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Commissioners Approves Mayor To Pursue Fairgrounds Sale

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Commissioners Approves Mayor To Pursue Fairgrounds Sale

Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter will pursue a private sale of the Putnam County Fairgrounds.

County Commissioners approved the move Monday night and declared the fairgrounds as surplus property. Mayor Randy Porter presented the pros and cons for sale options to the commission. He said a private sale provided better control over what would occupy the fairgrounds in the future.

“We could target large retail developments trying to get somebody that would open some kind of big store on it that would bring in sales tax along with property tax,” Porter said. “There’s no sales fee for us doing it, it would be a private contract that we would do with whoever is going to buy it and it gives you the chance to be in full control of what the selling price is.”

County Attorney Jeff Jones said that the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office agreed that the fairgrounds could be sold privately. Commissioner Kathy Dunn said the county will have to be cautious during future work sessions when discussing offers.

“When you’re dealing with commercial contracts it will need to be in project names because these guys will walk if they think that their name gets out there,” Dunn said. “It happens everyday in our community. Even if it has the appearance that they think it got out, they’ll pull out.”

Porter said that there would be multiple people beyond himself, involved in securing a sale. Porter said the plan is to hit every advertising possibility out there for the sale.

“City of Cookeville has a contract with Retail Strategies that has contacts with a huge amount of developers,” Porter said. “Both of those sites, we put it out to everybody and my goal is, is that keeping a record of every person that’s interested, with every offer so that there’s no questions and I’m going to bring you the best one. But there’s always going to be this list here that you’ll be able to see if you want to, of all the offers that have been made and who they were from.”

The sites Porter referenced are CoStar and Loopnet.

Porter said there would be one more Putnam County Fair on the grounds. He said the goal is to secure a deal within 60 to 90 days. If there has been no movement towards a sale before the July Commission meeting, the options for sale will be revisited during that meeting.


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