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Business and Economy NewsTracker

Free Land!

WREG Channel 3 in Memphis is reporting on a West Tennessee town’s bid to boost the economy: give away city-owned land to businesses. The video report shows a billboard advertising the offer from the city of Adamsville, “We have free land for business or industry.”

One resident explains to WREG that her son would prefer to live near home, but must live in Florida where jobs are more available. The unemployment rate for McNairy County averaged over 10 percent in the last year, like most other counties in the state — the average rate was lower in the metropolitan areas.

A city leader explains that the offer requires businesses to meet hiring standards to qualify for a site on the 100-acre development park. “We put you under the gun to be successful. When you’re successful, the city’s successful,” city Administrator Terry Thrasher tells WREG.

Absent from the story is any criticism of the plan, which is in direct competition with private developers and land owners in the area, who presumably would be unable to give their land away for free.