Thursday, September 4, 2014
Progress can create some problems too.
A few weeks ago we headlined a story – “Traffic on Cayce a huge concern.”
Industrial development in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park area has created lots of extra traffic, mostly trucks, and it’s a legitimate concern of residents in the area. They’re worried about their safety.
In a recent story, District 3 supervisor Keith Taylor said, “Even though I welcome the industry, the people should not have to suffer.”
Odds are it’s just the tip of the iceberg in the northwest portion of Marshall County when it comes to economic development. And that’s a positive. But it can be a negative for some folks, too.
The increase in traffic has disrupted those homeowners’ way of life. And many have lived there for a long time, perhaps even all their lives.
They’re speaking out, and they have the right to do so.
It’s often a balancing act for county leadership.
One of their primary jobs is recruiting industry and bringing in jobs. Then when they’re successful, even that won’t make everyone happy.
Marshall County’s growth is exciting – from new interstates to new industries to new homes. But the challenge is to also maintain that rural atmosphere, that the folks in Marshall County have become accustomed to. We don’t want to be Memphis, Tenn., or even Olive Branch or Southaven, the way they have busted out the seams in recent years.
We want more industries, more jobs, more businesses; we want to be able to keep more of our dollars at home; but we want to maintain that small-town feel, too.
I grew up on two-lane, busy Highway 278 in rural Alabama. Our house was close to the highway.
Truck traffic was steady, day and night, and loud. Back then that highway was a pretty major thoroughfare.
But a few months back, after my mother’s death, Pam and I spent the night at my mom’s house, where I was raised.
Due to Highway 78 bypassing Hamilton, Ala., several years ago, the truck traffic on Highway 278 is all but gone.
I remarked to Pam that night how I had trouble sleeping – I was too used to the 18-wheelers flying by in the middle of the night.
So, in that case, development/new highways was a blessing – at least for people living along Highway 278.
So progress helps some – like landing a new job or easing traffic in their neighborhoods. And it hurts some – like increasing traffic and forcing them from their property. And even then, some may prefer getting out. They benefit from the move.
Taylor and District 4 supervisor Eddie Dixon, whose districts overlap in that area, are launching a community meeting as a follow-up to the recent concerns discussed in the board of supervisors’ meeting recently.
It’s a good idea. Let the citizens be heard, and work together to achieve a solution that’s hopefully best for them and best for Marshall County.
The community meeting will be held Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Cayce Fire Department building located near the busy intersection of Highway 72 and Cayce Road.
Dixon, in the recent story, said Cayce Road needs to be four-laned from Highway 302 to Highway 72, and he hopes state officials take notice.
It all starts at the local level, and the community meeting is a step in the right direction.
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