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Sullivan officials try to head off Cedar Grove auction

September 20th, 2013 10:54 pm by J. H. Osborne

BLOUNTVILLE — Two Sullivan County commissioners launched separate efforts Friday to prompt action to stop what one described as a hastily hatched plan to offer a former county school for public auction within the next 30 days.

Commissioner Baxter Hood sent a message early Friday to Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey, and copied it to most other county commissioners and County Attorney Dan Street, saying he would appreciate other commissioners joining him in calling for a special meeting of the county commission to talk about what to do about the former Cedar Grove Elementary School property.

Later Friday, Commissioner Bill Kilgore sent a letter to most other commissioners, Purchasing Agent Kris Davis, and Administrator of County Buildings Claude Smith — and copied it to Godsey — requesting a called meeting of the full commission “to direct the Building Committee to act within the guidelines set down by the full commission.” 

This past Monday, the full commission voted not to accept Freedom Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church’s $59,895 bid on the property — which was received through a sealed-bid process instigated a couple of months ago by the county’s Building Committee.

The Building Committee met in called session two days later and after some discussion directed Davis to hire an auctioneer to conduct a public auction of the property within the next 30 days — before the full commission’s next scheduled meeting.

Kilgore, who represents the district in which the old school sits, said the Building Committee’s action ignores the will of the full commission.

Kilgore also questioned the validity of the Building Committee’s action because he said the group failed to follow the commission’s rules of procedure.

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