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Some Jefferson Co. residents concerned over "megasite"

12:51 AM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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Some Jefferson County homeowners are concerned about what is next for their properties after county leaders announced Wednesday they are trying to certify a local megasite.

The megasite is a part of a plan to attract an automaker to East Tennessee. Jefferson County leaders want to have an 1,800 acre, shovel ready site west of the Interstate 40/81 interchange.

Previous Story: Jefferson Co. "megasite" could attract new business, jobs

Residents in that area received a letter about the plan Wednesday. Jefferson County resident Harold Letchford said it was the first time he had heard about the plan.

"I told my wife, 'we're fixing to move,'" he said once he got the news.

The letter residents received from the Jefferson County Economic Development Committee [EDOC] said "Your property is part of an area being considered for a significant development." Letchford told 10News he always expected a business or local government to ask for his land because of its access to the highway.

However, he said any such development could lead to a hardship for his family.

"They'll buy my land, but I may not get what I want for it," he said. "Or, I may not get enough to move somewhere else."

EDOC Chair and Dandridge Mayor George Gantte said he understands some families will be hesitant to move. However, he also said it is important that consider giving up their land.

"For our county to move forward, we have to be willing to sacrifice and give up for the betterment of our entire county," he said.

The public is invited to a meeting next week where it can learn more about the plan and ask questions. It will happen Tuesday, January 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Great Smoky Mountain Expo Center.

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