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Rural King

Mega-Sites Designated in West Tennessee!

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Crockett County industrial site has just been designated a "mega-site" by TVA and thus suitable for a auto-plant!!!! This is great news for West Tennessee since Crockett is virtually dead-center in the middle of the "Grand Division" and if a auto manufacturer set up production there it give the most of the region the ability to compete, and hopefully land, some of the support plants for the main facility. Its central location also allows a reasonable commute for almost the entire population of the region (ie an hour), and with the wages a potential car plant could offer, folks from the Tennessee River Valley (ie places like Paris, Camden, Savannah) who would the furthest away would still have enough incentive to make the commute, but hopefully those areas would land a support plant or two.

The main drawback to the site is Crockett County lacks an airport, but is served by Dyersburg and Jackson, whose counties border Crockett to the northwest and southeast respectively. The site was overcame the lack of an airport due to its location on a CSX line and off US 412 which is a closed access 4 lane that runs into I-155. I also think it should have an advantage with its air standards, which is a problem that the Marion, Ark. mega-site faces.

This site was rumored to be in consideration, but considered an underdog to a Haywood Co/Fayette Co site (which has I-40 access), which has yet to been designated primarily do to the opposition of a few locals in Fayette Co. over whether or not Fayette passed the "okay" for the site to be designated on its side and oppose the site due to its potential "industrial spawl". LOL If both sites are eventually designated West Tennessee will be in good shape in the auto plant luring competition.

You can read about the Crockett County site on the Jackson Sun website. (PM me if you need the link)

-What a great thing to read to start my morning off!!!!!-

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That's good news.

I recall reading about opposition in Fayette County. That county is becoming increasingly suburbanized by wealthy people from east Shelby County. I wonder if those were the ones opposed to it.

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most of the fayette/haywood site was to be in haywood county. and the opposition was from the landowners--farmers who had been there for generations. the site was to be near stanton, tn which is nowhere near urbanized. when they went to acquire the land options under eminent domain, they made the people mad, and the landowners got together and sued.

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this would be great for that area. rural, do you know of any car companies who are interested in building a new plant?

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Kia is looking at Mississippi. Tupelo or Lowndes County-Golden Triangle Megasite, near Columbus, Miss. were considered. Then Tupelo was ruled out. Columbus is closer to the Hyundai plant in Alabama. Hyundai owns part of Kia.

Honda has announced an expansion of one of their plants (also in Alabama?). Speculation is that that will be a precursor to a new plant.

Toyota is looking to explode in America. Has considered Arkansas/Marion. The East Arkansas/Mid South/Metro Memphis area seems to be nicely poised for such a plant, with recently announced facilities in Marion (Hino, among others) and Jackson, TN (Toyota engine plant).

Audi has been rumored to be pursued by Louisiana, I think. Who knows.

What'd be great would be to see a plant in Marion, a plant in Northern Mississippi (Como or Tupelo), and a plant in central-west Tennessee (Crockett and/or Fayette). Also, I'd like to see East TN have a sip from the cup. Tennessee needs to step up and be more aggressive in distributing such developments across all three sections.

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this would be great for that area. rural, do you know of any car companies who are interested in building a new plant?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Jackson Sun reported that Toyota, Nissan, and a domestic manufacturer worked closely with Crockett County to ensure it would meet their needs if they were to at some point in the future decide upon locating a manufacturing facility on the site. When I read that I got really enthused about the prospects of the site, but I need to refrain from getting too optimistic; however if the site gets a facility it will be the biggest single economic event to happen to West Tennessee (outside Memphis) since Goodyear came to Union City in the late 60s (and it would dwarf its impact, which was limited mainly to NWTN).

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The Jackson Sun reported that Toyota, Nissan, and a domestic manufacturer worked closely with Crockett County to ensure it would meet their needs if they were to at some point in the future decide upon locating a manufacturing facility on the site. When I read that I got really enthused about the prospects of the site, but I need to refrain from getting too optimistic; however if the site gets a facility it will be the biggest single economic event to happen to West Tennessee (outside Memphis) since Goodyear came to Union City in the late 60s (and it would dwarf its impact, which was limited mainly to NWTN).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey RK, are you extrapolating from the news that this site will be able to accomodate an outright assembly plant, or one of those satellite manufacturing plants (like the engines that are going to be built in Jax)? Is there a difference in what is necessary in a site between the two? Because it seems to me that assembly plants are more coveted and prized, so maybe they are more difficult to obtain, maybe they are more difficult to accomodate (maybe that's where a logistics advantage would play in)? I just hope that all the sites in the area can attract the maximum opportunities for the region.

