I Told You So

Just last Friday I ran a story I had actually written several weeks ago pertaining to LCUB bailing out the city on the vacant property on Broadway. The property had originally been purchased by the city for a future city hall. The city has poured more than two million dollars into the property but now plans to sell it to LCUB for $950,000.00 according to the article below.  

City Sells Property to LCUB

Closes on new city building purchase

Lenoir City Council made a few more property transfers Friday after purchasing the $720,000 SunTrust Bank building that will serve as the new city hall.

The city sold vacant downtown land to the Lenoir City Utilities Board during a joint board meeting Friday between council and he utilities.

The 2.7 acres, located at Broadway and Hill streets, comes at a $950,000 price tag.

Mayor Tony Aikens said LCUB plans to build administrative offices on the property. While a date has yet to be set, Aikens said the next step would be feasibility study.

From there, Aikens said the city will see "exactly what our needs are and what's going to last Lenoir City for a long time, as far as Lenoir City Utilities go."

"I think it's smart on our part, business wise, to offer that to the utilities because we know in the future we're going to have to do something for the utilities to have office building or office space because they're crowded and there's leaks in the roofs," Councilman Eddie Simpson said. "We just have some major issues there with that (current LCUB) building." Other board member expressed concerns with LCUB's current office space.

"I can't remember, but I believe the utility building was built in the '60s, if I'm not mistaken," Councilman Harry Wampler said. "I don't see how we've managed to stay where we're at with the space over the years. We really need to take a ... feasibility study and see what we need to do to where we can work together better than what we're doing."

Aikens agreed with Wampler and expressed concerns with the current structure.

"We're out of space there, as well as here, and also it may have some potential health issues, too, as far as asbestos," Aikens said.

The mayor still plans for city offices to start moving the current SunTrust Bank building by the first of the year.

Council and LCUB also discussed and approved a resolution to authorize the issue of a capital outlay debt, not to exceed $10 million, to fianance electrical expenditures.

"We're not going to be using that money, but we do need that money in reserve for our operations. It is every intent, looking at the budget, within these three years, and probably sooner, we're still going to be a debt-free operation, but we need money available to keep our capital needs funded," LCUB General Manager Shannon Littleton said, mentioning capital needs are "very, very big right now."

"We want to continue to fund those projects that we have slated," Littleton added.

The resolution was requested by LCUB.