City approves property condemnations, home-friendly lease for established business | Local News

At its last meeting of 2021, the Crossville City Council unanimously passed several motions that signal continued growth for the city.

During the Dec. 28 special- called meeting, Council approved settlements for two properties between Main St. and Hwy. 70  to make way for Northwest Connector 2.

One parcel represents an administrative settlement, while the other will be settled by the courts through a friendly condemnation. 

The city will pay 10% or $10,000, whichever is greater, for the appraised value of each privately owned parcel; the appraisal is made by the state and subsequently goes before an appraisal review board.

The Northwest Connector is a joint project between the city and the Tennessee Department of Transportation that came about following a 2001 study indicating the traffic on Elmore Rd. presented a “critical hazard.”

The new highway will offer an alternate route from Genesis Road to Hwy. 70. It will feature a five-lane road and 4-foot bike lane from Genesis Rd. to Hwy. 127 N.

In other action, council unanimously approved a $1-a-year lease for 12 months for McGinnis Tile & Stone. 

The property on Main St. was purchased by the city earlier this year. It is viewed as a potential site for a recreation center and is one of several parcels of land making up the nearly 10-acre tract. 

McGinnis Tile & Stone leases 7,800 square feet of space in one of three buildings on the property

Initially, council proposed a one-year lease for $2,700, with the option of extending it to allow for construction time for a recreation facility. 

Owner Tracy McGinnis and his wife, Amanda, told Council they already have the challenge of working in a limited space with a few employees while striving to maintain quality granite and tile work. The lack of space, they noted, results in losing three to seven jobs a month.

Forced to find another location for their business with the purchase of the land by the city, the McGinnises said they could attract more customers if they had a larger building and more employees. 

In the meantime, they asked for relief on their present lease with the city, giving them time to explore other possible sites while gaining some financial relief that could help in securing a larger facility.

Council, recognizing the importance of keeping established businesses at home, responded with a unanimous vote.

Mayor James Mayberry said they usually offer incentives to bring new businesses to town. Instead, they used the incentives to help out an existing business.

“He has the reputation of having an old-school business and being the best around at what he does,” Mayberry said. “With a lower lease, he’s secure while he buys property and builds — if he pursues that option. A cut rate on rent will help him work.”

Mayor Pro Tem R.J. Crawford said $1-a-year lease goes back to the original decision to buy the three parcels on Main St.

Crawford said his concern remains they paid too much for the property when they already owned a tract between Iris Ln. and Webb Ave.on which to build a recreation center. Being landlocked with the Main St. property, he added, future expansion would be difficult. Then there’s the issue of forcing an existing business to relocate.

“On this last point, I thought we needed to be as fair as possible to this business [McGinnis],” Crawford said. “I think this gives them a fair shot at relocating and lessens the cost burden to do so. It will still be up to business owners to take the next steps. I wish them the best of luck in doing so.”

Mayberry said there’s no finalized plan on a recreation facility. The tract McGinnis is leasing, he noted, would likely accommodate parking for the proposed center. 

The next step is sending out a request for qualifications asking for design proposals for a recreation facility.

“We’ve seen a lot of plans,” the mayor said. “We have to make it fit in this property.”