Firm may buy city land

By Thomas Wilson

   An Elizabethton real estate firm is asking the Elizabethton City Council for permission to market property in the Cherokee Industrial Park. The council will consider a resolution Thursday allowing Rainbow Realty to show a tract of land in the city-owned industrial park.
   "We were approached to see if there was an interest to sell property in the park that the city owns," said Charles Stahl, Elizabethton City Manager. "Unquestionably, we are interested in selling any property we have for business related purposes."
   The resolution authorizes the city to pay a five percent commission on the total sale price to Rainbow Realty in the event the company effects sale of the property. Stahl said the property was approximately five acres in size.
   "There is a possible interest of perhaps more than that, but that has not been determined at this point," said Stahl. He said the property consideration was introduced to the Economic Development Commission in March. Sale of the property would also require the approval of City Council.
   In other business, the council will consider adopting a resolution to accept three tracts of property donated by East Tennessee Railway (ETRY).
   The tracts include a 50'x25' strip of land between Broad Street and D Street; 20 feet wide and 10 feet on each side from the center line of the main track from E Street to Elk Street; a triangular parcel of land bounded by Doe Ave., Hattie Ave., and the right of way of ETRY.
   The property was appraised at $39,925. The land contribution comes after the railway removed track and cross ties from the property. The city's sole costs for the property will be registering the warranty deed and conducting any property appraisal or survey, according to the resolution.
   The Tennessee Department of Transportation also issued a letter supporting a decision by the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission to approve a site plan development without creating a new curb cut on West Elk Avenue.
   A property development firm submitted a site plant to construct a Walgreens drug store on a portion of the North American Corp. property. The site plan had called for a second curb cut roughly 150 feet west at the existing West Elk/Hudson Drive egress. The planning commission voted 6-1 to approve a site plan without the new curb cut.
   In a letter to Sen. Dewey "Rusty" Crowe and Rep. Jerome Cochran, TDOT Commissioner Gerald F. Nicely writes the department "supports their decision and does not want to issue an entrance permit contrary to the city's planning process."
   The city's planning department and public safety officials cited potential rise in traffic hazards if the curb cut was allowed.
   More than 270 motor vehicle accidents have occurred on West Elk Avenue between Jan. 1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2002, according to information compiled by the Elizabethton Police Department records division. The accident reports include those with and without reported injuries to motorists.
   The West Elk Avenue/Bemberg Road intersection proved to be a magnet for accidents, with 149 accidents reported from 1999-2002. The West Elk/Hudson Avenue intersection had 68 vehicle accidents during the same time period.
   The city council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Elizabethton City Hall.