Proposed Jefferson Co. megasite project ended

Jefferson County, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It was an industrial complex that officials said could have brought as many as 4,900 jobs and $2.7 billion in economic impact to Jefferson County.

But now the project is over.

Jefferson County's Economic Development Oversight Committee (EDOC) made the announcement Thursday after land owners refused to sell the land required.

“While EDOC firmly believes that the megasite is a viable option for economic progress in Jefferson County, it is clear that getting 100 percent of the property owners to agree on options for land would be a long and uncertain process,” Dandridge Mayor and EDOC Chairman George Gantte said.

Officials had secured 500 of the 1,800 acres of land needed to build the site. The county elected not to resort to the use of eminent domain, or the governmental seizure of land outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Gantte said he feels the money they offered landowners was not only fair, but exceeded the current market's property value.

The land options that were required will be returned, and over $442,000 the Jefferson County Commission allotted for the project will be given back.

The Jefferson County EDOC said they will continue to search for viable employment opportunities for their county.

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