Some Jackson residents are opposing the location of a new $16 million National Guard facility at Millwood.|
Residents, some of 100 who attended a public meeting, have launched a petition drive opposing the project, claiming the facility would disrupt their rural lifestyle, gobble up farmland and tax a local sewer plant.
Opposition is a surprise to Adjutant General Allen Tackett, who says most communities would lobby for the facility.
One of the armories being closed, making way for a new facility, is in Spencer.
Roane County lost out because their sites, the old state hospital property and another site, were deemed too far from an Interstate too costly for site preparation.
The hospital property was offered free, while the 360 acre site at Millwood is being purchased through a "friendly" eminent domain for $1.25 million.
The property is along the Ohio River and belongs to the Order of the Eastern Star, and was to have been used to benefit widows and orphans, according to a 1930s deed.
Well-known Jackson farmer, Adrian McCoy, who farms land adjacent to the Eastern Star farm, complained that the proposed center "is sandwiched between two subdivisions," making it an unwelcome neighbor.
"And I don't want to see one of the better farms in the area go to nothing," he said.
Dorothy Brodmerkel, a descendant of the woman who donated the land to the Eastern Star, said invoking eminent domain procedures to sell the land to the military "would be a slap in the face to the woman who gave the land for the good of orphans and widows."
General Tackett said this is new territory for him during his 44-years, not wanting such a facility in a community.