Be a good neighbor, Lowe’s

Johnson City Press • Dec 19, 2018 at 7:30 AM

Lowe’s Home Improvement should be getting letters soon from County Mayor Joe Grandy and Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest about property near the store in Jonesborough.

The 15 acres adjacent to Jonesborough Middle School have been deemed key to Washington County’s efforts to improve K-8 school facilities in Tennessee’s oldest town, but Lowe’s maintains the right to pre-approve any construction — be it for a building or a road — on the tract when it bought its land from the same seller several years ago. The restriction would have to be removed for the school project to move ahead.

Well, property owner Joe McCoy asked on the county’s behalf, and according to him, Lowe’s said no. We urge the company to rethink that position.

Since 2016, the County Commission and the Board of Education have been in a political tar pit over the project, and now that they finally seem to be on the same page, the last thing they need is to cope with a roadblock from a corporate entity 2½ hours away in North Carolina.

Jonesborough’s students deserve the same kind of modern facilities as their peers in other parts of the county.

The McCoy property would be used to create a new road for a bus loading and unloading zone with access to Main Street. The county’s current access to the existing school grounds is via busy U.S. Highway 11E.

As Senior Reporter Robert Houk reported in Tuesday’s edition, County Commissioners voted 12-1-1 Monday to yet again extend the county’s option on McCoy’s property by 90 days while officials continue to work on the restrictions. Commissioners also voted to ask Grandy and Vest to send those letters asking the company to lift its property restrictions as a “public service” to the community.

We suspect many Jonesborough parents would agree.

If you’d like to lend your voice to that message, you can write Lowe’s at 1000 Lowes Blvd., Mooresville, NC 28117.

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