A company headed by a member of the board that acted favorably on a controversial manufacturing and pipeline project has been paid $851,251 for 78.7 acres of property on Fish Hatchery Road that will be part of that project.
State and county records show the nearly 80 acre parcel was sold on Oct. 24, 2014 to US Nitrogen by Douthat Properties. J.W. Douthat served on the Industrial Development Board of Greeneville and Greene County when several key votes on the US Nitrogen project were taken.
Though he abstained from one earlier vote, on July 18 of this year Douthat voted in favor of resubmitting an application for approval of the pipeline project. The measure was approved on an 8-1 vote.
At that time, public records show Douthat already had granted US Nitrogen an option on property owned by his company.The option was dated Sept. 11, 2013.
Douthat and US Nitrogen did not respond to requests for comment.
The land sale comes as the US Nitrogen project is being challenged in four different court cases including chancery courts in Davidson and Greene counties. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8 in one case in which opponents are asking a judge to order an immediate halt to the 12 mile pipeline project.
Douthat also served on the board of Old Knox Utility District when that agency was involved in negotiations with U.S. Nitrogen. He resigned from Old Knox on April 30 of this year.
The $200 million Greene County project includes a 12 mile pipeline running from the manufacturing plant to the Nolichucky River. The plant will produce ammonium nitrate and millions of gallons of water will be pumped to and from the river to feed cooling towers needed in the facility.
Public records show that as far back as January, the US Nitrogen plans called for the use of Douthat properties.
In a Jan. 28, 2014 submission to state environmental officials, US Nitrogen disclosed that water from the river would be drawn from property then owned by Douthat at mile marker 20.8 on the Nolichucky River.
The Douthat purchase is one of dozens by US Nitrogen dating back to 2010. Many of the properties were subsequently deeded over to the IDB, which will own the pipeline, but not operate it.