Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Commission Approves Business Park Property Purchase With Cookeville

The Highlands Business Park will expand by an additional 16 acres.

That after Putnam County Commissioners approved a joint deal with Cookeville to purchase the land. County Mayor Randy Porter said the plan is to combine the property with another to make some 30 acres of buildable land.

“That was developed as a technology development in the beginning,” Porter said. “It was going to be smaller tracts and not as big buildings. As time went on, all of a sudden companies are wanting larger tracts of land and are building much bigger buildings, so we need a larger tract of land.”

Porter said the city and county want to bring in a company with high paying jobs. Porter said several businesses have looked at moving into the business park, but the wages are not high enough.

“We’re being very specific and particular about what we’re looking at,” Porter said. “If we’re going to bring a new business in, it needs to have high paying jobs. We’ve seen a lot of these that have looked at it are lower paying, and we don’t have enough people now in the workforce.”

Commissioners voted 18-5 in favor of the move. Commissioners AJ Donadio, Theresa Tayes, Jerry Roberson, Grover Bennett Jr., and Adam Johnson voted no. Bennett said his concern with the property was the swamp area that may not be conducive for construction.

“I’m for buying land,” Bennett said. “I think it is a good value for the county in the future. This one here I have concerns about. I’ve cut hay all around this property, and my recollection is the bottom third of this property is low-end swamp that you couldn’t build on, so I don’t know what you would do with it.”

The total price tag of the land is $900,000. Porter said both the county and city paid $450,000. Porter said the industrial fund covered the cost.

“Cookeville owns half of the business park where it is a joint venture between the city and the county many years ago,” Porter said. “We’re joint owners and we continue to work together on that to bring new businesses to the county.”

Porter said the property is located on the backside of another tract across from Ficosa. Porter said the land includes a home on the property that the county may consider renting out.

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