Quarterly Report

First Tennessee Development District
1st Quarter Status Report

January — March 2017

Economic and Community Development

The First Tennessee Development District assisted the following communities that were funded for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). 

  • Town of Erwin
  • Town of Greeneville
  • Hawkins County
  • Town of Mosheim
  • Town of Rogersville
  • City of Sneedville

The District assisted Hancock County with Project 95, Appalachian Regional Commission and CDBG applications for their ongoing call center project. 

Section 106 Reviews are required by the state and federal governments to ensure that ongoing federally funded projects do not impact significant historical sites in the region; this quarter, four requests for Section 106 Review were submitted to the Tennessee Historical Commission, the most ever during a single quarter.

Economic and demographic data is available here

Industrial Programs

During the quarter, the District assisted the following communities with Fast Track Infrastructure Development Program (FIDP) funds  and Economic Development Funds  (ED) from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (TECD):

  • Hawkins County, (Homeland Vinyl FIDP) Currently in the planning & design phase
  • City of Bristol - second meeting to discuss potential application to assit with infrastructure upgrades
  • Washington County - meeting to discuss potential FIDP application
  • Sullivan County - meeting to discuss potential FIDP application 

During the quarter, the District assisted the following communities with U. S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds:

  • City of Bristol (Royal EDA) - design phase completed and plans and specifications submitted for
    approval; engineer selected for the water phase and design has begun

  • Greene County (C&C Millwright EDA) - construction is about 45% complete

  • City of Kingsport (Eastman EDA) - the Raw Water Conveyance project construction is about 65%
    complete

  • Town of Mosheim (US Nitrogen EDA) - construction is complete and final pay request is being
    prepared for submittal to EDA

  • Town of Unicoi (EDA) - Phase I (Rural Development) - has been completed; Phase II construction
    has begun and is approximately 65% complete

  • Town of Mountain City (Parkdale EDA) - engineer Brian Frederick has been selected and the
    FTDD administration contract has been signed; design work is almost complete

The District assisted the following communities with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG):

  • Johnson County-Administration agreement signed, environmental complete and work on the plans and specifications have begun, the final notice of contract conditions have been signed by the state
  • Mt. Carmel- project completed and closed out 

The District assisted the following communities with Appalachian Regional Commission funds (ARC):

  • Johnson County, (Parkdale ARC) The project is 100% complete, a final pay request is being prepared for approval

Housing Programs

The District assisted the following community with THDA Emergency Repair Program for the Elderly or Disabled:     

  • Inspections completed on 14 homes - Bids returned on 7
    • 3 - Carter County
    • 4 - Greene County
    • 5 - Sullivan County         
    • 2 - Washington County                                             

Within the Northeast Tennessee/Virginia HOME Consortium, we assisted the following communities:  

  • Bristol, VA - 2 reconstruction projects completed
  • Sullivan County - 1 reconstruction project completed                            

Work under the Johnson City CDBG Program consisted of: 

  • Contracts were signed on 2 additional reconstruction projects
  • one Emergency Repair Project was completed

Projects under the Carter County HOME Program included:

  • Contracts were signed for 3 rehabilitation proejcts, which are the final projects for this grant

Projects under the New Tazwell HOME Program included:

  • Contracts were signed for 2 rehabilitation proejcts, which are the final projects for this grant

Tennessee Housing Development Agency HOME Program Application Intake was held for the following
communities: Greene County, Hawkins County, Town of Erwin, Town of Surgoinsville.


Tennessee Housing Development Agency HOME Rehabilitation Grant applications were submitted for
the following communities: City of Sneedville, Town of Greenville, Town of Mountain City, City of
Elizabethton.

Area Agency on Aging and Disability

CHOICES provided the following services for this quarter:

  • 634 Information, assistance, and screening calls
  • 144 Home visits to facilitate enrollment into the CHOICES program
  • 114 Pre-Admission Evaluations and Medicaid Applications submitted to TennCare and the Department of Human Services
  • 110 Referrals to Managed Care Organizations
  • 13 Nursing home visits to counsel individuals and families on Long-Term Services and Supports
  • 19 Community Living Support Ombudsman visits

The National Core Indicators-Aging and Disabled Survey began in March. This survey measures performance of TN CHOICES program by gathering feedback directly from the CHOICES recipient. The tool assesses quality of life and service satisfaction and assists the state in improving quality of services and supports. This quarter, the agency made 211 calls to schedule surveys, and 58 home visits to complete surveys.

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program ended on 12/31/16.

