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By CINDY SIMPSON
>Harriman may be close to recruiting an industry to locate in what is referred to as the Harriman industrial park.
Mayor Chris Mason recently updated the city council on an industry that has expressed interest in coming to the area. He said industry representatives contacted him about plans to send a letter of intent to purchase the property from the city.
Mason said he doesn’t know the name of the industry, but he did tell council that the first phase of the project would cost $70 million while a second phase would cost $200 million.
The proposed industry wants to buy the approximately 90 acres of industrial park property, plus the property owned by nearby Inland Ports and property owned by Baker Hamilton, Mason said.
The issue came up when Councilman J.D. Sampson asked why the city was not moving forward with its intent to start up a Harriman Industrial Board, particularly when industry was looking at the area.
“Should we not maybe appoint a committee to be over it?” Sampson asked Tuesday.
Mason said he felt at this time the city should operate through the Roane County Industrial Board — at least on this project.
He said if the sale were to go through, the city could first deed the property to the Roane County Industrial Board, which can offer incentives, including tax abatement.
In an interview, Mason explained that the city would be paid for the property and it would be deeded to the county industrial board.
Once the tax abatement program is fulfilled, the industry would get the deed.
Mason said that he has met with industry representatives, while at other times Councilman Ken Mynatt and City Coordinator Bob Tidwell have met with them.
Mason also said that they would likely have to have a special-called meeting to address the sale, if an offer is made.