Late Wednesday, December 1, legal action was filed in Coffee County Chancellery Court against the city of Manchester, the County of Coffee, the Manchester Public Building Authority and the now dissolved Coffee County Public Building Authority by the co-owner of a plot of land that is now home to the Manchester Coffee County Conference Center’s outdoor wedding venue, alleging that the government seized part of Lance’s property without compensation.
Lance is asking for a total compensation of $ 1.33 million.
âMy offer was to negotiate (a solution), but that offer is no longer on the table,â Lance said. “I expect them to come to me now.”
Lance has approached the city and county about it. He said he saw minimal response from the city and county.
Lance approached the city at the November Council of Mayors and Aldermen meeting, but his attempt to voice his grievances was cut short.
Manchester City District Attorney Gerald Ewell and Coffee County District Attorney Robert Huskey responded to Lance’s allegations before the lawsuit was filed. Ewell said the structure in question was built in 2017, when the property was owned by the Coffee County PBA and Lance.
He said Manchester did not even own its third of the property until 2020, when the city took full financial responsibility for the conference center.
In addition, Ewell said the project was carried out solely by the Coffee County and County PBA, and said Lance is barred from legal action because he has not paid property taxes since. over 20 years.
“There is simply nothing for the city to do,” Ewell writes.
Huskey, for his part, said in a letter to Lance and The Times: âAs you are probably well aware, the County of Coffee and the City of Manchester continue to own the real estate of the conference center, but by the same agreement. , full control of the operation of the conference center is now the responsibility of the City of Manchester. Therefore, since the signing of this agreement with the City transferring operational control, we will follow the City’s directives with respect to these matters.
Lance’s lawsuit alleges that the conference center requested and received a grant of $ 50,000 to build an outdoor venue. These grants and related improvements were not disclosed to Lance and he only became aware of the improvements in January 2021. Lance further alleges that the improvements were made with the knowledge that Lance owned a third of the property. He says former Coffee County PBA chairman Stan Teal in particular knew that Lance owned part of the property.
Lance alleges that since the location is not the best use of the property, the improvement devalued the property.
The lawsuit says that in 2018, Coffee County District Attorney Robert Huskey approached Lance for a price to buy his portion of the property, only to then fail to respond to Lance’s asking price.
After discovering that a commercial enterprise was on the property, Lance alleges that he asked the center to stop using the property and provide him with proof of comprehensive insurance coverage, but none was provided for its protection.
The lawsuit also said he requested and was denied full accounting of the income generated by business enterprises using his property.
The claims for punitive and compensatory damages amount to one-third of the revenue collected from the commercial enterprise estimated at $ 3M plus one-third of the increase in revenue of the Conference Center by the addition of the Internet connection on the property that Lance estimates to be $ 1 million.
John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. John has won the Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photography and has placed in many other categories. John graduated from Tullahoma High School in 1994, graduated from Motlow State Community College, and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, enjoys painting, dancing and exploring the outdoors.