belongs to the VFW, why was the county involved.
“That .2 of an acre is actually contained in both deeds,” Yearick said. “Sooner or later it has to be taken out of one of those deeds.”
Yearick said the value to the county was very minimal and for the issue to be resolved for the county to take the land, they would have to go to court.
“The only thing that pops into my mind, is I don’t really want to start a war with the VFW, they’ve been in enough wars,” he said. “It cleans up the deeds and everybody goes on their happy way.”
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.