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Hey RK, are you extrapolating from the news that this site will be able to accomodate an outright assembly plant, or one of those satellite manufacturing plants (like the engines that are going to be built in Jax)?

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Thanks RK for the info. There seems to be a lot of potential all around the Mid-South region. More than one area could certainly use a shot in the arm...

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It would be great news if we got this. Look at what Saturn did to Spring Hill.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Look at what Nissan has done to Rutherford County. Spring Hill only recently started its explosion. Now the future of the plant is somewhat uncertain, but not bad either. It's too bad to. That plant is huge and it can produce as many as the Nissan Plant does which is around 550,000 vehicles/year. To me though, Nissan has been the real shot in the arm and the best to bank on right now. GM may still have some life in them, but what does that mean for Saturn, or whatever it will be when they are through with it??? I really feel that Mississippi should be viewed with some caution when looking for another automotive plant. There was, and still is to this day, many many problems at the Canton, Miss. Nissan plant. Everything form people that don't know how to read or write to people who leave for reasons like they were better off not working. The mentality of the workforce is somewhat different down there than here for some reason.

My mother in-law is an Area Manager for Nissan in Smyrna. When they started accepting apps for the Mississippi Nissan plant, she was asked to go down there to teach some of the people to read and write, no joke fellas. They still have a person on site that assist in this daily task many of us take for granted. The problems even extend to the quality of the vehicles being built there. For the first year and a half or so, the Quest minivan was under the microscope of the company because of shoddy construcion coming form that plant. Many blamed the workforce. I for one, didn't. That plant is also under the eye of the UAW. They know that they will never get the Smyrna plant, but the Canton plant seems to be the easier of the three Nissan has in the states. There is a lesson to be learned by that plant. Another was the lack of response from "qualified" applicants during the pre-hiring times at the plant. Many of the people in management and assembly positions down there are transplants for the plants in Smyrna and Decherd.

Did I mention that I have family that works for Nissan??? My opinions are a little biased. LOL!!!! I seriously think it's great no matter what for both areas of the metro. Having TWO assembly plants so close to each other and a possible HQ is just a blessing from God in my opinion.

On a personal note, I think it's great that Mississippi has this plant. It can only mean great things in the future for the state. A state that REALLY needs the money right now. I hold no personal grudges against the area, this was just some facts and opinions that have been expressed to me while I worked at the Nissan plant in Smyrna as a contractor for over a year and a half.

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^ All the more reason to put a plant in Tennessee at this Crockett County site. West Tennessee has a educated industrial workforce ready and willing to go take a few thousand high paying jobs. Lots of folks in Jackson (Madison Co), Union City (Obion), Dyersburg (Dyer), Lexington (Henderson), etc would gladly make the commute to improve their economic standing. We already have lots of skilled workers aren't making the money they would elsewhere because of plant layoffs/closings and are consequenly working for less than they might otherwise would if other employment was available (the exception to this is Jackson, where the industrial base is growing). So West Tennessee has an available workforce ready to be used, now those other industries will lose workers as a result, but we have plenty of lesser skilled workers who they can hire and give some skills too. Win win situation.

West Tennessee as a region is just a prime location. We have the road infrastucture that puts our rivals to shame, rail, a regional workforce capable and willing to the work, lower labor costs, etc.

On a side note: Anybody read about the Haywood/Fayette County Mega-Site in the Tennessean on Sunday? Frontpage story!!! Of course it was frontpage because the opponents are bringing up Lt. Gov. Wilder's involvement....but umm I really don't care if he makes money off the deal it brings a car plant to that site and provides thousands high wage jobs to the region.

Twenty or so folks are basically stalling and threatening potential economic progress for thousands.

