Lots of money is being spent in the small town of Alcoa with little return on investment. The Pellissippi Place project is an undertaking funded by Knox and Blount counties, and Maryville and Alcoa, which each put up $5 million. U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan also helped secure $2 million in federal funding.
The 450-acre development was first announced in May 2006 as a mixed-use business, commercial, residential and retail business park with upscale office, retail and residential components designed to attract companies involved in technology and research and development.
Nearly 14 years ago, Pellissippi Place was a grandiose plan with an initial cost to taxpayers of $20 million. After nearly 10 years, the first business opened in Pellissippi Place, ProNova Solutions.
Now, nearly 14 years after conception, the city of Alcoa is proposing an additional $1 million to $5 million for an electrical substation to support growth in the business park. Are the regional partners assisting with the funding for the electrical substation?
There is also a lot of money being spent on the new Springbrook Farm development. This is another development that has not realized the expectations.
Alcoa property taxes went up a lot this year, by 20% to nearly 40%. Is the city managing our money responsibly?
The Aluminum Company of America had a great vision when developing Alcoa. However, ALCOA no longer is involved in the city's development. We can only hope that during the city's 100-year anniversary, management understands why it is a popular location for citizens. There are only about 9,000 residents in the city. I hope management knows we cannot keep paying for projects that are very slow to be successful, if ever.