The better answer for economic growth in Walker County in addition to agriculture is to build up the outdoor recreation business based on the natural treasure that is McLemore Cove.
A citizens group said they are fearful that a large chicken processing plant will go on 300 acres owned by Walker County at scenic McLemore's Cove.
A group of protestors stood outside Pilgrim’s Pride in downtown Chattanooga’s Southside on Thursday to say they plan to challenge any plan to move the chicken plant to the cove.
The protestors said they were "responding to plans to carve out 300 acres of the 50,000-acre countryside for a multi-building, chicken slaughtering facility.
“We’re not against development, growth or jobs for our neighbors in Walker County. We’re against a chicken plant or any industry in the middle of protected, pristine land that’s of national, cultural and historic value,” said Ruth Almeter, a nearby resident of McLemore Cove. “We hope Commissioner Whitfield and any of the county leadership would use better judgment before ruining this national treasure and putting our families in danger. We will do whatever it takes to try to make sure this plant does not move forward in McLemore Cove.”
Feathers are being ruffled as questions and accusations fly back and forth between residents living in the Kensington area and Walker County officials.
At question is the possibility of a poultry slaughterhouse and processing plant setting up operations in a Barwick-Archer carpet mill that has been vacant for about 30 years.
The development man cheered for the new project in the valley.
"It's going to increase our county tax base substantially," Fred Henry said in March 1987, according to newspaper archives. He was the LaFayette, Georgia, Development Authority's chairman and the Walker County Development Authority's secretary-treasurer.
He continued: "We exert great excitement when we land an industry that's going to employ 100 people.
Mr. Sole Commissioner Whitfield,
I live in a cove in western most Chattanooga. My back yard is woods. My front yard is woodland too.
My neighbors and I had chance to voice our disagreement in 1996 to the proposed sale of a portion of the farm that dominated this cove and we did. There weren’t very many of us.