UPDATE: City council approves PILOT agreement for M&M industries - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: City council approves PILOT agreement for M&M industries expansion

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Chattanooga City Council voted in favor of a PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Ad Valorem Taxes) agreement that will allow M&M Industries to expand its local presence.

The vote was 7-0.

The plastic manufacturing company is looking to put a new plant in the Highland Park neighborhood. But, some people living nearby are concerned about pollution and having trains rolling through the area. 

The expansion will provide more than 100 jobs. Most of them would be entry level.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


ORIGINAL STORY: M&M Industries is looking to expand by putting a new plant in the Highland Park neighborhood in Chattanooga.

However, some neighbors are concerned about what the new industry means for their community.

City leaders, M&M Industries leaders, and neighbors met for a community meeting Wednesday.

"It's a great area, it really is a nice neighborhood,” said CEO Glenn Morris, “I look forward to being a neighbor in that area and watching it grow and being a part of it."            

The new plant would provide 110 jobs over the next five years, with most jobs being entry-level.

It’s something city leaders believe appeals to many neighbors in the Highland Park community.

Councilman Byrd said it’s an opportunity for neighbors to live, work, and play in the same community.

However, some neighbors brought forward a list of concerns. The company specializes in making plastic, and claims not to have any pollution problems at other plants. Emerson Burch, president of the neighborhood homeowners association, said that industry does not move Chattanooga forward.

"Are we looking to the past to a relatively dirty industry?” Burch asked. “Or are we looking to the future and what kind of industry supports a vision and a brand for a green city."

Another big concern some neighbors had was railroad tracks. Morris said the railroad tracks would be active, and necessary to industry operations.

"We’re going to have train traffic at that intersection that hasn't been there for years,” Burch said with concern, “So, we know we’re going to have train traffic."

Burch also said he doesn't feel like city leaders did enough to notify the community that the industry was coming in. However, city leaders said they talked with people in the community. Morris said he hopes to help bridge the gap.

"We’ve always wanted to reach out to the neighborhood and be a good neighbor,” Morris urged, “That's always been our intention."

M&M Industries would receive a tax benefit through the payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, program. That's something city council member will be voting on next Tuesday.  

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