East Knox County residents were successful in killing the Midway Business Park. They were able to argue that the park had no tenants and no jobs in prospect and given the state of the economy it was not worth the development costs.
But now the Development Corp. has sold land to KaTom Restaurant Supply, which wants to build a headquarters and provide 100 jobs with an option to expand. The argument now will be against approving a project with real jobs, not an abstraction.
The company does not have an industrial process and will be able to use a septic tank, like many of the homes in East Knox Country, not an elaborate waste treatment plant—another argument against the original proposed business park. But the company only has a small portion of the 380-acre site and the question arises about what will happen with the rest of the proposed business park.
Knox County Commissioners may not want to take the heat if they turn down these jobs and send them to Sevier County. Look for the Development Corp. to keep a low profile in the process and let the company pursue approvals on its own.