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Friday, September 22, 2017

Job prospects continue to look positive for Cocke County
The Cocke County Partnership Board of Directors meeting Thursday was told a number of firms continue to show an interest in the county. Partnership President Lucas Graham announced that the state will evaluate five sites in the county under the Property Evaluation Program(PEP). "The state will bring in a team of site consultants, they will evaluate each site and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the site. They will determine the most likely candidates for the site, what we can do to improve it, and projections on the required capital investment to make it attractive on the open market". Graham said the sites to be evaluated are; the Ace site on Industrial Road, the existing industrial park, a 150 acre site at Highway 25/70 and Edwina Road, another 150 acre site with a potential rail site, and the proposed new industrial site to the west of Newport. After they are evaluated, the locations will be prioritized. Once a site has an evaluation certification, it will receive a logo on the TVA and and state websites, to indicate that all the preliminary studies have been completed and the site is ready for construction. Graham said he is looking at obtaining an option on the sites and then marketing them while they are privately owned. In that way jobs can be brought in, however, the county need not purchase the land. Looking at other possibilities, Project Adventure is made up of international investors as well as a national brand, who want to develop adventure tourism for "hardcore" outdoor enthusiasts. He also reported that Project Hope proposes to develop one site which would house a number of local community service agencies. Graham also reminded the board that Cocke County is one of only three counties in the state who have been approved by the Tennessee legislature for a unique Tax Incentive Financing(TIF)arrangement. It allows for the financing of needed infrastructure with the use of the state portion of the sales tax collected from the retail business. "The sales tax generated can either go back to the developer or the local government for public improvements. And those improvements are broad, including streets, sidewalks, landscaping or even a school. That gives us a leg up on what kinds of projects we try to attract." The board at the meeting voted to provide Graham with a $10,000 Annual Performance Bonus. Tourism Director Linda Lewanski reported that the National Geographic site promoting river stewardship continues to be active. Lewanski serves on the regional board and is a portal editor for the Internet site. Cocke County has partnered with Pittman Center in a joint ad in Tennessee's official vacation guide. A recent grant will partially fund the ad. Lynn Ramsey of the Chamber of Commerce said bands are being booked and lots of vendor applications have been processed for the Harvest Street Festival planned for October 7 and 8. A "Winners Circle" will feature local residents who in the past have been associated with auto racing. And the 100th. Anniversary of Cocke County High will be celebrated September 29 at the football homecoming game.

Return to Today's News Stories - Front Page

Monday, August 20, 2018

  • Woodside arrest
  • Blackburn and Bredesen
  • Roe representative in Newport today
  • Gas prices drop slightly

    Sunday, August 19, 2018

  • Forestyr grants available for volunteer fire departments

    Saturday, August 18, 2018

  • Farm Service Agency meet
  • SBA loans available
  • Social Security and livability
  • Jefferson County crash
  • Dover arrest

    Friday, August 17, 2018

  • Moore arrested in threat on Caldwell
  • Bush Brothers fined
  • Cocke County Partnership meet
  • Clint Hammonds
  • Newport/Parrottsville candidates
  • July unemployment
  • Dover arrest

    Thursday, August 16, 2018

  • Speir arrest
  • Cardboard fire
  • Cocke County School Board meet
  • Jefferson City train/car crash

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