Property Management Proposal Q&A

 

North Georgia Conference Board of Trustees
Property Management Proposal Q&A

5/31/2017

Click here to view a diagram of the proposed Property Management Process

 

Why is the Conference Board of Trustees (CBOT) proposing a change in the method in which closed church properties are managed?

The 2016 Book of Discipline ¶2549.2 (b) specifies that closed church properties are to revert to the Conference Board of Trustees. Previous Books of Discipline have included similar language. The proposed Standing Rule change, and the property management proposal, will both bring us into compliance with the Discipline, and it will also facilitate professional management and disposition of the properties.

 

How did the CBOT arrive at the recommendation of Norton Commercial?

A “Request for Proposal” (RFP) was posted on our website and also distributed to specific firms in November 2016. Based on reviews of the proposals and interviews conducted by the Conference Treasurer and Dean of the Cabinet, the CBOT chose Norton Commercial, a Gainesville Real Estate firm.

 

How will proceeds of any future sales of properties be distributed?

The Barnes Fund for Church Development will continue to receive 25% of the “net proceeds of sale.” The remaining funds will be deposited by the Conference Board of Trustees. The Conference Board of Trustees will authorize the Conference Treasurer to disburse the remaining 75% of net proceeds as soon as practical after the sale to the District where the sold property was located.

One thing to keep in mind-by the end of this Annual Conference, we will have roughly 101 fewer churches than we had in 2004. Maintaining a $2M annual Congregational Development budget, plus the Barnes Fund for Church Development, plus funding ongoing District church development projects from church sales and District apportionments may not be sustainable in the long run. (The District Administrative Review Team is studying how districts are administered).

 

Are the Districts prohibited from owning property?

There is nothing in the Discipline to indicate that.

 

What about cemeteries? Will the District Trustees continue to be responsible for them?

The CBOT hopes that, as the process for closing a church nears completion, cemetery associations will be set up, just like they are now. However, the CBOT does NOT expect the Districts to be responsible for ongoing maintenance. In the hopefully rare cases in which cemetery associations cannot be set up by the church before closure, the Conference will develop a method to care for them. The Chair of CBOT has assigned a CBOT Study Committee to develop a process to care for cemeteries which become the responsibility of the Conference. 

Are there any other conferences that use professional property management firms?

Yes, at least 3: Western North Carolina, Florida and Rio Texas. More are considering the use of professional firms, as, sadly, the number of closed churches is expected to grow.