With the news that Regal Entertainment Group is considering leaving the Halls Community and heading to the South Waterfront. What are the possible negative consequences to Knox County and in particular the Halls community? Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and the Halls County Commissioner Charles Busler have been quoted in the Knoxville News Sentinel as being supportive. Burchett’s administration apparently is so enthused with moving Regal downtown that Knox County is ready to write a corporate welfare check of at least $1,500,000, of course it is the tax payers money not the Mayor or Commissioners money.
Burchett is the same guy as a State Representative ranted and railed against Bud Adams getting state money to move the Houston Oilers to TN to build the Tennessee Titans franchise. But in typical Burchett fashion, he dodges, bobs and weaves whatever position he needs at the time. But, I digress.
Let’s first think about Hallsdale Powell Utility District, the water and sewer utility in Halls. With a business of 435 people using the utilities water and the neccesary flushing of urinals and toilets. That loss will be significant to the Hallsdale Powell users and rate payers. I have been told that Hallsdale Powell already have the highest water rates in the State of Tennessee. It seems logical that there will have to be layoffs or rate increases to absorb the Regal loss.
Second, is the internet and telephone providers in Halls. what are the losses of a major business employer like Regal on the TDS Telecom provider in Halls. What will be the increased cost to the users/ratepayers? What job losses by the provider will be necessitated?
Third, all the restaurants, convenience stores and Halls area businesses that rely on the 435 employees that will no longer be in the Halls community for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The 435 employees that will not be driving by the Halls area businesses and will not be frequenting those businesses.
Fourth, with 435 employees in the complex the Sheriffs Department can reduce patrol efforts in Halls and send officers to patrol communities with larger population. Because the south waterfront is in KPD’s jurisdiction, it does re-leave the burden on KCSO and allows those law enforcement resources (officers) to be utilized in other county areas.
Do you have the confidence that the selfie picture taking County Mayor has considered these and other consequences before signing over $1,500,000 of our tax dollars? The road leading to the office buildings in Halls is Regal Lane. What will the Mayor change the name of the road? Maybe Halls Had It Lane?