Q May a school district lease a property (other than Sixteenth Section lands) to a volunteer fire department for nominal value?

A Yes, assuming certain findings are made by the school board. According to Section 37-7-473, the entities to whom unused school property can be sold include any association, club or corporation, if the property is to be used for one of the designated purposes or if the use will enhance property values. Such a determination is a factual determination to be made by the board, and is the first a few factual determinations which must be made. The other findings which must be made are found in Section 31-7-471. Section 31-7-471(a) requires the board to find that the property to be leased is no longer needed in the operation of the school district. Section 31-7-471(b) mandates a finding that the lease (or sale) of the property in the manner otherwise provided by law is not necessary or desirable for the financial well-being of the district. Section 31-7-471(c) calls for the board to find that the use of facility to be leased will promote and foster the development and improvement of the community in which it is located and the civic, social, educational, cultural, moral, economic, or industrial welfare thereof. If those findings are made and the lease includes a provision that title to the property revert to the district if the property ceases to be used for the purpose for which it is leased, then the lease is valid. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Smith, November 30, 2015)