Murfreesboro Mosque Site Neighbors Moving Out - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Murfreesboro Mosque Site Neighbors Moving Out

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by Kim Gebbia

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Fallout from the Murfreesboro Mosque site is continuing as nearby residents said they don't want to wait and see if the building is built, instead they want to move out. Since the debate started earlier this summer some residents are putting their homes on the market.

"I don't want a 52,000 square foot anything next to me and I believe we were blind sided by our local government," said Arnold Edgell, who can see the construction site from his backyard.

He said he's unhappy with the new neighbors moving in and is deciding to move out. 

"I am going to put my house on the market, but that don't mean I'll sell it because you won't be able to give it away for a while," said Edgell.

Edgell said he's not the only one skeptical about how the new mosque will affect their quality of life. For sale signs are making an appearance as the debate continues. Residents in Rutherford County are worried that when the 52,000 square foot facility goes up, that area home values will be going down.

"With the economy the way it is, it was already a concern. Property value is already down and I don't know how this will affect it," said Debra Maxwell.

The concerns include increased traffic, possible annexation and road widening in rural Rutherford county.

"Eventually they will have to broaden Bradyville Pike which is already a narrow road to begin with," Edgell predicted.

"The fear of the unknown is the biggest thing that affects most of us," Maxwell added,

There has also been some questions about how this debate, now thrust into the national spotlight, will affect the reputation of Murfreesboro and the county for future businesses looking into the area.  

Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg said despite the controversy, it's not a blemish on the city's reputation. He added any future business eyeing the area will see a healthy debate as a positive.

"I think it's a healthy debate and it makes us who we are today and it makes us a good place to live in Rutherford County, Tennessee," said Mayor Bragg.

But for those across the street, they said the future is not as certain: with a home now on the market, a mosque in the making and backlash happening in their own backyard.

"The things that have happened with the burning and the tearing up the of the signs that part is scary because I am afraid of what will happen once the building is through," according to Maxwell.

"It's going to continue to be bad until it's built, and let's face it they are going to build it," said Edgell.

There is an increase in security at the site with Sheriff's deputies patrolling the area. Meanwhile, ATF and FBI authorities are still offering a $20,000 reward for any information about who burned construction equipment there a little more than a week ago.

A resident started a petition against the mosque last Friday. It currently has 118 signatures. The site's creator, Kevin Fisher, said they are trying to get one million people to protest the development.

Email: kgebbia@newschannel5.com

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