Brownsville, Tenn. (AP) — Ford Motor Company executives on Tuesday promised to be good neighbors in rural West Tennessee for those who live near the automaker’s planned electric truck factory, a project that could create thousands of jobs and face expected to change. region.
More than 200 people participated in a panel discussion at a high school in Brownsville, one of several communities that would be affected by Ford’s $5.6 billion project, which would create 3,600-acres (1,460-hectares) of known land. ) is to build the electric F-Series pickup on the parcel. As a Memphis regional megasite in Haywood County.
The project, called Bluewall City, is a joint venture with SK Innovation, which will build battery factories on the Tennessee site and in Glendale, Kentucky. In West Tennessee, the project is predicted to boost the economies of several counties. Ford plans to employ about 5,600 workers at the plant, while factory construction and the arrival of Ford suppliers will create thousands more.
The project is expected to bring both small and large businesses to the region, including hotels, restaurants, health care facilities and more. Real estate values may also rise. But some residents have expressed concern that those changes could come with increased road traffic, noise, crime and other issues.
Panelists presented a collective friendly face and discussed topics ranging from workforce development to environmental issues to philanthropy. Ford officials said they were looking forward to hearing from residents and working with them to make the project a source of community prosperity.
“As we embark on the journey together, it is our commitment that Ford will be a good neighbour,” said Dave Nowicki, director of manufacturing, battery and electric vehicles,
Construction of the truck factory is expected to begin later this year, but workers have already started the ground work at the site. Ford has said it plans to start production by 2025.
The institutions associated with the project have already started preparations. The Tennessee Valley Authority is building an electric substation and approximately 10 miles of transmission lines to provide electricity for the site and the surrounding area. A board overseeing the megasite has met to discuss issues related to the environment. And, the Transportation Security Administration will resume service to a regional airport in Jackson, about 40 miles from the site, in anticipation of an increase in passengers.
Ann McCormick, the project’s environment and sustainability manager, said Ford has studied the area’s waterways and wetlands in addition to an aquifer that supplies water to homes and businesses. Ford has developed a pollution prevention plan to protect the water resources at the site and “to minimize any impacts of construction”.
Since the project’s announcement last year, some residents have wondered whether cities like Brownsville and Stanton, where the factory will be built, are ready for the changes it will bring to their normally quiet, rural communities.
Jim Miller, 75, a Brownsville resident, said he thought about how the project would affect his city of 9,800 people.
“I can see it growing rapidly. Is Brownsville ready for it, that is the question,” Miller said. “You can’t let it dominate the culture and history of the region. It’s a fine line you have to walk.”
Adrian Sainz, Associated Press