Fri07252014

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Land bequeathed to King George division

The King George School Board was informed that the division was recently bequeathed some land within the county.

Superintendent Candace Brown provided scant information to the three School Board members who were in attendance at a meeting on Aug. 22, with Mike Rose and Lynn Pardee absent.  

Brown distributed an Aug. 3 letter from a law firm in Media, PA, which included a formal notice of the estate administration in regard to the school system being named a beneficiary in the will of M. Elois Rogers, who died on June 26, 2011.

The letter noted that the tract contains 8.81 acres, and also contained the wording from the section of Rogers’s will pertaining to the gift to the division.

The will excerpt states, “Real Property - To the extent it has not previously been conveyed during my lifetime, I give, bequeath and devise in fee simple absolute, my real property interests owned at the time of my death and located in King George County, Virginia, together with all improvement thereon and all rights, title and interests appurtenant thereto to the public school systems of King George County, Virginia for their preservation and use in the study of natural sciences.”

The members present at the meeting, Renee Parker, Dennis Paulsen and Rick Randall, had no questions, comments or discussion on hearing the news.

That is often a typical reaction by School Board members at meetings, giving the appearance that the public business matter has previously been discussed out of the public view. This time, it was obvious that Brown had talked to each of them about the land.

She said, “I have enclosed for you a letter that I have received regarding the estate of Ms. Rogers. Again, this is land that I was telling you about, that is on Route 218 that has been left to the school division in her will. Again, I’ve given you a copy of the letter. That is all I have to date. When additional information is available, I certainly will get it to you.”

The document provided no address or tax map page or parcel number. But, upon inquiry, Brown told The Journal the land contains two parcels of wooded acreage located on a western section of Route 218, toward the Stafford county line.

Brown said she was waiting to hear back whether there would be any cost or other fees to the division if the land is accepted by the School Board.

STRINGS ATTACHED?

But that may not be the only issue. The land appears to come with strings attached, if accepted.

The will indicates the decedent’s intention that the land be “preserved” and used “in the study of natural sciences.”

The Journal asked about those intentions and whether they were binding legal restrictions and requirements on the use of the land. Brown said she didn’t know, yet.

She agreed that the School Board should carefully consider whether to accept the land under such circumstances, adding it could become, “an albatross.”

CONNECTION TO SCHOOLS?

Brown said she did not know how or if the woman bequeathing the land had been connected to the school division.

She learned from the will’s executrix that Rogers had been in her 90s, had been a single woman without children and was a resident of a nursing home at the time of her death.

An online search revealed an M. Elois Rogers with a matching date of death who had been born in November 1911, and had lived in Tracy’s Landing, MD, in Anne Arundel County, east of Upper Marlboro.

Phyllis Cook

 

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