Snake Oil Part V
The Magic Kingdom
Where Dreams Can Come True
|At another meeting, with NO public notice, to
discuss the Town Creek development, Overholt and company turned out in
force to ply their snake oil on the Loudon County Commission. The nearly
three hour meeting had lawyers, engineers, developers and even Dr. Bob
himself extolling the wonders and virtues of their proposed development.
This time in an attempt to lure the commissioners to go along with their
request to finance twenty million dollars of their development with tax
money, TIF. No citizens or media were at the meeting.
It has been stated at the Lenoir City meetings that the county's participation was mandatory in the TIF plan and if the county did not participate, the deal would be dead.
As the meeting wore on, it became hard to tell if they were describing a commercial development or the Magic kingdom. Six times, Overholt reminded the commission that the plan they were looking at was HIS vision of what Lenoir City wanted. Talk of Krogers, Lowes, movie theaters, bowling alleys condos, doctor's offices bicycle lanes and much, much more dominated the meeting. Yet none of the mentioned businesses have actually signed contracts. Very little discussion was given to the fact that no building permits will be issued for the property till LCUB upgrades the sewer line at a cost of four million dollars.
At the end of the song and dance, it didn't appear that most commissioners were very impressed with the plan. Unlike the Lenoir City council, the commissioners asked a number of hard questions. Questions that didn't seem to get very good answers.
This is the second meeting concerning the Town Creek Development and their request for tax money that failed to have any public notice. The first was a meeting of the Lenoir City Industrial Board to vote on recommending the TIF plan to the Lenoir City Council. Both meetings are a violation of the State Open Meeting Law.
Commissioners will be asked to vote on the TIF plan at the November 5th commission meeting.