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Town still expects to close on ISC building next month

Plans are moving forward in the town’s acquisition of the International Storytelling Center building on Main Street.
In July, the Town of Jonesborough agreed to purchase the building from USDA Rural Development for $1 million.
The storytelling organization came out of bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year without ownership of its iconic structure and remained unable to find funds to buy the building from the lien holder.
The town then stepped up to purchase the building in order to have control over what becomes of the structure, which serves as a major piece of real estate in the downtown landscape.
“We’re expecting a closing some time in September,” said Kelly Wolfe, Jonesborough mayor. “I think Rural Development is as eager as we are to get this thing finished up.”
The town will borrow the $1 million to buy the ISC from Rural Development in the form of a 20-year loan.
According to Wolfe, Rural Development has expedited the application process to get the deal done within the current fiscal year’s funding.
At the Aug. 13 meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, members unanimously approved three resolutions to move the process forward another step.
First, BMA members agreed to issuing $3.3 million in bonds for the acquisition and construction of land and facilities related to the Storytelling Center as well as the new senior center.
Second, the BMA approved the Bond Resolution, which details the authorization and terms of the bond.
Finally, members agreed to work with Bass, Berry and Sims as bond counsel of the loan transaction at a cost of $9,000.
The approval of resolutions also moves forward another ongoing project in town — that of the new senior center.
According to Town Administrator Bob Browning, leaders are hoping to have the construction project out to bid in October. If all goes as planned, ground breaking on the project will take place by the end of this year, he added.