PROGRESS, is that What its Called?
$20 Million Grant For New 4-lane Boulevard, sewer lines, etc.
MORE BIG NEWS - $5-6 Million Harrison Road Widening
Development and Quality of Life
When Dr. Bob, TV celebrity and developer, rode into town on his white horse, he promised that his grandiose commercial plans would not come at taxpayer expense. Now, his consultants and developer associates are singing a different tune wanting over $20 Million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) State Grants. LCUB's sewer department is financially strapped and does not have the resources to extend infrastructure to the development, at least that's how the story goes. Expect to pay higher water and sewer rates, LCUB ratepayers. If this proposed commercial venture is a sure winner, developers wouldn't need incentives to pursue them, would they?
Lenoir City Industrial Board
Late Friday afternoon, same day as the Battle of the Bridge football game, Tim Grindstaff chaired the Lenoir City Industrial Board meeting, no press was present. At the request of Dr. Bob's consultants, the Industrial Board voted to hold a Public Hearing for Monday, September 17, 5:30 PM at Lenoir City Hall. Details will be disclosed about $20M Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Grant for the commercial project.
Dan Tiller, Chief Development officer with the Knoxville PBA, has been hired as a consultant in charge of the economic development details.
Lee Kribbs, Barge Waggoner consultant, gave details about bonds, debt and overall project. Kribbs also spoke about proposed apartments next to Northview Estates. This nice serene neighborhood abuts the Eldridge Farm. Although the Eldridge Farm property is assessed at $14 Million, the plan is to freeze $20 K tax to Loudon County and Lenoir City as part of the TIF Grant program. The Lenoir City Industrial Board will issue $20,000 Million indebtedness, then repayment of the TIF Grant will be administered by lawyers employed by developers. How much better can this story get?
Proposed Million Dollar Projects
Mayor Matt to ask Commissioners for Money:
For years, neighbors located in the Harrison Rd. and Chestnut Ridge area requested lower density for new subdivisions to cut down on traffic and flooding concerns. This was met with snickers or glares from Lenoir City officials in favor of developers seeking high density development.
At a recent budget meeting, Mayor Arp spoke about the proposed $1.8 Million intersection improvement project and a $5-6 Million widening project for Harrison Rd. Mayor Matt Brookshire is scheduled to attend Monday’s Sept. 17th 6:00 p.m. workshop to discuss details with commissioners. County public funds are needed for the matching Grant to widen Harrison Rd. Perhaps Mayor Matt and commissioners should schedule a walking tour to see the close proximity of homes located on Harrison Rd.
The proposed commercial project promises over 3500 permanent jobs, some management and medical jobs but mostly low-end retail jobs, while Loudon County maintains one of the lowest unemployment rates statewide. Newcomers with children will just add to the overcrowded school situation.
The commercial project on the old Eldridge Farm has already changed the landscape of Lenoir City turning the area into a dust bowl with proposed millions of yards of dirt to be moved! This project will have a significant regional impact:
More transportation issues.
More accidents and higher insurance premiums.
More fumes from construction equipment, trucks, cars.
More police and emergency services.
More services, higher taxes.
More air pollution.
More affect on water shed.
More water pressure problems.
More fire hydrant problems.
More fire protection liabilities .
More depletion of natural resources.
More runoff and flooding.
More added area congestion.
More added noise.
More loss of dark-skies.
More negative esthetics.
More visual clutter.
More over-crowding, more jails, more courts, more employees, more vehicles for employees.
And further deteriorating our community's quality of life and lifestyle and serenity of the Lenoir City, which will affect everyone. How much more PROGRESS do you want or can you afford?
Commissioners control the purse strings and it's your quality of life.