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RK, et al. I hope that West Tennessee would get one too. There is a very large employment base and it has been one of the areas of Tennessee most overlooked for expansion thus far. I found the Fayette/Haywood fight from locals to be strange and surprising. I think that it would be a good tie-in to extend the Memphis MSA.

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Most of these rural areas dominated by small-town life and farming do not want to be a part of a metropolitan area. They don't want the change and the boom. They usually want things to remain "as they always were" or "like the good old days" and such.

It could very possibly be a huge boost for growth and money in this overlooked and neglected section of Fayette County and in the perpetually stagnant Haywood County. Both areas suffer from unemployment and poverty and bankruptcy. It could boost eastern and northern Memphis growth as well. Fayette is growing but in isolated areas and with very little commerce/industry. Haywood, like I said, is stagnant. Tipton is growing mostly around the Hwy 51 area, but this could spur growth near Mason, TN and SE Tipton County. It would give NE Shelby County and the town of Arlington even more growth. (Arlington has doubled since the 2000 census to over 5,000). It could work wonders for the Delta region of TN.

But as for strange and surprising actions, I don't agree. Many people in rural areas are opposed to this sort of thing, especially when it means taking their land.

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^I do disagree with that. Most rural folks who aren't "old money" businessmen or some rural big-time farmer types are for factories and new industries moving in. It seems to me be the folks who hold and have held considerable power and influence, and will have that threatened by new industry and commerce (and the wealth it will bring), are the ones who oppose industrial development, not the average joe.

NWTN seems to have gotten past that mentality and have local government who are very proactive in trying to lure industry to their areas, esp. Obion, Dyer, and Gibson. The same holds true for Madison (the poster child for all of West TN in the industrial recruitment realm) and Henderson Counties. However those counties down there along the Mississippi line seem to be the last holdouts of really well entrenched elements of the"old south" social structure. Perhaps because they are more rural? I think if you took a poll the vast majority of any county in West Tennessee would want an auto assembly plant in the region, and more specifically in their county, of course they would be opponents in every case as well.

I view those folks in Fayette County as just obstructionists who are trying to keep things like they are and have been for as long as everyone can remember, ie keep everybody in their "proper place" in the social pecking order.

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Most of these rural areas dominated by small-town life and farming do not want to be a part of a metropolitan area.

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^ Haywood County officials appear to be fully in support of the mega-site and seem to be very pro-active in getting the TVA to cerify the site (with or without Fayette Co.) as soon as possible, its on the Fayette County side of the equation where there may be some special interests opposing the establishment of the mega-site and/or the introduction of any new major economic stimulus to the area. I read in the Tennessean where there was talk about dropping the Fayette Co. section from the proposed mega-site, but the had officials state that was probably not necessary since the plant would be in Haywood County, with only support facilities on the Fayette County side, and for certification purposes only the location of the primary facility matters in the TVA certification process - not the entire site. The Haywood official in the Tennessean article also stated something along the lines that the state would be able to obtain the site access to I-40.

Edit:

Decided to look up the article, here's the excerpt:

"Smith said he and other Haywood County officials recently thought about reworking the megasite application to drop the Fayette County land and put the entire site inside Haywood.

"We'll let the state of Tennessee get us to the interstate," he said in an August interview.

But when Smith was asked about that possibility earlier this week, he said there was no need to drop the Fayette land because it would only be the site of related supply businesses rather than the auto assembly plant itself. The "footprint" of the factory is "what the certification process is about," he said.

But the Fayette County parcels can't be rezoned until August because of the timetables imposed by its controversial growth plan, which could delay the entry of an automaker or related suppliers into the area."

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...80468/1009/NEWS

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Oh, well, good for Haywood.

Doesn't look like Fayette's opposition means much anyway according to the article.

If the site gets certification, it will be interesting to see which, if any of course, lands a plant out of the two, Crockett or Haywood/Fayette. If the Lt. Gov. has his way, Fayette looks to be a slam dunk. lol

The Haywood site would be better for the Memphis area, but can you imagine how Jackson would boom with an auto plant? It's doing well already.

Marion AR seems to be on the short list--I think the EPA waived some of the pollution things--so metro Memphis will probably get one anyway.

