Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Workshops, tour set to discuss East Knox Co. Midway business park

The Knox County Development Corporation is recycling an old proposal – one that officials say will turn empty East Knox County fields into jobs.

To do that, though, local leaders say they’ll need public buy-in.

That starts with two public meetings to talk about what residents would like built there, and one public bus tour of the already operational West Knox County business parks, so residents can see just how they might look.

The two workshops are set from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 17 and Oct. 8 at Carter Elementary School.

“(This) is to get down to talking about the concept of a business park,” said Todd Napier, the president and CEO of the Development Corporation of Knox County. “What will be palatable, what would not be, what would someone want to see, what would that look like, what type of uses would be acceptable versus unacceptable, what kind of public amenities would people want.”
Napier said he want residents to tell the corporation “what is about business parks that get people concerned, (and) what is it about business parks that excites them.”

The bus tour, hosted by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, is set for 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 15, and concludes in East Knox County with a barbecue meal for the public. The event will include Knox County Commissioners. At this point, officials say there are probably 30 or so open seats on the bus for the public. To book a seat, call 865-215-HELP.

“The Development Corporation’s property at Midway Road has the potential to be a significant economic development asset for East Knox County,” the mayor said. “There are many steps to get to a developed, useful site, but they all begin with seeking public input. The bus tour and cook-out will begin that process. I want to hear the concerns of the community around Midway Road and then work with The Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Knox County Commission to address those concerns so we can grow jobs in our region.”

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