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Easements Approved For New Speedway Project

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Easements Approved For New Speedway Project

Putnam County Commissioners approved two driveway easements onto Fairgrounds Street Monday night.

The easement provides the first step toward the construction of a Speedway convenience store and gas station on Jefferson Avenue.

Speedway Planner Jonathan Woker said the company has an option to purchase the former Payless Shoes property. Woker said Speedway has not yet purchased the property based on the county easement approval as well as city approval of the project.

“We believe this would be a public benefit,” Woker said. “(It) will revitalize a portion of a vacant property and be an improvement to the corridor. This will also result in jobs, about 15 to 20 jobs including managerial jobs.”

Woker said Cookeville officials have expressed support for the proposal.

The $3.8 million project includes about 3.4 acres along South Jefferson Avenue. County Attorney Jeff Jones said an appraiser valued the easement at 65 cents per square foot.

Commissioner Jim Martin said he worried about the easement reducing the value of the fairgrounds property. Martin said he worried that developers could want unencumbered access to Jefferson Avenue.

Speedway’s Kelly Roberts said she was concerned about delaying the decision 30 days and the options on the real estate.

“I would prefer not waiting 30 days,” Roberts said.

Taco Bell received a similar easement in 1993 when it opened on South Jefferson Avenue.

Fairgrounds Street is not a county road or city street, but rather a private drive, used as an entrance to the fairgrounds.

Commissioners also voted 13-11 against the requirement of an appraisal on any piece of land that the county sells or purchases. The rule would have excluded property involved with delinquent taxes that the county buys or sells.


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