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^I do disagree with that. Most rural folks who aren't "old money" businessmen or some rural big-time farmer types are for factories and new industries moving in. It seems to me be the folks who hold and have held considerable power and influence, and will have that threatened by new industry and commerce (and the wealth it will bring), are the ones who oppose industrial development, not the average joe.

not all of these people are influential--many are live-on landowners who don't want their land taken. Sure, people, including those in rural areas, aren't opposed on the whole to industrial/job/economic develpment. But when it comes to their personal land taken (or even too nearby) in order to achieve this, they usually do want things to stay the same. That's what I was getting at. These people just took it a step further and did something about it.

by the way, I'm a right of way agent, meaning I serve as the middle-man (in other words, 'the bad guy') between governments and landowners in eminent domain acquisitions. This job was almost awarded to us. I'm thankful now that it wasn't. :whistling:

yeah, and don't ever underestimate Wilder's power. If you want to know who runs West TN (outside of Memphis), ask John Wilder and Jimmy Naifeh. ;)

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^ I know who runs rural West Tennessee and holds the real sway in the halls of the State Capitol. ;) LOL :D I have no problem with it, because one day that won't probably be the case and East Tennessee is going to get a whole lot more pull in state politics for at least a little while (ie one day the Republicans will control the House and the Senate -outright-, which is just a reality of the current political trend of the state). I think its funny that a few people in Tipton County thought if they ousted Speaker Naifeh that his opponent Dr. Cannon would become Speaker, or at least that whats I've been told by some folks from Tipton. LOL People don't understand seniority and regional influence when it comes to how, where, and when things get done in the state.

Of course not all who oppose progress are the influential or do so for their own special interests, but the ones who get attention and can actually impede progress usually are. These folks though from what I have read aren't having their land taken, rather they just plain out don't want the industry anywhere near Fayette County, esp. not near their land which is near the proposed mega-site.

Until the recent US Supreme Court ruling could the county have seized property for an industrial park under eminent domain?

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Until the recent US Supreme Court ruling could the county have seized property for an industrial park under eminent domain?

Yeah, they could have. In fact, this was proposed before that ruling. The courts may or may not have ruled for it though. And this is a little different than what went on up in Connecticut, which was unprecedented.

Unless, the counties IDB's changed their minds, the goal was to obtain options on the property rather than acquire the land up front. Maybe a 5-year option or something. It would have allowed the counties to buy the properties within a certain time frame, for instance, until they could get megasite approval. Once the five years were up, if the counties had not purchased the land, then the land would be unencumbered, and the counties would have to negotiate new options. I'm not sure how they ended up handling it, but however it was, it did not go well. I'm not even certain they hired right of way contractors. It's certainly become a sticky issue. But I hope it works out, because it could do wonders for that area and for West TN. Oh, and congrats and best of luck to Crockett on their megasite.

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I am a Haywood county landowner who happens to live right in the middle of this proposed Megasite and I would just like to set the record straight for some of you who seem to be wondering exactly what is going on down here. We are not a bunch of backward no-vocabulary havin

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I too am a Haywood County land owner. For years I have watched as Haywood County has lost many

of its residents who were born and raised in this county. Why? A lack of decent paying jobs.

For years our county has refused to grow. Not only has this forced the "common" working person to

go outside Haywood County to find work, it has also kept businesses out that might offer a little

variety and competition into the area. This leads our citizens to other counties to find work and to buy

items for their everyday lives.

Who, you may ask, has been profitting all these years? Not the average citizen but a few

"big fish" in this little pond that I call home.

The thing about a little pond is, once the big fish have feasted on all the little fish, there is nothing left

to sustain the life that is left in the pond. It becomes stagnate and nothing can survive.

This is what is happening to our county. The 'good ole boy' network is, hopefully, coming to an end.

Maybe now some of us 'common' folks have a chance to live and make a decent living.

Progress will take place regardless. We can either embrace it or let is pass us by.

We can continue on our current path to nowhere or we can allow the generations to come a community

that they can grow and prosper in.

My fear is that we will loose our children and grandchildren to the progress that the county has fought

against for so many years. I do not look forward to not being able to see my grandchildren grow up

because families have moved away just to have a chance at a future.

Mayors will come and go. As well as other city and county elected officials.

We need to look at what is here and now and whether or not we will allow our county to grow for the generations to come.

Without progress, there is no future.

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