Committees to decide fate of Putnam fairgrounds, bus garage

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

COOKEVILLE – After intense discussion about the future of the fairgrounds and the Veterans Drive property, commonly referred to as Shoney’s Hill, that currently houses the county bus garage and the highway department, the topic has been handed to two new committees formed to evaluate the properties and recommend their fate.

At Monday night’s Putnam County Commission meeting, County Mayor Randy Porter named the commissioners comprising each committee. Commissioners also passed a motion to delay any decision on the sale of the properties until the committees have returned with a recommendation. 

The committees will be charges with determining timelines for any sale, reviewing architectural renderings on new facilities, securing architectural services for new facilities, etc.

Commission Chair Mike Atwood said that the first thing he anticipated the committees addressing was the timeline. “When do we want to sell, what do we want to sell first and how do we want to sell it?”

Atwood emphasized that none of those decisions would be final until the commission acts on the recommendations. He added that other things the committee would consider includes a floor for bidding, etc. 

“The only reason for a committee is to try to expedite this,” Atwood said. “As opposed to 24 people trying to discuss it, we will have five people who will bring back a recommendation that we will either accept or reject.”

The Bus Garage and Highway Department Committee will consist of Kim Bradford, Terry Randolph, Grover Bennett Jr., Sam Sandlin, Jimmy Neal and Mike Atwood.

The Fairgrounds and Expo/Event Center Committee will consist of Jonathan Williams, Dale Moss, Chris Cassetty, Ben Rodgers, Darren Wilson and Mike Atwood. 

Atwood said he anticipates the committees will begin meeting after the first of the year and all commissioners will be notified and are welcome to attend. 

Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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