Photo by David Grace.
BLOUNTVILLE — Freedom Fellowship will not be buying the old Cedar Grove Elementary School from Sullivan County.
The Sullivan County Commission voted Monday, by a nearly unanimous margin, not to accept the downtown Kingsport church’s $59,855 bid for the 5.9-acre property.
Only Commissioner Ed Marsh voted in favor of accepting Freedom Fellowship’s bid.
In June, Freedom Fellowship Pastor Roy Lane told the Building Committee the church aims to convert the Cedar Grove School into housing for at-risk teens and homeless children.
When it was time for the commission to consider the proposal to accept Freedom Fellowship’s bid Monday, Commissioner Eddie Williams at first attempted to simply withdraw his resolution seeking that action.
Williams said he wanted to withdraw the resolution because Freedom Fellowship had withdrawn its bid on the property.
County Mayor Steve Godsey said the county had only received a verbal notification that Freedom Fellowship was withdrawing its offer.
Commissioners John Crawford and Bill Kilgore, who represent the district where the property is located, said members of the community did not support the sale of the old school to Freedom Fellowship.
Crawford said the issue of what will become of the property has been weighing heavily on nearby residents and pushed for a vote — which he encouraged others to be an official outright rejection of the bid so the county can start over with a “fresh slate.”Read more in Tuesday's print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.