Why is it never easy?
Buy a building, sell a building ... Hey, it’s all good, right?
Monday night’s near-midnight matinee of the Anderson County Commission featured surprises, remorse, and warnings. It was the best show on television.
And a lot of it centered around 205 Main Street, the gift that keeps on giving.
The only thing missing was the blame game.
Long story short: A Nashville developer bid $352,000 for 205 Main Street.
The County paid $600,000 (plus interest) for the property.
A motion was made to sell the property for the $352,000 and be rid of it, eat the loss, and move on.
That didn’t sit well with a few commissioners who pointed out the county should do better by their constituents because, after all, it was the constituents’ money they were talking about.
Much discussion ensued.
At one point, re-appointed Chairman of the Commission, Tracy Wandell, reminded everyone that when the property was bought some two years ago there was much rejoicing because it seemed as if a solution for an Anderson County Senior Center had been found.
High fives and confetti for everyone.
But … “It was a bad purchase. It was a bad presentation,” Wandell said.
Because problems were found in the building in the form of mold.
Bear Stephenson was brought in — I would say “hired,” but he volunteered his time and skills — to try and sell the property “as is.”
My long story short is not so short, is it?
While commission was discussing the merits of selling the property at a loss, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank told the commission that there was more than “rumors of mold” wrong with that building.
She pointed out at least $500,000 worth of problems found by an assortment of people in professions whose job it is to find things wrong with buildings.
And then it got complicated.
Stephenson didn’t know about any of the other assortment of problems wrong with 205 Main Street.
But he could still sell it, right?
Or would the county be liable? And what plans does the Nashville developer have for the property? And how much would it cost the county to just tear down the building and how much, exactly, is that property worth since it’s not really on Charles Seivers Boulevard, but on Main Street?
And if the county sold the property as is without the buyer knowing about all the other crumbly things about the building, could the county be sued?
And why didn’t the county find these things before the county bought it?
There were a lot of questions.
There weren’t a lot of answers — at least not straight out answers like, “Yes,” or “No.” There were a lot of answers beginning with, “If …”
The county tried to defer the decision on the building until next month, but that didn’t pass.
Anderson County Law Director gave his counsel to the body and added he would hate to see Bear Stephenson put in a position where the county sold a “pig in a poke” through Mr. Stephenson.
Actually, Commission Tim Isbel said the “pig in a poke” remark, but Mr. Yaeger was in full agreement.
So, the county opted not to sell the property.
Which is as it should be.
A person is only as good as their word.
Same goes for an entity.
There is a lot of buzz about Anderson County, a lot of good “noise.”
Anderson County is starting to be seen as a great place to live. The schools are awesome, the scenery is absolutely stunning, the history is rich and has, literally, changed the world.
Anderson County has a good reputation.
It’d be shame to tarnish it by selling a “pig in a poke.”
If you look back over this County Commission’s two-year history you’ll notice that sometimes it stumbles, but it hasn’t fallen down.
This body seems to be able to come up with some pretty good solutions.
And nobody points fingers, nobody looks for somebody to blame.
They just do the work.