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Storm water problems may prompt donation of land
County Quitclaims to City 2.jpg
McMinnville city government wants to use this property to mitigate storm water issues. A quitclaim measure is being considered, as the overgrown lot is owned by Warren County government. - photo by Bethany Porter

An effort to improve flooding issues in the city of McMinnville will require the donation of land from Warren County government. 

During the county Building and Grounds meeting Tuesday night, city stormwater manager Lyndon Bussell presented a proposal asking the county to quitclaim the empty lot behind Warren County Administrative Offices to the city. 

“Not only will it mitigate storm water for the adjoining properties there, we will also create an amenity for the people in McMinnville to go with a walking path, retention pond, rain gardens, a lot of landscaping and utilization of infrastructure to help with this,” said Bussell, who added that a landscape architect has looked at the lot.

Currently the county owns the lot and over the years the catch basin designed to prevent flooding has grown smaller, resulting in problems. 

“The county really has no use for that property,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley. “It is sitting there idle and it can’t be a parking lot because we can’t pave it and we would never get a storm water permit for it. City requires gravel for parking lots and that would only create more issues as well because the city doesn’t want to allow a gravel parking lot that large. It doesn’t accommodate our needs in any way. We can’t build down there so it is just an empty lot that serves no purpose.”

A quitclaim deed is a legal document that conveys property in an expeditious fashion. 

Commissioner Tommy Savage pointed out that someone should do a title search on the property in case any disputes arise in the future because in the past there have been some questions regarding if the county or city actually owns the lot. 

Haley stated, “If it belongs to the county, and we are quitclaiming to the city, it resolves the same thing anyways. We are basically giving up any claims to that property so the city can do what they need to do.”

A motion to quitclaim the property to the city passed unanimously by the county Building and Grounds Committee. That measure will be sent to full Warren County Commission for its consideration.