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Trucking company brings Oakhaven terminal plans to city council

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 60-acre, 24-hour trucking terminal wants to break ground off Raines and Tchulahoma Roads, but the Greater Memphis Habitat for Humanity and people living in an Oakhaven neighborhood are urging the Memphis City Council to vote "no" on the measure.

The Land Use Control Board already rejected the plan, but now a new battle is brewing as the company is appealing to the council.

"It seems more and more where low and moderate income families lives are becoming throw-away communities," one woman who works with Habitat for Humanity said.

She's fighting for the terminal not to come to the area.

Right by the area is a large subdivision where the Greater Memphis Habitat for Humanity has invested.

"Our homeowners and the Oakhaven community as a whole deserve a chance to build wealth via home ownership to have their children grow up in a healthy environment both inside and outside their home," the woman said.

One resident said she has lived in the area for more than 20 years, and she believes problems will come from the amount of truckers carrying goods back and forth on the roads surrounding the subdivision.

"This is not right. It will make noise."

Trucking company SAIA said it’s simply outgrowing their other location off Millbranch, but they want to stay in Memphis.

They said the proposed spot, not far from the airport, in the area of other warehouses with 18-wheeler traffic is already zoned for their company. They've already purchased part of the property.

"And paid 10 years of back taxes that have not been paid on the property," said Cindy Reaves, who is with a consulting firm representing SAIA.

Those taxes total more than $400,000.

They told the council they invest in their employees. They have 295 employees in Memphis with an average salary of $63,000 per year.

"If you get hired on as a dock worker, within 90 days, you can sign up for a driver training program," Reaves told the council.

The new location would add 50 jobs, and the company said it would recruit from the surrounding area.

As for residents complaining about possible noise, the company has looking into adding "additional acoustic barrier walls" because their plan was rejected by the Land Use Control Board.

They also brought in a specialist to look deeper into the issue, as they said they want to be a good neighbor.

"We've increased the existing vegetation buffer from 50 feet that was required to 100 feet," Reaves said.

The city council did not make any decisions, and they are set to revisit the issue in two weeks.

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