Tag Archives: land

Bill Calls for Sale of Lakeshore Land Instead of Giving It to Knoxville

The state would put the property that was once home to Lakeshore Mental Health Institute up for sale to the highest bidder rather than transfer it to the city of Knoxville under legislation proposed by two Knoxville legislators.
The bill filed by Sen. Stacey Campfield and Rep. Steve Hall, both Republicans, was sharply criticized Thursday by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and former Mayor Victor Ashe. Both said a sale of the park could jeopardize the current city park located on adjoining land, and prevent its expansion.
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam, also a former Knoxville mayor, indicated the governor backs Rogero’s view and opposes the proposal.
Campfield said it makes sense to have the state sell the land at fair market value and use the money to benefit mental health.
“I don’t think we need another park… a monument to someone’s vanity,” said Campfield. “We do need money for mental health.”
The bill as filed (SB1243) does not earmark funds received from sale of about 60 acres owned by the state to mental health, but Campfield said that is his intention and the bill can be amended to do so. He also said Knoxville can be given right to buy the land from the state at full market value.
“Let them (state officials) subdivide it up, put it out for bids, see what it’s worth and offer it to the city at that price,” said Campfield in an interview. “That would bring in a ton of money for mental health, where we have been cutting back year after year.”
Optionally, if the land goes to a private developer, it would generate property tax dollars for the city and county, Campfield said.
Rogero and Haslam have been negotiating a transfer of the land to the city. The present park is on Lakeshore land transferred to the city in 1999. Rogero said in a statement the proposed new transfer ties into a “longstanding agreement with the state” that “will protect the land as a public asset for generations to come.”
David Smith, spokesman for Haslam, sent a reporter a copy of Rogero’s statement and said in an email, “The state has a longstanding agreement with the city, and the governor believes we should continue with that agreement.”
“Selling the land would be a windfall to some land developer and harm the existing park,” said Ashe in a statement.

Embezzler Takes $500K from TDOT While Buying Land

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Law enforcement officials say the owner of a company hired to purchase land for state road projects must repay more than $500,000 to the Tennessee Department of Transportation after admitting to embezzlement.
Internal Revenue Service Special Agent Jim Runkle said in an affidavit that 53-year-old Michael Wayne Young, president of Brentwood-based Capitol Consultants Inc., told investigators he was “robbing Peter to pay Paul” by taking state money from 2004 to 2011 originally intended for buying property for roads.
Young has been a TDOT right of way division consultant/contractor for 19 years. Investigators determined that money given to Young within the past year was used to buy land that it was not intended for.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Phillips told The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/RQWG7n ) that any criminal prosecution of Young is pending.