BY: TANNER HANCOCK
HERALD NEWS
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Citizens and representatives from across South Knoxville convened at South-Doyle Middle School early Saturday morning as a part of the South Knoxville Town Hall.
State Sen. Becky Massey, state Reps. Rick Staples, Eddie Smith and Harry Brooks, First District City Council member Stephanie Welch, Ninth District County Commissioner Carson Dailey and Ninth District Board of Education representative Amber Rountree were present to give updates and answer questions pertaining to regional issues, including the BMX track at South-Doyle Middle as well as real-estate development across the area.
The construction of the BMX course is anticipated to start soon, and it’s currently projected to open around August of this year. Once completed, it will stand as the only BMX course on the campus of a middle-school in the nation.
Local leaders also addressed questions pertaining to an anticipated boom in real-estate across South Knoxville. By some estimates, more than 1,000 people could move into the region over the next five years.
Other announcements included the construction of a new Maryville Pike entrance to the I.C. King Park, as well as landscaping upgrades to Ijam’s Mead’s Quarry.
Attending citizens also voiced concerns over the high concentration of payday loan centers around Chapman Highway. In 2016, The Knoxville City Council passed a zoning regulation requiring 1,000 feet between such payday loan establishments and forbidding them from being within 1,000 feet of a residentially zoned property
Her first town hall meeting since her election last November, Welch said she was both shocked and encouraged by the level of enthusiasm members of her district have showcased during the meeting.
“There were over 100 people at 9 o’clock on a very cold Saturday morning, which I think is just a great indication of how much energy and investment our community has in South Knoxville,” Welch said.

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