The ongoing attempt of Ken Allison to set up a Euro-style recycling center in Haywood County had another turn. Allison at first was going to build at a discount. Eight years ago, the county had speculated in the purchase and grading of a 55-acre industrial tract. The purchase price was $700,000, and the property laid fallow. The asking price was $780,000, and Allison made an offer for $450,000 with promises for job creation and investment in the community making up the difference. Were he to fall short on his promise, he would be responsible for paying the full list price.

Then, it was discovered that recycling facilities are tax-exempt. The commissioners had been led to believe they would be getting $50,000 to $100,000 in tax revenue every year from the joint. Negotiations recommenced, and Allison agreed to pay the full asking price, but now Allison has no incentives. Sounds good to me, but the commissioners are wondering how they’re going to make sure jobs are created if they have no leverage on their fallow plot.