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Scott's Gulf Committee Speaks Up
from the Sparta Expositor,
Wednesday, November 27, 1996
By ROBIN JORDAN
With the decision of the Bridgestone/Firestone Company to maintain ownership of the Scott's Gulf property, questions have arisen concerning the Scott's Gulf Committee and their future plans. Some of the questions include: will the committee continue to work to see the property utilized as a park and what happens to the funds which have been donated up to this date.
Scott's Gulf Committee President Paul Miller stated, "We're delighted Bridgestone/Firestone has decided to protect the property. However, our goal remains the same; not only to see the land protected, but to see it as a state park or wilderness area."
He continued, "We (the Scott's Gulf Committee) are interested in seeing Bridgestone/Firestone get together with the state, but the big difference now is we believe the state and the company see the value of the property as a park."
According to Scott's Gulf Committee member Brenda Cardwell, "TheScott's Gulf Committee will continue as it has: to raise funds for the purchase of Scott's Gulf. We see Bridgestone/Firestone's decision as a positive step. We were hoping they would choose to take the property off of the real estate market."
She added, "We will continue to sponsor events and send out brochures which support this fund-raising effort. We continue to have people interested and Bridgestone/Firestone's decision just gives us more time to realize our goal. Our main goal is to see this acreage established as a state park or a wilderness area."
Cardwell explained she personally found the Bridgestone/Firestone decision to keep the land a surprising one. She stated, "It is amazing the company, which has been try to sell this property for so many years, has chosen to hear the voices of the people and take this land off of the market. They did not have to do this because this was private property, and I think it's remarkable for a major company to have taken this stand. Now is the time for people to write to Bridgestone/Firestone and thank them for taking the time to hear the people and their wishes. I personally want to thank Bridgestone/Firestone for their efforts with the Scott's Gulf property."
When asked about the funds which have been collected to this date Cardwell commented, "We've collected over $35,000 from small contributors (from $10-$2,000), and for small contributions, this is a lot of money. We've gotten donations from local residents, other county residents, plus from some out-of-state folks. We haven't gone after any type of corporate funding or state grants. We're hoping the State of Tennessee and Bridgestone/Firestone will talk and something will happen there. Whatever money we raise will be donated to the cost of the property. These funds are a show of support by the citizens; it lets the state and the company know we're dedicated to seeing this property as a park."
She emphasized, "It is in our charter, as a non-profit organization if we must give up the project, even though we do not anticipate this happening,the money which has been collected will be donated to state parks of Tennessee. If someone insists on their donation being turned to them sometime in the future, a tax form will have to be filed with the IRS to say the donation has been returned to the donator. However, if people are concerned about their monetary donations, they can always make pledges. A pledge is not collected until the deal is completed. It's the perfect answer for someone who wants to donate but who might have questions about their contribution."
Cardwell stressed the importance of contributions and letters when she said, "The more money which is collected and the more letters which are written will make this issue more important to the state and to Bridgestone/Firestone."
For the address of Bridgestone/Firestone, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 836-3552.
[Any typos in this article are my own and not those of the Sparta Expositor or its staff. - Editor]
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