Final bid placed in Seiler estate auction

By Megan R. Harrell

Star Staff
mharrell@starhq.com

   More than a month after it began, the Dayton A. Seiler estate auction is finally over, ending yesterday afternoon in the Carter County Chancery Court Clerk's office when one of the original 19 tracts of land was sold to the highest of three bidders.
   The auction reopened when two interested parties placed bids 10 percent higher than the final auction bid on the parcel of land off U.S. Hwy. 19E. Local businessman, Dempsey Shell, of Butler, and Ron Stout of Elizabethton, placed their bids with the Chancery Court Clerk. Both raised bids were placed within the 10-business day requirement.
   The original auctioning off of the Seiler estate was Dec. 10, 2002 when 19 tracts of land in Carter County were sold. At the first auction Elizabethton businessman, Bob Whitehead was the highest bidder on the tract of land, but he lost the property to Stout in yesterday's auction.
   Stout's final bid of $171,000 was the highest placed on the parcel of land. Yesterday's auctioning off began at $137,000.
   The property is estimated to be approximately 40 acres in size, and is located near Lighthouse Baptist Church just off the highway.
   The final and winning bid on the tract was well above its appraised value of $70,000. The augmented bid followed the same trend as the rest of the auction when the 19 tracts of land sold approximately $400,000 above their combined appraised value.
   Stout declined to comment on his future plans for the property, but noted its convenient location just off the highway.
   The property off Hwy.19E was the only tract to go into post auction bidding. County Executive, Dale Fair had voiced interest in parcels of the Seiler estate that surround the courthouse, but did not pursue purchasing them through the auction process.
   In his report to the County Commission yesterday, Fair said he and the building and grounds committee are working privately with the final owners of the properties adjacent to the courthouse. He stated that no offers are on the table at this point.
   Yesterday's auction was a continuation of the original sale and the same terms and conditions applied. Chancery Court Clerk, Charlotte McKeehan stated that she expects the judge to accept Stout's bid when she brings it before him, Jan. 16, 2003. The real estate transaction will close approximately 30 days after the judge approves the bid.