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Commission approves letter of intent with Montclair

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By PETER SAWYER

At Tuesday’s meeting, the county commission approved a nonbinding letter of intent with Montclair, Technologies.
The motion to approve the letter passed with 13 yes votes. Commissioners Bob Walden and Steve Rutherford were absent.
“I just would point out to you that it’s clear from this document that it’s a non-binding letter of intent,” county attorney Joe Coker said.
By approving the letter, the commission hasn’t committed to anything, but has agreed to move forward to seek a final agreement, Coker said.
“You would have to negotiate the terms and conditions of a definitive contract,” Coker said.
“We’re just showing good faith we’re trying to work it out,” commissioner Terry Singley said.
In December, county leaders weren’t quite satisfied with the language of the letter of intent from Michael Williams of Montclair. In the letter of intent, Montclair asked for exclusive rights to the rail spur and the ability to allow a third party to use it, Coker said. Montclair also wanted to include a buy back clause. Buy back rights would require Campbell County to repurchase the land it sells to Montclair, in addition to paying for related costs such as construction, if Montclair doesn’t build the refinery.
County Mayor William Baird sent a request for changes to the proposed agreement to Montclair on Dec. 4. One of the requests was if Montclair fails to make payments or fails to put the oil refinery in use within three years of the purchasing date, the property would revert to Campbell County. Baird also didn’t want to allow Montclair exclusive use of the rail spur.
However, Montclair had some issues with the language in Baird’s request for changes, Baird said at the commission workshop on Dec. 14. After speaking with Montclair about the request for changes, and negotiating terms, Baird came before the commission at the Dec. 14 workshop. The new terms include the county retaining ownership of the rail spur. However, Montclair will have exclusive use of it. Norfolk Southern will maintain the switch and derail, and Montclair will maintain the spur. Montclair will also be able to transfer exclusive rights if it sells the shop. Montclair will also be able to lease use of the spur to a third party entity.
Montclair had originally asked for buyback rights. However, Montclair’s backed off on wanting the county to pay for improvements and taxes, Baird said.
If Montclair doesn’t follow through with putting a refinery in, within three years of closing, Campbell County has the option to buy the land back for the original price. However, the county isn’t obligated to do so.
“This gives them the incentive to actually complete it,” Coker said at the Jan. 14 workshop. “Because if they don’t, we can buy it back for the original price, regardless of what they spent to improve it.”
It will take the better part of a year for Montclair to move the equipment there, Baird said.
Address Changes
The commission approved a proposal from Campbell County E911 to change certain roads with 13 yes votes. This proposal is part of a plan to bring maps up to date.
Because of the new bridge and the closing of Jacksboro Station Road at the railroad tracks, E911 made a proposal to the commission to change certain streets:
Jacksboro Station Road will begin at the intersection of Liberty Street and end at the stop sign of Towe String Road and Island Road.
Towe String Road will be extended across the bridge, ending at Island Road and Jacksboro Station Road.
The old part of Jacksboro Station Road across from Jay’s Deli will be an addition of Queener Street.
All houses on the roads will be renumbered.
Campbell County Roads List
Commissioner Sue Nance made a motion to approve the Campbell County Roads list. Singley seconded the motion. The list included one change, Old Kentucky Road, which crosses Eagle Bluff Road, is now Eagle Rock Road. The motion passed with 13 yes votes.