The DeKalb County Commission has taken the next step toward outright ownership of the Cherry Hill Community Center property on Cookeville Highway.
Although the state deeded the 0.24 acre site to DeKalb County in August, 1981, a restriction requires the county to use the property for public purposes. After taking control of the site in the 1980’s the county constructed the Cherry Hill Community Center there. In recent years community interest in the center has waned and the building is now in need of repairs. Members of the commission have expressed an interest in disposing of the property.
In order to have the deed restriction removed and for the county to assume total control of the property, the county commission Monday night authorized County Mayor Tim Stribling to file with the Tennessee Department of Transportation an application for “Conveyance of Interest of Surplus TDOT Right of Way”.
County Mayor Stribling explained that this process requests the state to ascertain the fair market value of the property should the county decide to purchase it. “It is a request that TDOT come up and look at the right of way because we (county) did not purchase it (in 1981). For this restriction to be removed from the deed we (county) will have to pay a fair market value for the land. The property has approximately 0.24 acres. If its valued under $10,000 TDOT will do the appraisal and let us know. If its over $10,000 they will have an independent appraiser come up and let us know. Its up to us on whether we want to purchase the land. But in order to remove the restriction we would first have to go before the excess land committee. It meets every other month. The next meeting will be in January. They tell me it will probably be in February before we’ll have an answer. But all this amounts to is asking for TDOT to take a look at it to determine a fair market value and to remove the deed restriction. By doing this, if the county should want to lease it to an individual business, you could or sell it. But the way it is right now its restricted and there is nothing going on with it,” said County Mayor Stribling.
“I make a motion we proceed to get it in our name no matter what we do with it,” said County Commissioner Joe Johnson. Commissioner Jack Barton seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.