Opponents of proposed megasite set to rally Saturday

11:08 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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Opponents of a proposed megasite in Jefferson County will gather Saturday as project leaders continue to tout the benefits of luring a major company to the land.

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is betting it can attract an automaker to 1,800 acres near the I-40 and I-81 interchange.

Supporters say their plan would pump more than $2 billion into the economy and create more than 5,000 steady jobs. Critics argue turning farmland into an industrial site without any guarantees from a company isn't worth sacrificing that land.

"We understand there are concerns and we're trying to answer the questions that people have and inform them about what this could mean. We're committed to an open process and we've said that from the get go," said Garrett Wagley with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

Wagley will lay out his case for the plan this Sunday on Inside Tennessee on Channel 10. He admits there haven't been any direct promises from auto companies about moving into the site, but he says Jefferson County can put itself in prime position to land one of more than a dozen automakers already publicly looking to expand their operations.

The rally in opposition to the megasite is set for noon Saturday at the Best Western in White Pine.

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