You won't believe this one
|Unless you have been living under a rock, you have
most likely heard a lot of discussion recently pertaining to our county
school system and all the problems related to overcrowding and funding.
The county commission, just this week, passed the Adequate Schools
Facility Tax to try to help generate additional revenue to fund
new facilities. The Board Of Education has been moving quickly, perhaps
too quickly, to acquire property for future building sites. Land has
been purchased in Greenback, Loudon and now in Lenoir City. There was
even some pretty heated debate among school board members to the choice
of location in Lenoir City, with the ultimate decision to purchase
eighty acres along Highway 321. Here's where it gets ugly.
The chosen property, a 103 acre tract was owned by retired teacher, Helen Larue Wofsy and her husband, Chester. Knoxville developer, Richard Eisenbach had an option on the property. This meant Mr. Eisenbach had first option to buy the property. The BOE representatives negotiated the purchase of the land with Mr. Eisenbach ultimately reaching agreement to pay $27.500.00 pre acre for eighty acres. Total cost for the property for the county, $2,200,000.00. According to some board members, they were told Mr. Eisenbach had agreed to pay the Wofsys $25,000.00 per acre for her 103 acres. Eisenbach's total cost $2,575,000.00. Eisenbach stands to make $200,000.00 plus retain 23 acres. That seems fair enough. Unfortunately, according to court house documents, that's not what happened.
According to documents obtained from the Register of Deeds office (see below), Mr. Eisenbach actually paid the Wofsys $1,300,000.00 for the 103 acres. Bottom line, Mr. Eisenbach walks away with a cool $900,000.00+ and retains 23 acres. The tax payers get stuck paying $900,000.00+ extra for the property. To add insult to injury, the property assessors office had the property appraised at only $584,700.00.
On September 22nd 2006, Mr. Eisenbach purchases 103 acres from Helen Larue Wofsy and husband, Chester, for $1,300,000.00. On September 29 2006, Mr. Eisenbach sales the Loudon County Board Of Education 80 acres of that same property for $2,200,825.00. The deed from Wafsy to Mr. Eisenbach was registered in the Loudon County Register Of Deeds office on October 2nd,2006 at 2:57 pm. The deed from Mr. Eisenbach to the Loudon County Board Of Education was registered in the Loudon County Register Of Deeds office on October 2nd,2006 at 3:02 pm.
If what appears to have taken place here is in fact correct, someone should be held accountable. Heads should roll. To throw away nearly a million dollars of tax payer money for nothing, is absolutely unacceptable. It's hard to fault the developer. He just wanted to make money, but whoever from the BOE brokered this deal should be held 100% accountable. A full investigation is warrented and some hard questions must be answered.
There's a big part of me that hopes I'm missing something and this didn't really happen the way it seems. But I fear, all is as it appears. Somebody please, tell me I've got it all wrong.
Below are the deeds. I have omitted the bounds and measures to save download time. Click on thumb for full view.
Wafsy to Eisenbach
Eisenbach to the Loudon County Board