More on Trump getting a Hawkins County subdivision lot — maybe just a promotional stunt?

Rogersville developer Phillip Henard tells the Kingsport Times-News that he got the “crazy idea” of quitclaiming a lot in a subdivision he owns to President Donald Trump a year or so ago and presidential associates recently agreed to accept it. But he denies speculation by a local utility district official that the move was part of an effort to get water service into the Grandview Estates subdivision.

The newspaper otherwise elaborates on earlier cryptic reports about transfer of the subdivision lot, which were based on a press release issued by Henard, after reviewing the deed and interviews with Henard and Lakeview Utility District Superintendent Tim Carwile.

Excerpts:

* The property in question is appraised at $7,800. The quitclaim deed states Henard and his wife Karen will receive $10 for the property “and other good and valuable consideration to them in hand paid by (“the Trump Organization, Donald Trump and wife Melania Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. and wife Vanessa Trump”).

* The tract being quitclaimed to Trump is located adjacent to Dalton Cemetery and is encircled by the Arrington Road loop. Several lots to the north and west of the quitclaimed property have access to Cherokee Lake. The Cherokee Raceway Park dragstrip is located just south of the property, well within earshot.

* The annual property tax on the property being quitclaimed to the President is currently $49.

… * Mark Trent, who is identified by Henard as “representing the Trump Family and Trump Organization” is a Century 21 realtor based in Colonial Heights. Trent didn’t respond to messages left by the Times-News at his office.

…Carwile told the Times-News Monday that Henard has been seeking water service for his Grandview Subdivision for about a decade.

“Mr. Henard insists that he put in a waterline in 1977 and it was the district’s responsibility to maintain, even though there were no customers,” Carwile told the Times-News. “I told Mr. Henard that what he put in was not compatible or capable of being served by the district in 1977, and is not compatible or capable of being served by the district today.”

Carwile added, “I ran across him back in the summer and he mentioned that ‘I have talked to someone who will force you to serve my properties’. I told him that nobody exists who can force me to put water to his system with what he installed. I guess he figures that the President can.”

Henard told the Times-News Monday that water wasn’t on his mind when he contacted the Trumps (“not personally, but with some agents of their’s.”)

Henard says in a question-and-answer section of the story that he initially just wrote a letter to the Trumps and that he doesn’t consider it a gift, though “I can’t go into that. I hate not being able to answer your question. Maybe someday I can, but i can’t right now.”

Further excerpt from the Q-and-A:

Did you say (in the letter to Trump), “Hey, I want to give you some land in Hawkins County, Tenn., would you be interested?”

“Something like that.”

Do you think this will increase the value or demand for your other land over there?

“I have no idea. I guess that depends on if there’s more Republicans or Democrats looking to by property over there.”

Was this a marketing ploy to bring attention to your subdivision?

“Not really that. That might work, but I’ve not really thought about any of that.”

Do you think now that the President owns property there, Lakeview Utility will have to extend water service up there?

“I wouldn’t have any idea. When I subdivided that property I put water in and signed it over to Lakeview. It’s a long story, but they busted the water line. After I put it in, the district and the state approved it, and they (Lakeview) took it over. I’ve asked him to fix that leak several times and he says it doesn’t meet specifications, but I disagree with him. We can still sell lots and put wells in.”

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