Seventy acres of land behind Beech Tree Manor could soon be up for sale despite a lack of approval from the Jellico board of aldermen.
Citing Section 4.09 of the town’s charter, Mayor Les Stiers said he has the power to sell the land without the board’s approval.
“I’ve got to look out for the city and this council has not given or looked out to make any revenue for the city,” Stiers said.
The section of the charter that allows a mayor to sell the property reads “Sale of city property. In accordance with Section 2.07(a), by ordinance the mayor (or city administrator if one is appointed) may sell city real estate or other property which is obsolete, surplus, or unusable by the most advantageous manner available, including but not limited to advertisement in a local newspaper requesting sealed bids or directing a public auction.”
The 70 acres of land is mountainous and forested. Recently, the board voted against advertising for the sale of the timber from the land. One of the worries was that harvesting the timber could cause landslides. Whoever purchases the property would be responsible for any slides or damage to the town resulting from use of the land, Stiers said.
Part of the land is occupied by the hospital, but the unoccupied land, roughly 62.6 acres, is valued at roughly $112,680 according to property assessor Brandon Partin. Any money from the sale will be used within the town.
“It [the money] will come back to the city. We need it for some projects here at
Jellico,” Stiers said.
Sale of the land will not be immediate. It could take months before the land is officially for sale.
“It’s gonna take four to six months to go through the process of the sale and I want to get started now,” Stiers said.