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Town garners more property for bypass

It appears property for yet another portion of a proposed bypass around Jonesborough will soon be in the hands of town leaders.
Members of the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a swap last week with a landowner that would give the town a 75-foot right-of-way through Meadows Subdivision in exchange for the extension of water and sewer services to several undeveloped lots in the area.
Brian King recently purchased the remaining portion of Meadows Subdivision, which has yet to be developed. King bought the property, located off of Ben Gamble Road, from a bank that had foreclosed on it some time ago. King now wants to build houses on lots in the subdivision, but needs water and sewer services from the town to do so.
Currently, water lines have not been constructed to serve the undeveloped portion of the subdivision and sewer service is only available to a few of the undeveloped lots.
“This is a very important section as far as securing the right-of-way for (the bypasss),” said Town Administrator Bob Browning. “We are able to maintain a corridor that could be used for an alternate route, for the bypass.”
King will lose five lots by donating the area for the bypass. According to Browning, the lost lots are valued at a total of $100,000.
To provide services to the 35 lots remaining to the north of the potential bypass, the town would have to spend approximately $95,000.
“With little investment and cooperation with the landowner,” Mayor Kelly Wolfe said, “this enables us to capture the potential access point for a road that may or may not happen 20 years down the road.”
While the bypass remains a concept, town leaders garnered another landowner’s cooperation with the possible project earlier this year.
Joe Wilson, who owns 12.5 acres of land along Boones Creek Road, agreed to donate a 75-foot right of way to the Town of Jonesborough. Wilson’s donation came with a zoning stipulation, requiring the town to create a new zone that would allow bigger restaurants and better development opportunities for his remaining land should the bypass come to fruition.
Leaders have said a bypass starting at the Persimmon Ridge Road part of town off Highway 11E to Boones Creek Road would alleviate major traffic congestion in and around Jonesborough.
The town’s deal with King also established an agreement with the landowner to help create walkways in and around the subdivision.
Land within the subdivision that was intended to be donated to the town was not properly stated by the former owner. Now that open space area will be designated to the town, which can move ahead with a walkway it received a grant for years ago.
King has agreed to deed the land to the town as well as do some of the grading work for the walkway project so long as the town will do the gravel and paving work.
By working together, it is possible the town will be able to stretch its grant dollars to complete all of the planned walkway.
Alderman Mary Gearhart made a motion to approve the agreement and authorize Wolfe to execute it when the paperwork is completed. The motion passed unanimously. Alderman Terry Countermine was absent.