The Loudon County Economic Development Agency (EDA)
Tucked away in one of the many bends of the Tennessee River in Loudon is an old house built in 1864 by Hugh Blair. At that time the house was known as the "Yon Side." The Blair family continued to occupy the home until it was purchased by the Williamson family in 1938. The name of the home was then changed to "The Anchorage." In the 1980's the old house was bought by the City of Loudon and moved to it's present location to make room for the development of the Blair Bend Industrial Park. It's current occupants are the The Loudon County Economic Development Agency (EDA) and The Loudon County Office of Planning. While the old home is still officially know as the Williamson House, some of us have a special little nickname we use when referring to the old home with it's current inhabitants. We call it the "Frat House."
Over the years, I, and others have tried to eliminate funding to the
EDA feeling that it had far out lived it's usefulness. But for what
ever reason, this has proven to be all but impossible. The agency is
costing the County and City tax payers nearly $175,000.00 per
year to continue to maintain this do nothing agency. (05/06 Loudon
County $119,772.00, Loudon $28,644.00 Lenoir City $24,,084.00.) I
have never been able to obtain an actual detailed financial report from
the agency which always throws up red flags.
Click here for EDA budget. Now I
read in the 8/28/06 News Herald that the agency is trying to
figure out ways to keep even more of their information from public
scrutiny. The debate centers around the agency's alleged need for
secrecy because they are dealing with "big corporations" who demand it
versus the fact that they
Part time County attorney, Harvey Sproul is quoted in the paper as saying, "we should continue to to maintain that we are a non-governmental body." How could any competent attorney dispense that kind of advice? News Herald publisher and EDA board member, Kevin Burcham correctly pointed out to the board that if the EDA receives public funds, the public has every right to access of the agency's records.
The taxpayers of this County should no longer be forced to continue funding such an agency as the EDA. They produce nothing, they're costing a fortune to maintain, and now they want to keep even more secrets? We just can't have this. If Phillips and company want to run a secret society at the Frat House, then they should cut all ties with local government, get off the tax payer tit, and go try to make it on their own.
Total waste of tax payer money, approximately $175,000.00 per year.