The News Sentinel reported this weekend that Tennova Healthcare is asking the Knoxville City Council to defer the second reading of the ordinance that would rezone the land they're looking to use for a new hospital from agriculture to office space. (The story is behind the paywall, but here's a link.) They're asking for "at least two weeks," according to the News Sentinel, so that the current owners of the land have time to work out whether they'll need to collect higher taxes on the sale when the land is rezoned. The Council was scheduled to hear the second reading of the ordinance at their meeting tomorrow. It was passed on its first reading by a vote of 5-3-1.
Tennova Metro CEO Mike Garfield told the News Sentinel "We indicated when they brought it up to us that absolutely we'll pay for those [higher taxes]. Let's work it out."
So far, it doesn't look like this will interfere with the company's plan to move forward with acquiring the land. The option period, the News Sentinel notes, lasts another 15 months, and that can be extended. Plus, Tennova plans to file a certificate of need for the new hospital with the state in December. A couple of weeks to discuss tax issues probably won't matter too much in the long run.