Monday, June 17, 2024
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Porter Says Best To Wait On Putting Fairgrounds On Market

Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said he believed waiting until spring to put the current Putnam County Fairgrounds on the market makes the most sense.

“Due to everything that’s happened over the last six months or so, commercial construction is down right now,” Porter said. “My thought was we would wait til March or April, around the spring, to put the property up for sale.

Planning Committee Member Grover Bennett asked that the issue be brought to the committee. He said low interest rates could make the investment interesting to buyers right now.

“With interest rates as low as they are, a lot of people are buying land for future growth and development,” Bennett said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to get this up for discussion to see if we want to put it out there to see what kind of interest there is.”

Bennett also suggested a committee be put in place to begin examining options for the new fairgrounds to be built at Tennessee Avenue and Interstate 40. Porter said he hoped to have plans for commissioners to examine early next year.

“From what I’ve talked to realtors right now, they’re recommendation was wait till the spring,” Porter said.

Porter said if the sell of the current fairgrounds were to happen, the fair board wanted a stipulation that the 2021 fair could be held at that facility.

Porter said the land had been appraised in 2019, but he will get updates on its current value before the October meeting. Porter said he will also get updated numbers on the land that houses the school bus garage and highway department. The Jefferson Avenue facility will also be moved to Tennessee Avenue. Porter said that facility would need to be completed before the sale of the Jefferson Avenue parcel goes through.

The sale of the fairgrounds, Porter said, would have to be done by sealed bid, internet auction or public auction. Porter said he encouraged county commissioners to set a minimum price for the facility.

Local realtor Kathy Dunn, a member of the planning committee, said the county would be at a disadvantage because the land cannot be sold in a normal transaction fashion.

“Yes, the internet auctions have been doing great,” Dunn said. “I think we could do really well if we could do a traditional sell on that property, but obviously we cannot.”

Dunn said she expect interest rates to hold steady well into the new year.

Architects and engineers have been working on plans during the last several months. Porter said he has met with the fair board chairman and board members on several occasions to discuss possible plans for the new facility.