Lupton City neighbors want eyesore gone - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lupton City neighbors want eyesore gone

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Lupton City, TN - Just a few feet separate freshly painted homes and neatly trimmed yards from the mounds of rubble that used to be the heart of Lupton City.

This used to be the Dixie Yarns Mill built in the 1920's. Ninety-five years later, it sits abandoned, forgotten and considered an eyesore for those that live nearby.

“If they had made it into something instead of just tearing it down, that could have been a little bit more helpful,” Dean Barber said.

After several changes in ownership, the mill closed in 2009. Two years later, the property was sold to the Georgia-based Dockery Group. The group started tearing the mill down but then the demolition stopped.

James Leeth is the owner and operator of Lupton City Golf Club nearby. He says the property has been sitting like this for nearly a year and can attract some who he says are up to no good.

“It courts criminal activity, there's no doubt about it. And not just on that property, we've had people coming in and dumping,” Leeth said.

Leeth tried to take matters into his own hands, offering to buy the property with a business partner. But they learned the current owners owe more than $100,000 in back taxes.

“There was no way we could pay the back taxes. Even though we were getting the property for next to nothing, the taxes were so much that for us to pay the back taxes and inherit that mess is just not something we were capable of doing,” he said.

City officials are trying to figure out a plan of action to clean up the mess these owners have left.

Barber would like to see the area useful to the community once again.

“A little addition to go with the golf course would be fairly pleasant for the community or keep some of these buildings and make a little community center to say the least,” Barber added.

“Now that the city's on it, something is going to transpire sooner rather than later anyway,” Leeth said.

The owners of the property are due in city court on April 9th. Channel 3 reached out to the group but our calls went unreturned.

State law doesn't allow cities to forgive back taxes.

Stay with Channel 3 for updates on this story.
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