KNOW: How much was TDOT paid?
QUESTION: Last fall, a large amount of soil was removed from the median of the northeast side of I-40 at exit 286.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Herald-Citizen.
#1 Feb 26, 2013
I brought this issue up a year ago. TDOT responded to my official inquiry by saying that the car dealership had to pay a fair market value for the soil and replace the trees. When I asked how much they paid, they refused to respond. Now we learn that they paid NOTHING for the soil The church was also supposed to replace the trees that they destroyed on public property. No justification for allowing them to destroy mature timber on public property was ever even offered by TDOT. Now we see that they have a big, ugly, commercial sign at the location; the purpose from the beginning. Some ornamental trees were planted at the off-ramp and will take years to attain any height at all, even if they are capable. The crap planted at the church is nothing more than shrubs. No trees. This is what you would expect since they don't want the view of their sign impacted. This is just another example of corruption in Tennessee. But will folks get angry and protest? Hell no! Will our elected state officials like Williams and Burks raise hell about this? No way! These folks represent the money that gets them re-elected. They're part of the whole problem.
#2 Feb 26, 2013
After my first comment, I happened to think of this:
TDOT insults our intelligence by calling these activities "grading and landscaping services". SERVICES!!!! OK. So when any of us wants some soil for whatever purpose, we can just go out into the R/O/W of a state highway or interstate and excavate whatever we need as along as we're making things flat. We're providing a public service and advancing TDOT's efforts to level everything within the R/O/W's. And if there are no trees there, you don't have to do anything except plant some grass seed on your excavation site. And need some firewood? Saw-logs to build something? Just get your chainsaw and go cut it on the state highway R/O/W! Plant a few shrubs where the mature timber used to be and your all done! And need some expensive rock for a landscaping project? Just go to one of the many rock banks along the highways here and load her up. No need to replace any vegetation there! Makes perfect sense if you believe anything TDOT says.
#3 Feb 26, 2013
I think something should be done about this. That land may have been very small but it was still thriving habitat. I can understand needing the soil to fill in dead land that was neither useful nor environmentally sustaining but the dealership should have had to pay for it and also should have paid to replace the grass and trees on the hillside with native, fast growing varieties in order to return the land to its previous state.
#4 Feb 26, 2013
Just what Cookeville needed: a new fucking car dealership on Interstate drive...and am I the only one who thinks the interstate looked better BEFORE The River chopped down all of those trees, exposing their building? You'd think a church would have more respect for God's creations than to go tearing them down all willy-nilly.
"The quantity and value of any existing trees and soil removed from state right-of-way are calculated..." It's sad that we place a monetary value on our dwindling green space.
#5 Feb 26, 2013
The rich get richer. They didn't have to buy the dirt, so WE (taxpayers) gave them the dirt.
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