Tag Archives: Knox County

The one that got away when Midway died

Morristown recently landed a potential big deal — Freedom Energy Diesel’s proposed $405 million coal gasification plant that would create an estimated 600 jobs.

Freedom Energy still has a number of hoops to jump through, but the plant would be a major boost for the regional economy if it happens.

It’s good that Morristown stands to benefit, but the project could have come to Knox County.

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Knox Chamber cranks up battle for Midway

The Knoxville Chamber has cranked up a new Web campaign to build support for the controversial Midway Business Park proposal.

Now, when you visit the Chamber’s website, the first page that loads is a green and blue “Support the Midway Business Park” graphic that links to a new website — www.midwayfacts.com.

Midwayfacts has detailed information about the proposed business park, including why the Chamber supports the project and a chart that compares the amount of industrial property available for development in Knox County and other communities in the region.

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Education is the silver bullet

Education was the issue most often mentioned by Knoxville area business leaders interviewed for my story in today’s News Sentinel.

Area businesses also want new Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett to focus on economic development and job creation, but it all starts with education. Burchett agreed that education should be a priority.

Sounds good, but we’ve heard this song before.

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New mayors pledge support for Pellissippi Place

IMG00152.jpgWith some 200 business and political leaders from the Knoxville-region watching, the lights came on Tuesday evening at Pellissippi Place, the mixed-use tech park under development in Alcoa.

 A glitch-free “Lighting of the Park” ceremony was important, but perhaps more important was the pledge of support the 450-acre project received from newly elected local government leaders.

The mixed-use project is being funded by $5 million investments by four different local governments — Knox and Blount counties and the cities of Alcoa and Maryville.

 

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Pellissippi Place grand opening Aug. 30

A grand opening for Pellissippi Place, a mixed use technology-oriented economic development project in Alcoa, will be held Monday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

The opening will showcase the park’s green infrastructure, said Bryan Daniels, Blount Partnership Interim President and CEO.

pellissippi7_asb_13110.jpg“I have spoken to several site selectors and they say the LEED infrastructure will be very attractive to those companies that are green oriented,” Daniels said.

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Have you been counted?

As of today, the national participation rate in the 2010 Census is 72 percent. Knox County and Tennessee are doing a little better, at 77 percent and 74 percent, respectively.

Drilling down a little further Farragut is at 85 percent and some East Knoxville communities are in the high 40s.

I visited last weekend with a long-time friend who is doing door-to-door work for the Census Bureau in the Knoxville area. He has heard some, shall we say, interesting comments from folks who aren’t thrilled with the government and have no intention whatsoever of participating in the census.

So far, no one has threatened him with bodily harm.

I get that some people are distrustful of the government, but not participating in the census is short-sighted. Tax dollars that benefit individuals and businesses are allocated, in part, based on census data.

Here’s more info on the census.

Click here for an interactive map sowing census participation rates nationwide.

Deserving honor for Ben Atchley

View image A surprise reception was held recently at the Dowell Springs offices of the insurance firm Atchley, Cunningham & Shoemaker to honor Ben Atchley, the firm’s retired partner and a former state senator.

In addition to Mike Cunningham and Ed Shoemaker, several high-profile local politicos attended the event to honor a man widely appreciated for his integrity and honesty during his many years as a legislator.

A portrait and plaque that will hang in the firm’s office were unveiled.

Among those who attended were Congressman Jimnmy Duncan; state Sen. Tim Burchett, who last week won the Republican primary for Knox County mayor; Victor Ashe, former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and former Knoxville mayor; and former TVA chairman Bill Sansom, chairman of H.T. Hackney Co.

Also attending were Ben’s wife, Sue, his son and daughter-in-law Jerry and Cathy, and his daughter Cindy.

The reception was held “to acknowledge (Atchley’s) distinguished business career and acknowledge that a post office branch, a street, and a Tennessee Veteran’s Home are named after him,” the insurance firm said in a statement.

Naming roads and buildings after elected officials is a long-standing tradition around here. Sometimes these honors are given a little too freely, it seems to me. But that’s not the case with Atchley. No one I can think of is more deserving.

Midway Business Park delayed or dead?

If politicians are adept at anything — a big assumption — it’s counting votes before they actually vote on an issue.

Evidence to that point came at the Knox County Commission meeting last month when commissioners tabled a vote on the proposed Midway Business Park.

A story in Metro Pulse says the vote was too close to call and if delayed again in April, the commission won’t face a decision until after the primary.

Chances are pretty good  the commission will wait until after the primary. But will they make the right decision?

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