Owens vacates property

Oct. 30, 2013 @ 05:04 AM

Rutherford County Commission Chairman Julius Owens and his wife have moved.

Almost four months to the day, the saga surrounding the purchase of property by the Rutherford County Airport Authority seemingly came to a quiet end Tuesday in Rutherford County Small Claims Court.

A Rutherford County magistrate entered the order of summary ejectment against Owens based on the stipulation of the parties. Now, the Airport Authority will file a dismissal of the suit.

Tuesday was a continuation of a hearing last week when Owens' attorney Bob Wolfe said the Owens' were in the process of moving off the property purchased by the Rutherford County Airport Authority in June.

Wolfe said the Owens' were closing on a new property last Thursday and would not have possession of that property until the weekend.

According to an email from Rutherford County Manager Carl Classen to county commissioners Tuesday, county staff "confirmed that the property has been vacated" as of Monday.

On June 28, the Authority executed an agreement to purchase Owens' 10-acre tract for the purpose of removing a tree that violated the airport's glide-slope ratio approach to the runway.

Miller issued a letter to Owens dated Oct. 2 which said "the property needs to be vacated immediately or the Rutherford Airport Authority will pursue its legal options to remedy the situation."

Airport Authority attorney Beth Miller objected to the continuance last week because the property was supposed to be vacated Oct. 1.

The only comment Owens has offered during the process is he had a contract on another house in September.

Owens sold his 10-acre tract to the Authority for $300,000 — nearly double its independently appraised value. Prior to the sale, he had 15 other conditions for the sale including paying $100 a month in rent to stay on the property "during the time they reside on the property, after the acquisition of their property," however all conditions — with the exception of the purchase price — were rejected by the Authority.

In his email, Classen said "the matter is now considered closed and staff will be asking the Airport Authority Board to consider potential uses of the property at its next meeting."