Megasite Costs Megabucks

The failed effort to locate a megasite along Interstate 81 has cost the Jefferson County economic-development community $133,000. The county commission withdrew its initial commitment of $440,000 to develop the site and the Economic Development Oversight Committee agreed to absorb the money already spent.

The economic-development group spent $51,723 before springing the idea on farmers and property owners, and another $79,453 for options and other expenses before the plug was pulled on the project.

The Save Our Farms and Homes group, which opposed the location of the megasite, had demanded an accounting of public money spent on the project. The EDO said it would use its own funds to cover the money already spent and none of the county appropriation of $440,000 would be used.