After two months of uncertainty, the group Downtown Crossville, Inc. (DCI) will be able to continue using the historic Snodgrass building for their headquarters with the approval of a new lease between DCI and the city on the city owned building.
Council also approved the sales agreement and gave final approval to the sale of 9.09 acres on Wyatt Court, one of the city's industrial parks. The purchaser, L. E. Butch Smith plans to build an industrial building there that could be either rented or purchased. The property is sold at $25,000 per acre.
The Snodgrass building is one of the oldest standing buildings in Crossville, 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.
Historic Snodgrass building
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. Council voted to give DCI notice so the old lease wouldn't automatically renew.
At the August regular council meeting Wyatt proposed to put the building up for bids to see if any other non-profit wanted to lease it. That measure failed and a motion was approved that interim city manager Steve Hill should negotiate a new lease with DCI. After 6 weeks with no contact from the city, DCI began to get concerned that the city didn't intend to continue the lease but finally the draft lease was presented to DCI with a new rent of $100 a month, a one year lease that becomes a month to month after the initial term and either side can give a 90 day notice to terminate the lease.
The motion to approve was approved by all four council members present. Councilman Jesse Kerley did not attend the meeting.
Council had previously agreed to the purchase of some 9 acres of the Wyatt Court industrial park, the last usable piece of that property to Butch Smith who said he plans to construct an industrial building to either sell or lease. Originally Smith had requested a credit for the number of jobs created against the purchase price but has since dropped that request according to city attorney Will Ridley.
The purchase price for the property is $25,000 per acre for a total price of $227,075. The sale was scheduled to be closed right away as required advertising of the sale has already taken place several months ago. The four members present unanimously approved the sales contract.
Property being purchased by Butch Smith at Wyatt Court off of Woodlawn Rd.
Smith already owns the building in the background on the left.