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A beautiful view from a priceless part of Adair County, KY

2013-04-06 - Green River Commerce Park, Columbia, KY - Photo CM staff photo. The views are fabulous: Green River Commerce Park contains one of Adair County's most valuable stretches of rich farmland, and park like views from all around. It was purchased by one of the successions of Economic Development Entities with City of Columbia and Adair County Residents subsidizing the operations to the tune of some $1.7 million dollars. The investment was questioned then, but now, it offers opportunities for responsible development. An announcement on the next phase, agreed to in a Closed meeting of the Columbia/Adair County Economic Development is not yet reassuring. The done-deal facts are expected Wednesday, April 10, 2013, when the next phase becomes a fait accompli (no public involvement, thank you very much). Already, the announced price of the land is a huge disappointment, $7,500 per acre, and draws into question whether the closed meeting was justified or not. Media has been asked not to say anything about the deal, in rather brazened prior restraint actions by the board. But for whose good? The community's? The intermediary developers? Or a giant "Fortune 500" company who may be a responsible corporate citizen with a spotless environmental record? Or one which has created Chicken Chernobyls and moved on other communities after conducting token clean ups? And why? The answers at the reported Wednesday, April 10, 2013 announcement meeting will have to be extraordinarily open, above board, and fully explained, including what details of what CACEDA got or gave away in their closed session, or there will be, and should be, a lot of finger pointing come next Thursday. It may be the best thing since no longer available, healthy-to-eat fried chicken (I quit eating my favorite childhood food long before I became a vegetarian because of health questions). It may be all poor Columbia could get, we already expect CACEDA to say. We hoping - not trusting now, but hoping and praying - that the Columbia/Adair County Economic Development Authority has acted responsibly - and used due diligence for the community - not capitulation to what the out of town promoters wanted - and got. One can only keep scratching for the full story and hope for the best. So far, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg, and so far it isn't yet very pretty. Could be, most Adair Countians, including the so shabbily treated owners of the only business - a shining jewel - in the park are hoping. - ED WAGGENER (PS: CACEDA was given more than 24 hours advance notice of these concerns with a request for to be Open about the Closed Door Meeting. We have no doubt of one thing: This time, they are acting at the behest of the new tenants - a really bad sign, in our opinion. -EW)
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