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Sale of local business could double machine company’s size

Approval of a rezoning request for the sale of two parcels of land on Bristol Highway in Johnson City could have a positive economic development impact on Washington County.
Washington County commissioners met in a called session Sept. 10 to discuss the request from Decanter Machine, Inc. and Powell Construction to rezone the parcels at 3622 Bristol Highway from A-1 General Agriculture to M-2 High Impact Use.
The property was developed as industrial prior to the adoption of zoning in Washington County and was, therefore, considered non-conforming use. Rezoning to M-2 brings the property into conformity with the current zoning regulations.
The Johnson City Regional Planning Commission and the Washington County Zoning Department recommended approval of the rezoning request to the county commission.
Following a public hearing, during which no comments were offered, Commissioner Pete Speropulos made a motion to approve the rezoning, which was seconded by Commissioner George “Skip” Oldham.
A final decision on the rezoning was needed prior to a closing date on the buy scheduled for Sept. 17. James J. Powell owns both parcels as well as the companies located there — Powell Construction and Decanter Machine, Inc.
Powell said a letter of intent has been signed, but a confidentiality agreement prevents him from releasing the name of the company or individual that will buy the land from him.
In addition to the land, the ownership of Decanter Machine, Inc. will also change hands as part of the deal, Powell said.
Both Decanter and Powell Construction will continue to operate from the site. The agreement includes a 15-year lease for Powell Construction to continue its operations from there, Powell said.
“We’re not going anywhere,” said Powell, who predicts growth under the new ownership. “I think we will double our size within five years.”