Warren County government can begin negotiations to acquire commercial property for the relocation of Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.
County officials are considering the purchase of 509 Sparta Street, the former location of Crouch Motor Company.
“I have met with the real estate broker,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley during a Building and Grounds Committee meeting. “UCHRA has reviewed the building, made a list of upgrades and got a cost estimate on the building improvements that will be needed for them to move into that space, including a new roof and handicap-accessible bathrooms. We do have a cost estimate of up to $125,000 to do the upgrades that are needed.”
Commissioner Robert Hennessee asked, “Is that something the county is going to bear the burden of – those upgrades?”
Originally discussed by committee members was the county purchasing the property and leasing it to UCHRA, with UCHRA providing the necessary upgrades.
“That is yet to be determined,” said Haley. “If it’s going to be our building, we probably should bear the burden for the improvements upon it.”
Hennessee added, “I thought we had discussions that they would provide the upgrades.”
“There have been, but the thing is ARP (American Recovery Plans) money could be used for this,” said Haley. “That’s the $8 million we’ve got. There’s a possibility the purchase and the upgrades could come from the ARP money.”
The advertised selling price of the property is $550,000.
Haley stated the property owners have reached out to him through the real estate broker and have requested he make an offer. However, in order for that to begin, Building and Grounds Committee members must give initial approval.
Actually purchase of the property, and how to fund the purchase, will require approval by the full Warren County Commission.
“They want an offer and a contract, but that will be contingent upon ARP approval and approval of the commission,” said Haley. “I have to submit a proposal to the treasury department and wait for them to give me approval that ARP money can be used for this.”
The county Building and Grounds Committee gave initial approval for price negotiations to begin. It was then approved by the Financial Management Committee. This step in no way obligates Warren County to purchase the property.