Elliott: Buyer interested in Schaffer Building

Photo by Kristen Luther
Commissioner Tom “Yogi” Bowers addresses a motion to send some violators of the litter law to General Sessions Court.

  By Lesley Hughes
star staff

  Economic Development Director Haynes Elliott reported to the Carter County Commission on Monday evening that a buyer is interested in purchasing 7.9 acres of land and the Frank Schaffer Publications Building. The motion was recommended through the Finance Committee and passed through the commission by a unanimous vote.
  The agreement is contingent upon the unnamed buyer signing the proposal for $5,600 per acre. In the deal, the county will purchase small portions of land from Tennessee Technology Center and Star Buildings Systems to complete the 7.9 acres. Elliott also said the agreement will include that the Canadian company will employ 150 workers.
  The only statement that Elliott made about the identity is, "It is a real good company."
  He added later during his Economic Development report that in the past year, "over 1,000 new jobs have been created in Carter County. That is the most that has happened in a long, long time."
  Chris Craig from the First Tennessee Development Agency spoke to the commission about recent Environmental Protection Agency regulations which encourage the county to enter into the Ozone Action Day Program. The agreement would control outdoor burning during an Ozone Action Day. The alert for no burning would be distributed through the media, and most days can be predicted by mid-afternoon the day before outdoor burning would be prohibited.
  A few commissioners had problems with this agreement, saying that enforcing the action would not be feasible. If caught burning on this day, violators will be subject to a $50 fine by the EPA and a $50 fine from the Tennessee Department of Forestry if a permit is not acquired during certain months. The resolution was passed by a 20-3 vote, with commissioners Jack Buckles, Lawrence Hodge, and John Lewis voting no. Commissioner Amos Stevens reminded others that anyone with lung disease or asthma will have breathing problems on these specific days and any amount of environmental protection that can be done should be done.
  In other business, Lewis asked the commission to pass a request for County Attorney George Dugger to write a letter to the Tennessee Department of Transportation asking that a turning lane be constructed at the U.S. Highway 67/State Route 321 intersection in Little Milligan. He said after speaking with someone from TDOT, all that would be required to add a turning lane, similar to the one recently constructed at Carden's Bluff Campground, would be a letter requesting this from the county. The motion was approved unanimously.
  The Jail Task Force will meet Thursday evening at 7 p.m. for a commission workshop to discuss the desired route for a solution to the county jail problem. Commissioners must decide whether to build a new jail on new property or renovate the existing jail and hope that it never needs to be expanded again since there is no room for expansion except for a high rise structure.