Burns commissioners approve $135,000 offer to buy town hall from Water Authority of Dickson Co.

The town of Burns hopes to be able to purchase its town hall outright from the Water Authority of Dickson County depending on being able to reach an agreeable price and obtain financing. Several months ago the board of commissioners authorized Mayor Landon Mathis to offer the authority $125,000 to purchase the building and end the current lease-to-own agreement. Mathis later reported the authority was willing to sell the building to the town but wanted to keep the lot next door in case the authority ever needs it for a water tank. But Mathis reported last week that through ongoing negotiations with WADC Executive Director Michael Adams he believes the authority board of directors will consider selling both lots for $135,000. Mathis said the town still owes about $160,000 to $165,000 on the current lease-to-own agreement that turned the former Sam Houston Utility District office into Burns Town Hall in 2007. “If we think this is going to be our city hall, it’s an opportunity, just with ongoing negotiations, that we might cut the town’s debt load somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-35,000 (dollars). The exact number I don’t know,” Mathis said. The mayor said the town’s options are: renew the lease in May still owing as much as $165,000; try to obtain financing to purchase the property at a lower price; or end the lease and move town hall to another location already owned by the town. Mathis said the money the town saves from financing a lower purchase price could then go to help pay for completing the new park on Highway 96. “I just think if this is our long-term home, it’s probably something we – if they’re willing to do – it’s probably something we need to move on,” Mathis said. The commission voted 3-1 to offer the authority $135,000 for both pieces of property contingent on the town being able to obtain financing. Commissioner Chris Holland cast the lone “no” vote. Adams is expected to present the offer to the Water Authority of Dickson County board of directors at its meeting tonight.