By Bill Short
Board members took the action during their Sept. 9 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Al Bell and seconded by Alderman Jon Crisp. The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Bethany Huffman absent.
City Finance Director John Trusty said the proposed ordinance will be submitted to the Millington Municipal Planning Commission for its review and recommendation. Then, it will be scheduled for a public hearing and final reading at the board’s Oct. 14 meeting.
Millington owns eight parcels of land totaling approximately 124 acres at 8 Babe Howard Ave., that collectively are known as the USA Stadium Complex.
At an April 29 special called meeting, the board voted unanimously to declare the complex “surplus property,” so it could be sold or leased.
The city advertised for bids on the property that would include the intended use and proposed lease or purchase terms.
Bids to purchase the complex were submitted by WBM LLC, doing business as Watazumi Beach Millington, for $1.2 million; and Kevin Kennedy for $1.5 million.
At its July 8 meeting, the board unanimously adopted a resolution approving Kennedy’s bid as the best one submitted “in terms of price and proposed use.”
The proposed ordinance states that “various portions” of the eight parcels have been recorded as dedication of right-of-way to the city for future development of Quito and Hickory Meadows roads.
But because the city has no plans to develop those roads, the board desires to abandon the right-of-way to allow Kennedy “full access” to the entire complex.
And in accordance with Section 13-4-104 of the Tennessee Code Annotated, the planning commission has reviewed a plan for the right-of-way abandonment.
Trusty said the proposed ordinance is designed to ensure that the city has “no restrictions on this deed” when it closes on the sale of the property.
Millington has always viewed the USA Stadium Complex as a method of bringing visitors to the city to use its hotels, restaurants and other stores.
But it operates the stadium along with other activities that annually cost a total of approximately $150,000 more than related revenues collected.
The board had determined that the property needs “significant renovations and/or maintenance” that would “place a further burden” on the city’s resources.
So, it decided to reduce the “taxpayer burden” by encouraging private owners to further develop the property as a “recreational area.”
Kennedy and his investors will establish a limited liability corporation to own and operate the complex.
He plans to restore USA Stadium to its original condition and to construct “numerous” additional ball fields at the complex, with a dome over two fields.
Kennedy also plans to “market” the complex for competitive baseball and softball tournaments for children aged 7-12 and to expand current uses of existing competitions at USA Stadium.