Local officials meet for updates on Memphis Regional Megasite

JACKSON, Tenn. — More money will now go to construction at the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County.

“This past week we did get approval for $30.7 million to go towards the construction of the megasite’s wastewater,” said Amy New, assistant commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

New says the money will go toward making the site shovel ready after nearly a decade in the works.

“We’ll have our official permits for the outfall location for the Mississippi Rivers,” New said. “So we’re very excited to be to this point. That was one of our biggest gating items, and now will go into acquiring those easements and then hopefully getting the construction started so that we can start really pulling in tenants.”

Part of the money goes to making a wastewater outfall, which pushes waste from the megasite to nearby rivers. The site is in Stanton between Haywood and Fayette County, and with only a few hundred residents in the area, industry consultants feel the location won’t be able to handle the gallons of wastewater.

“As an engineer and a consultant to industries, I can tell you that they’re going to look at workforce, and this wastewater system is going to be in a constant state of washout,” said Memphis engineering consultant Nick Crafton. “Washout is when there’s not enough of biomass to keep up with the flow coming through it.”

Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith says there is a plan to deal with the wastewater.

“Making sure we get the engineering plan for the wastewater,” Smith said. “Get the isthmus to the Mississippi River where we’ve got a plan.”

Officials also talked about what the site would mean to the workforce in rural West Tennessee.

“We’re getting all the construction ready. We’re getting everything in place,” New said. “We want to make sure that when a company comes here, we can say ‘we have your workforce here.'”

“This megasite is halfway between Memphis and Jackson,” Smith said. “It’s strategically placed, and I think it will do well.”

Completion of the site is expected to take up to two to three years, including the installation of the 40-mile pipes for the wastewater system.

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