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Turbines, runway planned for tract

The winning bidder on a 381-acre tract outside Boone called Forest Summit said Thursday he plans to install 24 wind turbines and an airplane runway on the property, in addition to the previously announced Bible college.

But first, he and the auctioneers selling the property must reach consensus on a closing date.Marvin Sault was the highest bidder at $10.5 million when the large tract, once part of the Heavenly Mountain development centered on transcendental meditation, was auctioned Sept. 14. With a buyers’ premium included, Sault’s organizations, One in Christ Church and Ohio International Alliance Mission Trust, will pay $11,287,500.

Chartwell Group Commercial Real Estate Brokers, which held the auction on behalf of Upper Blue Mountain Holdings, a group associated with David and Earl Kaplan, said previously that closing was set for Oct. 13.

Jason Dolph, senior vice president of Chartwell, confirmed this week that he expected closing to occur Thursday or today.

“It’s headed in the right direction,” Dolph said.

But Sault said Thursday that he was preparing to close Oct. 26. Dolph could not be reached by press time Thursday for clarification.

Sault, who also spells his last name ‘Salt,’ provided more information this week about his diverse plans for the property, which includes 26 buildings and tremendous long-range views.

Sault said he plans to restore several buildings to use as dormitories and classrooms for students of the Norwalk Bible College, which he said is currently an online program. The college’s website at (http://nbcollege.org) is still not functioning, but Sault said that hasn’t affected a separate website used for classes. He declined to provide that website, saying releasing the web address could cause too much traffic to the site.

“We don’t want to prematurely release any information that would cause problems for servers,” he said.

Sault said he, along with the 12 current professors and six staff members, plan to have a food court and possibly a high-end restaurant at one of the current buildings. He said the college will also offer daycare services to ensure that students and staff with children can attend class without worries.

The site will also host 24 wind turbines with technology that make them capable of producing energy even when stagnant, Sault said. While on-site surveys will need to be done before details are final, he said they would probably be about 200 feet tall.

“It’s something that’s going to be quite – not revolutionary, but it’s going to change the state of wind and solar energy,” he said.

Sault said they also plan to put a runway somewhere on the mountainous property.

“There is more than enough space to safely put a landing strip,” he said.

He also added that the topography might allow for a cellular tower to be placed on the property.

Funding for the diverse set of projects comes from the Texas-based Blue Millennium Foundation, which has $100 million available, Sault said. He added that the project would probably utilize about $30 to $40 million.

Contact information for the foundation could not be located by press time Thursday.

Sault also addressed five bankruptcy filings he made between 1999 and 2005.

He said financial troubles stemmed from insurance companies’ failure to pay after a vehicle accident that killed his parents. He said the bankruptcy filings would have no effect on his role with the Boone property purchase.

Sault is in the process of filing to do business in North Carolina under the name “One in Christ Church,” he said.

On documents filed with the N.C. Secretary of State, Sault lists the organization as religious, charitable, educational, scientific, literary and for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.

The application was denied for five reasons, including that it did not include an original certificate of good standing from the state of Ohio, where the business is recorded.