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Putnam Commission Accepts Option To Purchase Land From Cookeville

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Commission Accepts Option To Purchase Land From Cookeville

The Putnam County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept a land option that would allow the county to purchase some 92 acres from Cookeville.

The tract could be used for a potential school in that area of Cookeville. It is a part of the 109 acres the city purchased along Highway 111 at Old Sparta Road last year. The city will keep approximately 16 acres for a potential aquatics facility project while allowing the county to purchase the remaining land.

Mayor Randy Porter said the price would be locked in up to six years.

“To me it is a golden opportunity,” Porter said. “I’m surprised there would be anybody against. It’s a gift almost to be able to have this to sit there for six years and us to make the decision in six years if we want it or not.”

The commission originally motioned to postpone the voting Tuesday night. But that changed after Director of Schools Corby King said the school board would be willing to absorb the $5,000 yearly obligation.

“We’re always looking just to see what is out there and what is available when stuff comes up and there is just not a lot,” King said. “We have several realtors here on the commission, and I think that is a benefit to us. You all know how much land and what’s available and there is just not a lot of properties available.”

Several commissioners expressed concern about the site including Commissioner Darren Wilson. Wilson sited road access and the overall property value as his issues.

“My concern is that 92 acres as a whole worth the same amount of cost per acre as the best piece of property,” Wilson said. “Then I am also concerned about if we were to build this as a school, how are you going to get traffic in and out of that road area? (…) In my opinion, it is not dollar for dollar to that 16 acres that is the most prime piece of property.”

Commissioner Terry Randolph also expressed concern about the location.

“To me, there is just a lot of people that are trying to get in and out of there and also where it is located on that end of the county doesn’t seem to me like it is very well situated for what you want to accomplish,” Randolph said.

King said the location of the site is not optimal for a school, but the school system has no land to build a new school at this time. King said two schools could fit on the land.

The commission’s decision locks the land’s price for six years at the same cost Cookeville purchased it. At any time, the county commission can decide to terminate the option for the city to maintain ownership.

The option is contingent on the school board approving the legal option cost.


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