Consultant Ray Evans recommended that the new members of the Overton County Industrial Board consider purchasing land for an industrial park.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Evans said Overton County is one of the few, if not the only county in the state, that does not have land for industrial prospects.
“If you don’t have industrial property available, it doesn’t not matter if you get 100 prospects,” Evans said. “There is nothing to show them and nothing to sell them. I would encourage this committee and certainly with my help to start looking for vital property.”
A few months ago the board did not vote on purchasing land in Rickman that two prospective companies wanted to develop. Members at the time sited residential complaints about living near industry.
Evans said that property is no longer being considered for purchase by the county.
“Everyone wants the jobs and the good jobs, they just don’t want it next to them,” Evans said. “I understand that, so there is no perfect piece of property. There is no piece of property that won’t be controversial if you propose a development.”
As for the companies interested, Evans said he cannot comment on if the prospects are still interested or not. Evans said two more prospects came to the county through the state. Evans said the county does not have the land or buildings to facilitate the group.
Newly elected chair Jeff Long asked Evans, “So more than most likely we’re going to be looking for land in the Rickman area that can give us water and electricity?” Evans said any land around the Highway 111 corridor that is at least 20 acres is prime property.
The meeting ended with board member Geraldine Walker asking if they should search for land now. Evans said for now to just look around to see if anything opens up.