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Grainger County Sewer ...

The Bean Station Board of of Mayor and Aldermen has said "no" to the Eastern Grainger County Sewer project. Their decision will effectively suffocate any possible business and commercial growth on the east end of the county. Property taxpayers are shouldering nearly all the burden of funding county government. Our citizens travel to Morristown, Rogersville and Knoxville for goods and services, meaning that our sales tax revenue continues to shrink and property taxes are sure to go up if the trend continues. The future of Grainger County now rests in the hands of the Grainger County Commission. The commission can still vote to fund and move ahead with this project. Yes, it may mean borrowing $400,000 to access a $1.5 million federal grant. The debt service on that loan will be about $24,000 per year. Just one new strong business or industry could offset much of that cost. The sewer, designed to serve the business community not private homes, will have to be self-sustaining and supported by sewer fees, thus not adding to the tax burden of Grainger County citizens. The clock is ticking. Next Monday may very well be the last chance for local leaders to move forward and vote "yes," on the Eastern Grainger County sewer project. We suggest a vote of "yes," will be a brighter future for our children and grand children, new jobs and new places to show and eat out. A "no" vote will eventually mean higher taxes, fewer jobs and less opportunity. We want to know how ordinary citizens feel about the county's future and the importance of this project. Share your point of view ... 

Rogersville tax hike ...

The Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen will meet Tuesday and the city has proposed a 20-cent property tax hike.

Local business leaders and residents have opposed the increase. Hawkins Today has called for budget cuts and even suggested places the BMA might consider trimming. We want to know your point of view....

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Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Katrina LeeSubmitted: 5/14/2011
During any other era, this would be a no-brainer. The US economy has always been based on relentless growth. But these days, that growth doesn't involve increased production. Nope, nowadays Wall Street can get fat feeding off our ever-rising consumption of goods produced overseas. The US no longer attempts to balance production and consumption. "The Economy" can do just fine even while actual people are struggling harder and harder just to survive. The old formulas no longer work. So, even though a sewage treatment system is needed to help forestall the looming shortage of clean water in Grainger County (and the rest of northeast Tennessee), it sounds like new businesses will be necessary to help pay for it. The problem is that, by itself, a sewage system likely won't lure enough new business. That means the next logical step involves spending even more public funds (e.g., tax abatements, infrastructure improvements, "public private partnerships"). This common practice has broad implications. For one thing, if taxpayers have to subsidize private investment, what does that say about our system? Aside from that, these incentives rarely, if ever, do anything but saddle taxpayers with serious debt that eventually must be paid off. Instead of repeating mistakes made by other counties and municipalities, Grainger County has a chance to jump ahead by finding alternative solutions to its financial problems - ones that don't involve using taxpayer funds to prop up private ventures. This will take dedicated, creative, and bold minds - and watchdogs who can and will put the common good over their own personal interest. If Grainger County can rise to the occasion and pull this off, then the sewage treatment project is a must. Otherwise, it could be the straw that broke the camel's back.


 
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