The proposed zoning request by Winn Materials, to allow them to expand their barge port facility, has caused quite a controversy, again. It seems every time we have an opportunity to bring a barge port to Clarksville, it’s met with much opposition.
The first time I ever heard of such an operation, the residents of Beacon Hills subdivision were up in arms about all the truck traffic that would flood the 41-a bypass. That barge port was being proposed by local businessmen Richard Tucker, and Gary Mathews.
Some time later, another group was going to build a facility somewhere out Palmyra road, but the backers pulled out after all the public outcry. Now, Winn Materials, which already has a barge port, wants to expand that operation and they need a key rezoning to do it.
Naturally, the residents are against it. Years ago, before Winn bought the business, the rock quarry and all the blasting, caused quite a disturbance. Some in the neighborhood said their homes, cars, and property was constantly covered in dust. They claim the air has been “dirtied” and their quality of life has been compromised. I wouldn’t want that in my neighborhood either.
By all accounts, Winn Materials has been a good corporate partner to Clarksville. They provide employment to many families in Clarksville, and are ready to add more jobs to their operation.
According to Chad Swallows of Winn, the expansion would cause a one percent increase in truck traffic, about 300 additional trucks a day. This is one of the main concerns of residents on Dover road. They say the increased truck traffic is bad for their area, and the roads can’t handle it.
Have you been out Wilma Rudolph blvd lately? The increase in truck traffic since HSC began construction is “off the charts”, but I don’t hear anybody complaining. I live off of Wilma Rudolph Blvd., and I see it as a sign of progress, and just deal with it.
What I would like to see is that the trucks would slow down. They drive way too fast. The bottom line is that residents in the Dover road area just don’t like Winn Materials because it has changed their quality of life, and caused them problems, and the increase in traffic is not what they bargained for when they chose to live there.
While we should respect the feelings and opinions of those who have been affected, in a time when jobs are scarce, and the economy is struggling, we should also welcome a local company that wants to expand and invest it’s future in our community.
The barge port is supported by many city council persons, and county commissioners. County Mayor Carolyn Bowers supports it, the Economic Development Council and Chamber of Commerce supports it. The regional planning commission endorses it, and while my opinion doesn’t matter, we should not pick and choose who our favorite corporate partners are and embrace the progress and growth that is inevitable for Clarksville.
I’m for Clarksville and if I can handle all the trucks in my neighborhood, then so can you. Just my two cents.