Monday was a sad day in Knox County Commission. In one of the most confused meetings, that often resembled the Keystone Cops more than a Commission meeting, the Midway Industrial Park received 7.5 million dollars of funding from the Knox County Commission. This happened even though there is a lawsuit seeking an injunction against any breaking ground on this project. It was a tortured, confused, and often comical 45 minutes that made those who watched in person or on Cable Television wonder about the old joke of “Who is on first”?
The Midway Industrial Park is covered in great detail at the website KnoxAction.com. There have been many web posts on KnoxViews and at Say Uncle. It has received much coverage also at the News Sentinel blog No Silence. So with all of the known information that questions the risk and return on investment of taxpayer dollars the Knox County Commission chose to ignore the demands of those in the Thorn Grove community and the voice of taxpayers who see this as the biggest gamble since the Farmers Market.
The MPC hypocritically and perhaps illegally ignored their own sector plan to choose the Midway Industrial Park site. The Development Corporation chose to ignore its main requirement that the slope of the site no exceed six percent. Both of these entities and the Knox Area Chamber of Commerce ignored that this site had much greater financial return as a tourist area or subdivisions and that those ideas would not require over 57 million dollars of taxpayer investment.
More after the jump including YouTube coverage of the Knox County Commission meeting:
Most importantly all parties ignored that the Thorn Grove community is one giant karst sinkhole waiting to happen. This will literally be a black hole that money is poured into never to be seen again. The Ragsdale administration is its most irresponsible move yet has bragged that the Midway Industrial Park will create 4,600 jobs and bring over 12 million dollars a year of tax proceeds to Knox County government. That is an abject falsehood.
Lets review who will be around when this goes bad. Mayor Ragsdale is in his final term. So are Commissioners Griess, Leuthold, Hammond, Guthe, Schmid, Ivan Harmon, Cawood, Moore, Tindell, Strickland, Jordan, and Pinkston. The vote was 15-4 with only John Mills, Phil Ballard, Larry Clark, and Mark Harmon voting against funding the 7.5 million dollars for the Midway Industrial Park.
So you may see your government in action I have posted the entire Midway Industrial Park discussion on YouTube. I have done so to create a record of how this happened so in the future when this blows up in the face of the taxpayers you will know who was responsible. It is said that people deserve the government they get.
No one deserved this disaster.
YouTube coverage of the Knox County Commission meeting on the Midway Industrial Park:
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