Anyone who knows me or reads the web site knows I'm no fan of government subsidized development. I personally don't feel it's the place of the tax payers to help developers make money even if the argument is that their developments will benefit local government entities. But just because I don't think something's right isn't the end all.

It was brought to my attention that I have been unfairly critical of the Creekwood Development. This is the 200 acre development off Hwy. 321 that runs over to Hwy. 70. Creekwood Park, a four lane highway, runs through the development connecting 321 to 70.

According to the developer, Ed Loy, Lenoir City tax payers are not paying for his development or the road and he is partially correct. The new road is reported to have cost around six million dollars. The state of Tennessee contributed approximately two million to the cost of the road and now the feds have kicked in about six hundred and fifty thousand for lights and sidewalks. Lenoir City borrowed the balance of the funding under the agreement that Loy would pay the debt service on the loan until such time the increased property taxes generated by the development were sufficient to pay the debt service. Loy has been paying around $475,000.00 annually on the debt.

The agreement states the city "shall secure financing sufficient to complete necessary infrastructure and the construction of the Local Interstate Connector Route."In return, the document states, "Creekwood agrees to guarantee and provide the balance of the annual local debt service incurred by the city for the project."

The agreement further states Lenoir City "agrees to apply excess property tax revenues generated within the Creekwood development to retire the debt service within legal parameters. Creekwood assumes responsibility for bond debt service payment less the annual increase in municipal property tax revenues generated from property of Creekwood."

So Loy is correct in saying that LC tax payers, at least in the form of property taxes, are not paying for any part of the development. On the other hand, with state and federal grant money involved, all tax payers are contributing to the project.

In the big picture, will the development be good for the city and county? That all depends on your definition of good. The city is already getting nearly thirty thousand dollars in new property tax collections from the development they weren't getting before.

In time, the development will certainly bring more people and businesses to the city. In fact, Loy has just sold a 14 acre section of the property to a development firm from Brentwood that will be building a twelve million dollar, 200 unit, up scaled apartment complex. This complex will certainly add to property tax collections for both the city and the county. All those new residents will surely spend money in the city adding to sales tax collections. The Adequate Schools Facility Tax will sure see a windfall collection from the complex. All this on just fourteen acres of the 200 acre development.

On the flip side, the development and apartment complex will require city services which cost money. LCUB had to spend a lot of money to install the necessary utilities to support the development. More traffic on already congested roads.  

These are the facts on the Creekwood Development as I understand them. For me, everything comes down to the quality of life in our community. You can judge whether the development is good or bad, whether tax payer funding for developments are a good or bad thing. 

Time will tell.