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Downtown Centre sale to close mid-November

The final piece of the deal to sell the Downtown Centre fell into place last week with the Johnson City Commission’s approval to allow tax increment financing to be used to help pay for renovations to the facility.
“The Johnson City Development Authority still needs to vote on a grant Northeast State has applied for, but it won’t affect the closing date,” Mayor Dan Eldridge told members of the County-Owned Property Committee during their Oct. 5 meeting.
Eldridge said the JCDA has received a letter of approved from Eastman Credit Union, and he expects the county to close in mid-November.
The sale of the Downtown Centre should finalize plans for Northeast State Community College to establish a site in Johnson City through renting the facility from the JCDA.
Signage for another county-owned property was also discussed during the meeting. Commissioner Doyle Cloyd said the County Clerk and County Trustee will find money from their budgets to share the cost of a sign for their new Johnson City location on Marketplace Boulevard. Research into the lease agreement revealed posting a sign is required.
In the first of a series of presentations from organizations that have arrangements to use county facilities, Dale Fair discussed the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency’s program at the county farm.
FTHRA rents the county farm to offer Young at Heart Respite, a program for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia. Young at Heart provides a safe comfortable environment for up to six hours in the evening, during which caregivers can tend to their own needs.
Fair said FTHRA pays the electric and utility bills for the brick building on the farm, in addition to maintaining the surrounding property.
“The opportunity came up a couple of years ago and we have been bringing the building up to code,” he said.
FTHRA put in new sprinkler and heating/cooling systems, repaired holes in the ceiling and planted flowers outside the building.
Despite not receiving the expected response to the care offered for $50 an evening, Fair said he believes it is a needed facility and hopes the economy will pick up soon.