Taxpayer Asset - Giveaway Update



Commissioners give developer Holston Rd. on a Silver Platter

By: Pat Hunter

September 9, 2008

At least two people (Pat Hunter) spoke at the Public Hearing regarding the closure and abandonment of Holston Rd. They felt that the county road should be sold for fair market value rather than give the public road for a pittance. The property has commercial and residential value. As expected Commissioners voted unanimously to close 2100 ft. Holston Rd.

The road will be deeded to the developer and he is to reimburse the County about $3,900 for paving and the cost associated with preparing the deed. Not too shabby of a deal!

Do you think for one moment that the developer who got the road for practically nothing will now turn around and give it away to someone else; not likely?

Planner Russ Newman was supposed to get back to Commissioner Bob Franke as to the size of property but Newman conveniently did not do so.

Most cities and counties require that property be disposed by bid or public auction but not here.

Commissioners disposed of an asset that belonged to the taxpayers but it sounds like taxpayers were short changed while the developer walked away with property that will enhance the sale of his property. 

Someone reminded me that several years ago, a county commissioner tried to give a  potion of the old armory, now the county maintenance dept. located off Hwy. 11 and commissioners fought the church tooth and nail. The church wanted to expand its parking lot for its church members.      

After Monday's vote, Commissioner Don Miller made a motion seconded by Wayne Gardin for the planning department to look into a policy when abandoning public roads. When Commission would ask for a quid quo pro and when Commission would not. Chairman Bledsoe restated the motion that in the future Commission will check and see about putting a value on a road or get some type of reimbursement. The motion was unanimously approved.