Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Private Developer Interested In Shoney’s Hill; Declared Surplus

A private developer wants to purchase the 30 acres atop Shoney’s hill just off Cookeville’s South Jefferson Avenue.

County Mayor Randy Porter said the property appraised for some $300,000. The developer has offered “two to three times that amount.” Porter said no deal has been worked out.

“I’m coming back to you to see if that’s something that you’re interested in doing what we did with the fairgrounds in that I’d entertain offers from anybody that would want to put an offer on it and then maybe bring you back the best offer that I had and then you make a decision if you want to sell that or not,” Porter said. “I don’t want to go through that process unless it’s something that you want to do.”

The Planning Committee approved a motion to declare the property surplus and allow the mayor to field offers. The full commission approved the decision later in Monday’s meeting.

“All this legislative body has to do is act in the best interests of the county as far as selling its properties, if that’s what it desires,” Attorney Jeff Jones said. “The declaring that surplus is the first step in showing that it’s in the best interest of the county to sell this property. What Mayor Porter has got to do is he’s got to bring the best deal back to you. We’ve already checked this with the comptroller’s office.”

Commissioner Jonathan Williams wanted to add a September deadline on the plan and commissioners agreed. A communications radio tower and and a water tank on the hill would remain on the property with an easement.

County Commissioners decided at the time of the appraisal to hold on to the property based on the value. The property at the foot of the hill houses the Putnam County Schools Bus Garage. That property appraised for some $2.7 million. Commissioners are considering the sell of that property.

Also Monday night, County Commissioners approved a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes Agreement with Highlands Residential Services. The agreement covers payments to the city of Cookeville and the county by the housing authority in lieu of property taxes. Cookeville City Council approved the same agreement Thursday night.

Architects will begin a topographic study of the new fairgrounds site off Tennessee Avenue. Mayor Randy Porter said the work will be used throughout the construction process. The study includes the entire property. Commissioners approved the expense.

The commission recognized the charity work of Run For The Wall, the annual ride from California to Washington which stops in Cookeville annually. The national group paid $1,400 to each veteran impacted by the tornado after last year’s storm.

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