By Terry Britt
Van Zandt County Commissioners have reversed course on a planned downtown Canton property purchase.
In a commissioners’ court meeting on Tuesday, Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches said the court voted 4-1 to withdraw authorization for her to sign a contract to purchase the property currently owned by Lonnie and Elvira Browning of Canton.
Koches was responding to a question by Van Zandt County Court-at-Law Judge Randal McDonald during a public hearing on the county’s proposed tax rate.
Speaking by telephone on Tuesday, Lonnie Browning said he was very upset about the county’s decision, adding, “They broke their word.”
“They led us along for three months that it was a done deal, and we went along with other things believing we had a done deal,” Browning said.
The county was set to purchase the property for about $712,000 through the issuance of tax anticipation notes to be repaid over a seven-year period.
The court met Monday morning in closed session on the matter, then took the vote upon reconvening in open session. Precinct 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr. cast the lone vote of opposition.
Browning said he had no idea there was a problem with the agreement until two commissioners came to him Monday with news the court had voted to withdraw the county from the agreement.
“I never expected that. I trusted the county and thought their word would be good…I’ve been proven wrong,” said Browning.
County Scraps Plan For Property Purchase
By Terry Britt