205 Main’s future still uncertain after county decides not to sell

Now what?

Anderson County’s decision-making process on what to do with 205 Main Street in Clinton took an odd turn Monday night.

A motion was made by Commissioner Robert McKamey to approve the highest bid from last summer’s auction — $352,000 — from a Nashville developer, and “move on.”

“Let’s just be rid of it,” McKamey said.

But Commissioner Jerry Creasey argued against the sale, pointing out the county had just raised property taxes and taking a loss on the building — the county paid $600,000 plus interest — was not handling county taxpayer’s money wisely.

And then the real surprise came.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank told commission the building was not suffering from “rumors of mold,” but a plethora of structural ailments that would make inhabiting the building, for any use, a costly venture.

That bit of information was a surprise — mold has always been said to be the issue of why the building couldn’t be inhabited.

“There are actual deficiencies in that building,” Mayor Frank told the Commission.

No one was more surprised than the man the county enlisted to help sell the property: Realtor and auctioneer William Bear Stephenson.

“That’s the first of these …” Stephenson said.

Which became a separate issue in itself.

Could the county be held liable for not disclosing the state of the building to the buyer — or to the man who was charged with selling the property?

Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager said a suit is always possible.

Stephenson could even file suit. Stephenson supplied the only comedic respite in the discussion when he said, “I ain’t suing you’all. You’all are broke.”

Yeager said there could be fall out for selling property without fill disclosure.

“And I don’t want to put Bear in that positions,” Yeager said. “I really don’t.”

Commission failed to pass a call to defer any decision on the property for at least 30 days.

Commission also failed to pass a motion to sell the property for $352,000.

It was pointed out the high bidder has informed Anderson County that if they decided not to sell the property there were no hard feelings.

District Six Commissioner Catherine Denenberg called the whole situation, “Nauseating … If you think about repairing it it’s going to cost three or four more times than what you expect.”