One of the oldest buildings in the downtown area has been used for the past several years as the headquarters of Downtown Crossville, Inc (DCI) but action by the Crossville city council may change that.
Known as the Snodgrass building, the structure behind the courthouse was once the law office of Charles E. Snodgrass who, in addition to being a lawyer served as a state representative and as US congressman from the Fourth District of Tennessee. The building predates the 1905 courthouse and was built about circa 1890. It served as a law office until 1970, was purchased by the county in 1989 and used as the veterans service office until purchased by the city when the county considered tearing it down.
Snodgrass building (right)
During the council's called meeting on July 22, the topic of the DCI lease on the building was on the agenda. Councilman Danny Wyatt said that DCI had used the building for three years and that if notice on the lease wasn't given to DCI 90 days before October 31 it would automatically renew for another three years. DCI pays a monthly rent of $75 and the city pays for utilities.
Wyatt said he had just discovered the renewal and thought the council needed a calendar of such contracts and renewals for future decisions. Said Wyatt, “I feel like we ought to go ahead and give notice, and I don't have a problem with DCI and we get back to the issue of the office upstairs.” Council discussion on non-profit office space.
Wyatt continued, “I'd like to make a motion that we terminate the lease and then put it back on the agenda in August and let the council decide if they want to renegotiate it or sell the building or give another agency a chance to be in there for three years.” Councilwoman Pam Harris supported Wyatt's motion.
Mayor James Mayberry pointed out the funds DCI has invested into the building as part of the contractual agreement of $17,000 over and above the rent paid. “I think they are doing a great job,” added Mayberry.
Further discussion on the issue of the lease will come up on the August council agenda. The motion passed with yes votes from council members Wyatt, Harris, Jesse Kerley and a no vote from Mayor Mayberry.