Economic & Community Development

The First Tennessee Development District provides economic and community development services to its eight-county region. Through grant writing, the District assists communities in obtaining funds. Since 1989, the District has assisted communities with funding of 586 grant and loan projects in the amount of $184 million. For the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the District assisted communities with 17 projects totaling $5.9 million. In addition, seven business loans were also issues totaling $550,140. 

Economic Development

The FTDD has completed several economic development grant applications on behalf of municipalities and counties in order to provide job opportunities. Any economic development infrastructure project involves several key people, including a mayor or county mayor, economic development professionals, funding agency representatives, company representatives, and engineers.

Infrastructure funding programs include the Appalachian Regional Commission, Tennessee Small Cities Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), TDEC Clean Tennessee Energy Grant (CTEG), Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Transportation Alternatives (TA), Tennessee Department of Transportation Multi Modal (TDOT-MM) Local Parks Recreation Fund (LPRF), Recreation Trails Program (RTP), Tennessee Recreation Initiative Program (TRIP), Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDOA), and Tennessee Historic Commission (THC).

The following economic development projects were funded during the past year:




Town of Greeneville Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvements CDBG
Town of Erwin Ambulances CDBG
Town of Erwin Facade Grant CDBG
Johnson County Mountain Bike Pump Track ARC
ETSU Tennessee Institute of Public Health ARC
Sneedville Utility District Auto Read Water Meters ARC
Sullivan County Bristol Patnership Park II Rail  ARC
Hancock County Sunset Digital, Treadway Broadband TN BB
Town of Greeneville Dog Park, Disc Golf, & Walking Trail TDOH

Community Development

The District has completed several community development grant applications on behalf of municipalities and counties. Community infrastructure programs include the Tennessee Small Cities Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Transportation Enhancement Act (TE), Local Parks Recreation Fund (LPRF), Recreation Trails Program (RTP), Tennessee Recreation Initiative Program (TRIP), Special Technical Assistance Grant (STAG) Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant (EECBG).

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy was developed to serve as both a planning document and benchmarking tool for economic development within the FTDD region, which includes Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties. The CEDS document is available here for review

Administrative Services

Receiving funding is always good news to a community; however, administrative guidelines of grant programs must be followed to make the project a reality. These administrative services include completing an environmental review, assisting with the bidding process, organizing requests for payment applications, assisting with acquisition, complying with labor standards, and completing the project close out. During the past year, the District provided administrative services for 40 projects.

Economic Development Financing

The non-profit lending corporation of the First Tennessee Development District is the Northeast Tennessee Economic Development Corporation. The purpose of NETEDC is to promote economic development through loan programs to businesses. A Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) was established in 1990 with funds from the Economic Development Administration and State of Tennessee. A Business Development Loan Fund (BDLF) was established in 1994 with funds from Rural Development (RD) and the state. The NETEDC established the Johnson City Downtown Redevelopment Loan Program in 2006 with funding from eight banks. More recently, the NETEDC established the Greeneville Downtown Redevelopment Loan Program to achieve similar goals in Greeneville. 

The programs help businesses through fixed-asset and permanent-working-capital financing. Through the loan programs, 94 companies have received funding of $6.7 million dollars. Combined, these companies have created 690 jobs to date. 

Below is a list of the current Board of Directors and Loan Committee of the NETEDC which reviews and oversees loan projects and the implementation loan programs.

Board of Directors

Mr. Russell Brackins


Mr. Dick Grayson

Community Representative 

Mr. Steve Mears

Home Trust Bank

Mr. Gerry O'Connor

Impact Plastics

Mr. Tom Olterman

City of Kingsport

Mr. Susan F. Reid

First Tennessee Development District

Dr. Allen Spritzer, Ph.D

ETSU, College of Business & Technology

Mr. Rick Storey

Washington County

Loan Committee

Mr. Mark Bays


Mr. Bobby Brown

Mountain Commerce Bank

Ms. Jennifer Buchanan

First Tennessee Bank

Mr. Stephen Dixon

Bank of Tennessee

Mr. Michael C. Hill

Citizens Bank, Tri-Cities

Mr. Darren Murray

Home Trust Bank

Mr. Ken Rea

First Tennessee Development District

Mr. Robert Williams

Home Trust Bank


Project Slideshow

Below are pictures that highlight projects funded by Economic & Community Development grants throughout the region. 

ECD.1_20080084.JPG ECD.2_20080083.JPG ECD.4_20080091.JPG ECD.5_20080090.JPG ECD.6_20080089.JPG ECD.7_20080088.JPG ECD.8_20080087.JPG ECD.9_20080086.JPG ECD.10_20080085.JPG ECD3_20080092.JPG



Contact Us

If you are interested in additional information about the District’s Economic & Community Development Programs, please contact Ken Rea at (423) 928-0224.