Slogan sign

A opposition sign shared on the Rutledge, Georgia Small But Special Facebook page and shared across various social media platforms from locals against the possible development of Rivian Automotive’s new multibillion electric car manufacturing plant.

While state officials eagerly await Rivian Automotive to announce whether or not Georgia will be the site of the company’s new multibillion dollar electric vehicle manufacturing plant, many Rutledge residents are hoping the historic deal fails.

Georgia is fiercely competing with Texas to become the next location of Rivian’s second massive manufacturing plant, that could cost up to $5 billion to develop, that will create thousands of jobs and churn out an estimated 200,000 electric vehicles a year. Rivian is reportedly searching for a plot of land between 2,000 and 10,000 acres to build its multibillion electric car manufacturing plant. Rivian also landed a deal with Amazon to produce 100,000 electric delivery vehicles in the next three years.

Hundreds of Rutledge residents have taken to social media to voice their opposition to the possible development rumored to be constructed just a few miles away from downtown Rutledge.

“We feel hopeless,” said one resident who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s totally up to the state. Apparently Rivian is choosing between here and somewhere in Texas. [Governor Brian Kemp] has offered up our small slice of the world and state government overrides county government and city government. Very discouraged...it’s a lost cause…”

The Rutledge, Georgia Small But Special Facebook page was abuzz this week with local Rutledge residents brainstorming ways to oppose the project and voicing concerns about a manufacturing plant bringing in unwanted traffic, crowded development, and growth that would erode Rutledge’s historic rural character. Others were concerned about long-term success, that if Rivian fails as a company in the future that Rutledge would be left with an empty manufacturing plant on its doorstep.

Some residents urged their community members to write letters to Governor Kemp, State Senator Burt Jones, and House Representative Dave Belton to voice their opposition. Posts on the page related to Rivian garnered more than 1,000 views and generated dozens of comments, most expressing opposition to the proposed Rivian project that could lead to a massive electric car manufacturing plant built off Exit 101 on I-20, just three miles away from Rutledge.

Some Rutledge residents met with the Morgan County Planning Department this week to discuss the matter, but their hopes were dashed after learning it was beyond the county’s control.

“Apparently the powers that be down at the state capital have had this plot of land in their sight for some time. When the state wants to push an economic development project the affected municipality is virtually helpless in stopping them,” wrote the administrator for the Rutledge, Georgia Small But Special Facebook page.

“Rivian has been offered this land, even though not zoned as industrial, and until Rivian decides to choose between Rutledge or someplace in Texas we have to basically sit and wait. ... Even though it sounds as if we are giving up, we’re not. There will continue to be posts about what is going on with the project if Rutledge is chosen...And once the decision is made the county can become involved in a lot of ways to protect its citizens from harm from the project.”

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(1) comment

Dr.SGRowe

I understand the capitalistic twist on the practical concept that the best action to take is the one that produces the most good. However, I do not want the Rivian Automotive electric car manufacturer in our quiet neighborhood. Our elected state and local officials should have cared more about protecting our town than capitalizing off it. This is horrible!

Our peaceful town is being destroyed, plant by plant. The noise is going to increase and be unbearable. No matter what precautions are taken, the pollution is going to increase. The traffic in our city and along I-20 is going to increase. This plant is, very likely, going to change our rural town atmosphere into a suburban nightmare. It is my understanding from a kind, but unreliable source, that the plant will be on Lynch Street off Davis Academy.

1. Exactly on what streets in Rutledge, GA is the plant expected to be located?

2. How will this plant really, not theoretically, impact the values of our homes and properties?

3. Will it be financially lucrative to sell our homes while the selling prices are good, due to the probability that the plant’s being here will change the town’s rural charm into something like a loud, crowded, manufacturing town?

4. How will the skyrocketing increases in our population impact crime? More people, more instances of crime is the norm.

5. How are this plant's metal, rubber, and other production waste materials, the gas emissions, and product waste liquids going to impact our rain runoff water and our air quality?

6. Will the company soon build some sort of land-fill to accommodate its waste?

On the other hand, that more people will have good paying jobs is great.

1. The promises to protect the workers as much as possible, especially in a pandemic plagued atmosphere, is a great intent.

2. Maybe Morgan County will do something to have some strong dependable internet towers built in our rural town. We have to turn down projects and business opportunities because our weak internet connections do not support working remotely.

3. Maybe this great plant's business tax dollars will take some of the burden from the private property tax papers' backs.

4. Maybe, as in other neighborhoods, seniors will not have to pay school taxes that boost our property taxes so high, even with the exemptions that we get.

Again, I am not happy about the electric plant being built in Rutledge, Georgia. We receive so much information when it is tax time, why didn’t we receive some sort of fact sheet about the intention to build this plant in our backyards so that we could have had some input before the elected officers made their undisclosed and final determinations. Having only been in this county for sixteen years, I am ready to get out! I guess I will begin making efforts to find some nice small-town run by individuals who care more about the rural nature of the town, instead of how they can capitalize off it.

[sad]

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