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April 23, 2014

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Bean Station annexation only hope for OmniSource?

Published: 10:00 AM, 11/16/2012 Last updated: 10:03 AM, 11/16/2012

Source: The Rogersville Review

By Bill Grubb
News Editor

ROGERSVILLE - Annexation by a Grainger County municipality into Hawkins County is probably the only course of action that will help a Hawkins County business.
    Industrial Developer Lynn Lawson gave members of the Hawkins County Industrial Board a progress report on the situation involving OmniSource at Thursday's meeting.
    The industry, which includes an automobile recycling plant, is located beside U.S. Highway 11W in Hawkins County, near the Grainger County line.
    "The state has given them a little extra time to try and resolve their problems, but under state law, they are still considered a junkyard and to continue to operate something has to be done," Lawson said.
    At the September meeting, Lawson told board members the state would not approve an operating permit because the facility was located too close to the highway's right of way, with 11W designated a "scenic highway."            
    According to Tennessee Code Annotated 54-17-108, whenever a highway "has been designated part of the (scenic) system, it is unlawful for any person to construct, use, operate or maintain any advertising structure or junkyard within 2,000 feet of any road or highway that is a designated part of the system and that is located either outside the corporate limits of any city or town."
    Lawson said he thought the facility might be considered a recycling facility, ot a junkyard, but the definition of a junkyard includes  "an establishment or place of business that is maintained, operated, or used for storing, keeping, buying, or selling junk, or for the maintenance or operation of an automobile graveyard."
    According to TCA 54-20-103, a "junkyard" includes scrap metal processors, used auto parts yards, yards providing temporary storage of automobile bodies or parts awaiting disposal as a normal part of the business operation, when the business will continually have like materials located on the premises, garbage dumps and sanitary landfills."
    The developer also said the state is allowing the facility to operate temporarily while they look for a solution to their problem.
    "We have talked to everybody but we have done all we can do," Lawson told board members.
    County Mayor Melville Bailey, who attended the Industrial Board meeting, explained the developers of the facility had approached him and discussed the project before it was developed.
    "They (developers) wanted to know if we had any county regulations and I told them no.  It was only when they started to open up that the state decided to get involved," Bailey explained.
    "Aside from some change in the law the best thing for them would be if Bean Station would annex them, that way they would be under their zoning and regulations and they would be allowed to operate.  Otherwise, we would have to get the county to implement zoning," Lawson explained.
    "And don't even mention that (county zoning)," Bailey added, endorsing the annexation option.
    Allowing Bean Station, a Grainger County municipality, to annex into Hawkins County would, among other things, require the county and the municipality to redraw "growth plans" required by 1998 legislation.  Hawkins County would still receive property tax revenue from the facility even if it were annexed by another municipality.
    "I really don't even know if Bean Station is interested in annexing them, but that would fix the problem," the industrial developer concluded.

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