By LYDIA BERGLAR
Will Dickerson attended the August 22 meeting of the Industrial Development Authority to express his concerns about the property recently acquired by the IDA which borders his family’s property. Melissa Faircloth also asked questions about this property and expressed her concerns in general.
Dickerson explained that he is the father of Tracy Dickerson Blevins whose husband, Mike Blevins, died on July 30 of this year. Dickerson said, “Due to the untimely death of Mike–we’re heartbroken over that–some of the land at the old Price farmhouse is part of Mike’s inheritance. Tracy and Mike built their dream house there on his land.”
The Blevins live at 14441 US-11, Trenton, GA, and Dickerson lives next door at 14527 US-11, Trenton, GA. He continued, “I am concerned about what goes in behind us…We would ask that you please consider our quality of life and Tracy’s investment there…Consider what you put in back behind us there, please, or give us the opportunity to purchase the land that is directly behind us or on our north side. Please consider what would affect Tracy. Thank you.”
Faircloth then asked, “When you purchased that property, what due diligence did you take? Have you walked that property?” Evan Stone (executive director) and James Cantrell (chairman) responded that William Back had walked the property.
Faircloth asked if they did a “topo” of the property. Stone said they had, adding that the IDA had been in discussions about the property for a number of years. “The process predates this board. They’ve looked at that property now for five or four years.”
Faircloth asked, “Did you do core drillings to see how much limestone is there so that you know if you’re going to have an issue like you’ve got [at Trenton Pressing]? When we’re at [The Groovy Nomad], it jars our entire motel when they’re busting out those rocks. I can’t imagine how it would affect the neighbors.”
Stone replied, “We don’t know what’s under there. This whole county’s got limestone. Whoever would come in would hire professionals to come in and bust it up. [Trenton Pressing] told me they went out to the existing neighbors and told them what they were doing. The county won’t be responsible for drilling.”
Faircloth said, “But you’re responsible for purchasing that property. When you’re purchasing property, you should be thinking about everyone here…The next place you guys are probably gonna target is 299. Going forward there, I think you need to think about how that’s going to affect the citizens.”
Stone responded, “There is a set of covenants that the Industrial Development Authority puts on all their property…It restricts things for what can’t come in.”
Faircloth asked if there are buffers between incoming development and residential homes. Stone said there are, the depth of which will be determined by the IDA for each property individually.
Stone then addressed zoning, saying, “That property that was for sale, anybody could have bought it…At least now that the IDA has it, there is some restriction of what they will let come in there. Before, anybody could have bought it and put anything on there…This board will reject anything that’s not going to be suitable for what they feel like their goal is.”
Faircloth asked to hear from the rest of the board, asking, “What is your vision for Dade County?”
Seth Houts answered, “I just think quality jobs that would bring people back to Dade County who are traveling mainly to Chattanooga to work.”
George Williams answered, “I just had a bunch of conversations with students the last few weeks to say, ‘Hey, what’s going to keep you here in Dade County when you graduate?’…I know this county doesn’t want to change a whole lot, but I also don’t think they want their kids to move away and never come back…The other side to that is what other things do we need as infrastructure to keep them entertained and we need to deal with the whole housing issue.”
Faircloth concluded, “Please, every time you purchase some land, do your due diligence…Make sure you’re not hurting other people.”