News: From the Desk of
J. Michael Cross
County Executive

The primary purpose of this week’s column is to clarify some misconceptions concerning the new LPRF Grant that Fentress County is applying for to develop the newly acquired 33 acres south of Jamestown. The purpose of the purchase was to develop a new Parks and Recreational facility for the county. The LPRF Grant’s value could be as much as $500,000.00 with the county matching 50% of the grant’s total value. At the present time, the assessed value of the property is approximately $183,000.00. That means that the total received from TDEC for Fentress County would be that amount ($183,000.00). Anyone familiar with land development knows that that isn’t enough to fulfill everyone’s wish list. Please keep in mind that this will be a long-term project that cover the next 10-12 years (much like the patient growth and development of South Fentress Community Park – which is still growing).

As always, we welcome the public’s input on the direction and scope of this new development. We have appointed a Parks and Recreation Committee, headed by Commissioner Kim Davidson, and includes Commissioners Benny Hughes and Justin Miller. This committee is currently working on preliminary plans for the project. Their intent is to develop a conservative game plan that stays within their limited budget. We do invite any interested individuals or groups to attend these meeting and to offer constructive suggestions as this project moves along.

We continue to meet with TDOT officials as the Highway 127 Project moves closer to fruition. We continue to fight for the four-lane divided highway as opposed to TDOT’s Expedited Delivery Process that would reduce certain sections of the project to a two or three lane highway. We continue to stress Safety and Economic Impact as justification for sticking to the original plans. Many thanks to Representatives Kelly Keisling and John Mark Windle as well as Senator Ken Yager for their continued support.

The THDA Housing Grant has advanced to the construction phase, as three houses are now ready for their Home Improvement Upgrades. We want to express appreciation to Fentress County Grant Writer Amanda Mainord as she continues to administrate the grant.

Appreciation also goes out to EMA Director James Bilbrey for his hard work and dedication. James was informed last week that Fentress County will receive two communication towers from TEMA (60 and 80 foot) that will be used to improve Emergency Communication efforts throughout the county (similar to the 160 foot tower recently installed in Clarkrange). Additionally, FEMA will be giving our Emergency Management Department a 35 KW Generator that can be used throughout the county during emergency situation. The Generator and Towers come at no expense to the County.

We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at vog.n1527142466Tytnu1527142466oCsse1527142466rtneF1527142466@skci1527142466H.adn1527142466amA1527142466. County Commission Meetings are held every third Monday at 6:00 p.m. following a 5:00 o’clock work session. All meetings are open to the public.