Union City Mayor Fights to Rid City of Eyesore
Union City residents and city leaders alike say a building sitting idle for the last several years is having a negative impact on the city’s economic climate, and it is an eyesore everyone wants gone. The mayor said the former building for the Reelfoot Meat Packing Co. has been the biggest complaint from residents for years. But it has been a back and forth battle between the city and the owner on what to do with it. Either way, it is going to cost someone a lot of money. What was once a place of employment for over 700 people, now sits on an empty lot. Union City resident, Michael Burke said, “Anyone whose been around here 50-60 years knows its been an icon many families were raised and worked there, I worked there myself briefly, family members, and it was good for the community, but after it shut down it just slowly deteriorated, falling into despair.” Union City council members have been trying to work with the owners to get the property cleaned up. Most recently, the city hired an environmental attorney in Nashville to find out what its options are. “EPA lawyers are looking into it and maybe if they find something that maybe violates their codes or something the owners will probably be forced to tear it down or something,” said city councilman, B.J. Cranford. Cranford said the city does not have the funds to pay for it to be torn down, which is estimated at 800,000. Residents say there is no way you can renovate the building. With no hope from residents that the building will ever be renovated, council members hope the owner will be forced by attorneys to demolish the building and then sell the property, build something to bring employment and ultimately, benefit the town.