BY KEN LITTLE
A land swap between Tusculum College and the City of Tusculum was formalized Monday night by the Tusculum Board of Mayor and Commissioners.
The city and Tusculum College will exchange land parcels near Tusculum City Hall, at 145 Alexander St. Each parcel totals .18 of an acre.
The Tusculum College Board of Trustees recently approved the land swap, and Dr. Nancy B. Moody, Tusculum College president, attended the city board meeting on Monday night.
The land now owned by the city is behind Tusculum City Hall.
It is part of the large backyard of a residential property with frontage on Erwin Highway (Tenn. Rt. 107) that was recently acquired by the college.
In return, the city exchanged land it owns on an adjacent residential property which the college is in the process of purchasing.
Mayor John Foster said the exchange will even out the property line of city-owned land and also provide space for future expansion of city hall.
"The benefit to the City of Tusculum is a long-range benefit, if we decided to expand this building -- which it desperately needs," Foster said. "It gives them [the college] some additional space behind the small house they purchased.
"I think it certainly benefits [the City of] Tusculum, and I hope it benefits Tusculum College," Foster said.
Moody said the house the college is in the process of purchasing, and an adjacent residential property on Erwin Highway which the college acquired, will both be rented out as part of an effort to consolidate property holdings in the area near the college.
She thanked Foster and the other commissioners for their cooperation with the college.
Trustees "were very supportive" of the land swap proposal, Moody said.
"I just wanted to say we appreciate everything you do for us," she said.
Commissioners also approved on first reading an ordinance to rezone three properties with frontage along East Andrew Johnson Highway for possible future commercial development.
The Tusculum Planning Commission recently recommended approval of the ordinance.
The ordinance would rezone two lots on East Andrew Johnson Highway and a portion of an adjacent property at 52 Emmert St. from R-01 (low density residential) to B-1 (neighborhood business).
No one spoke at a public hearing before the vote.
Commissioners will consider the ordinance on second and final reading at their Nov. 18 scheduled meeting.
"I think this is a good move for the city. The [landowners] want the property rezoned. They are anticipating the sewer project, and I think they want to do something with their properties," Foster said.
He said bids for the sewer project along a section of East Andrew Johnson Highway within the city limits will be accepted on Thursday.
The bids will be reviewed by engineers, and commissioners will meet at a special called meeting in the near future to review recommendations and possibly approve one of the bids, Vice-Mayor Alan Corley said.
The city completed its roadwork projects for the year, Foster said earlier in the meeting.
Florence Street, a portion of Richland Road and Park Avenue West were recently paved at a budgeted cost of $64,000, Corley said.
In other action, commissioners approved drainage improvement projects along sections of Erwin Highway and Richland Road, at a total cost of $1,800 to the city.
Foster said two other road improvement projects overseen by the Tennessee Department of Transportation appear to be on track.
Ball Road improvements should go out to bid in December, and bids for improvements at the intersection of Erwin Highway and Edens Road should be let in spring 2014, Foster said.