Campfield files bill on future of Lakeshore property; Rogero fir

Campfield files bill on future of Lakeshore property; Rogero fires back

The Lakeshore facility closed last year. The Lakeshore facility closed last year.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A proposal by State Sen. Stacey Campfield to change the rules for selling certain state property has drawn sharp criticism from Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.

Sen. Campfield is sponsoring SB 1243, which restricts the sale of property owned or held by state developmental centers, like the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute property, to local governments.

The bill specifies that when the state's department of intellectual and developmental disabilities services sells land, it must do so through a competitive bidding process and cannot sell the land for less than market value.

It also says that land must be sold for "its highest and best use."

The Lakeshore Mental Health Institute closed last summer.

Under a long-standing agreement, it was expected the Lakeshore property would be handed over to the City of Knoxville.

Last year, city workers began demolishing buildings at the site.

In a statement issued Thursday, Mayor Madeline Rogero was critical of the measure.

"I strongly disagree with Sen. Campfield's proposal to sell off state land at Lakeshore. The City of Knoxville has a longstanding agreement with the state about the transfer of Lakeshore to the City, which will protect the land as a public asset for generations to come," the mayor said.
"This transfer has been underway for a number of years and the city has already invested substantially in Lakeshore Park. Sen. Campfield has had no conversations with the city administration about his proposal, and we strongly oppose it."

"This proposed legislation would damage a highly-used and treasured city park, which is open for all Knoxvillians to enjoy," she continued. "In addition, it would be bad policy to limit the state's ability to choose the best manner by which to dispose of any of its surplus property."

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