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Town expects to close on ISC building this month

Title issues that have caused a delay in the sale of the International Storytelling Center building on Main Street appear to have inadvertently helped Jonesborough taxpayers.
The Town of Jonesborough is buying the building from USDA Rural Development for $1 million, the funding for which they will also get from Rural Development in the form of a loan.
“We’ve been told by Rural Development that after the first of the year, they are expecting interest rates on their products to go down considerably,” Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe said. “The delays and issues with the title have pushed back the closing to a point where it’s going to be a great benefit to the town. The good Lord has taken care of us and, as usual, things happen for a reason.”
The town had secured a loan with a 3.5 percent interest rate. That rate, according to Wolfe, now will be more like 3 percent, which will drop the town’s monthly payments by a good amount.
During a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Dec. 10, members voted to accept a preliminary title report on the ISC building.
That report cited eight exceptions, or issues, still unresolved related to the building’s title.
BMA members voted to give Wolfe the authority to accept any of those exceptions that are not cleared up by the time of the closing on the property.
Town Attorney Jim Wheeler reported to the BMA that all eight of the exceptions listed were in existence when Rural Development originally loaned money to the ISC organization for the building.
“There is nothing insurmountable with the title issues. The fact that a lending institution is willing to risk its capital is a good sign that you are probably OK on the title,” Wolfe said. “There may be some of this stuff, even though it looks onerous or could be perceived as that, that may end up to not be that big of a deal.”
In fact, many of the exceptions had already been cleared up by year’s end, Wolfe said.
The closing, which leaders originally anticipated would take place last fall, now appears to be on schedule for later this month.