The chief advocate for Knox County economic development describes a piece of Knox County industrially-zoned property as a “nightmare to develop.” This from an e-mail from Mike Edwards, president of the Knox Area Chamber Partnership, to proponents of locating the new Norfolk Southern Inter-modal facility on Mine Road in Mascot, in Knox County, as opposed to New Market, in Jefferson County:
“Several years ago Norfolk Southern advised us that they were looking for an Inter-modal Site somewhere in the region. As is the common practice we were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and to help them coordinate with some of the various counties and areas.
“They took at least 2 years evaluating many sites... Mine road was one of those sites.
“The process that they went through was in depth and involved engineering, Geo tech, topography, size, location to their rail line, and many other factors. They thoroughly identified their options, assessed those options and have come to the conclusion that the New Market site is the best site. As for their knowledge of the Mine Rd. site, I can assure you it was the above detailed analysis with many different professionals reviewing documents and walking the site...
“...As for Mine Rd. we made certain that they had every bit of information that we had to provide and frankly understand and agree that the site would be a nightmare to develop as an Inter-modal. ...But what I know in my position doesn’t line up with much of what has been portrayed by those opposed to the project (in New Market).”