Medicaid Redetermination Phase 3 continues.

Comments received from individuals assisted this quarter:

  • “You all have been very informative”
  • “I have talked to a number of agencies and you all are by far the best. I never worked with such a great group of people.”
  • “Your agency gave the best guidance of anyone I talked to.”

Environmental Management 

The Environmental Management Program staff worked on several projects that involved many of our local governments.  Staff assisted or implemented the following projects during the past quarter:

  • Completed 2016 Annual Solid Waste Progress Reports for all 8 counties in the District

  • Worked on 2016 Town of Baileyton CDBG Environmental Review

  • Prepared Environmental Reviews for Appalachian Regional Commission projects in Town of Erwin and Town of Unicoi

  • Conducted District wide meeting with solid waste program stakeholders to discuss TDEC grant programs and the 2016 Annual Solid Waste Progress Report development process

  • Worked on 2016 Town of Surgoinsville CDBG Environmental Review

  • Coordinated meetings of the Northeast Tennessee (Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington) SullivanHawkins, and Hancock Regional Solid Waste Planning Boards

  • Participated in the Tennessee Environmental Conference in Kingsport

  • Worked with Carter and Hawkins Counties to develop Disaster Debris Management Plans.
    Coordinated meetings with Hawkins County stakeholders

  • Updated Recycling Feedstock Survey data

  • Worked on interactive map of solid waste/recycling facilities in the District

Rural Planning Organization

First Tennessee RPO staff assisted local transportation representatives and elected officials with numerous requests concerning rural transportation.  The RPO was also involved in the following projects and initiatives:

  • Developed commuting pattern map for FTDD RPO area which is available on the District’s RPO web
    page

  • Staff participated in the activities of the Bristol Rail Coalition, Johnson City MPO, Bristol MPO and Kingsport MPO

  • Developed safety improvement project requests for Town of Unicoi and Sullivan County Highway
    Department

  • Created traffic map for the Town of Rogersville

  • Coordinated and hosted an RPO Executive Board meeting featuring TDOT Commissioner John Schroer

  • Complied fuel tax revenue data for 8 counties in the First Tennessee RPO area and distributed to RPO members and elected officials

  • Participated in US 11E Corridor Management Agreement working group with several other partners
    including City of Bristol, Bristol MPO, Sullivan County Planning and Zoning, Sullivan County Highway
    Department, City of Bluff City and TDOT Office of Community Transportation

  • Researched potential funding options for transportation project in Town of Greeneville.

Visit Rural Planning Organization page to learn more about the District’s RPO program and access the various online interactive map tools.  

Planning 

The First Tennessee Development District local planning staff assisted communities, Planning Commissions, Boards of Zoning Appeals and developers in the following areas:

  • Staffed 26 Planning Commission meetings

  • Staffed 10 Boards of Zoning Appeals meetings

  • Staffed 2 meetings of a local legislative body

  • Staffed 3 other local meetings concerning development and landuse controls

  • Reviewed 13 requests for zoning variances

  • Prepared 7 zoning ordinance amendments

  • Reviewed 9 requests for rezoning and prepared maps and ordinances

  • Prepared 1 amendment to subdivision regulations

  • Reviewed 30 subdivision plats including a total of 114 lots and 219.5924 acres

  • Reviewed 6 community development site plans for a total of 7 lots and 12.25 acres

  • Provided continuing education opportunities for 2 Planning Commissions or Boards of Zoning Appeals totaling 22 hours of CEU’s for 9 individuals. During the quarter the following topics were addressed:
    • Major Thoroughfare Plans
    • Local Zoning Regulations
    • Content-Neutral Sign Regulations
    • New Planning Commission/BZA member orientation
    • Floodplain Administration

Special Projects

  • Continued maintenance and updates on the FTDD website
  • Continued work with the Food Access Policy Working Group as part of a regional collaboration between the FTDD, Second Harvest, Feeding America Southwest Virginia; host and oversee (in partnership with Second Harvest and ASD) an Appalachian Transitional Fellow to help further that work
  • Assisted with the execution of a regional conference on local food systems - hosted by Second Harvest FoodBank - which included participation with the Appalachian Regional Commission and Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl
  • Continued outreach with regional Anti-Drug Coalitions to provide support for regional efforts for a healthy workforce
  • Assisted staff of the Southeast Tennessee Development District with the execution of the 2017 Tennessee Development District Association Annual Training Conference
  • Assisted various regional tourism organizations with planning and implementation of projects to promote local tourism events, including Tanasi Arts & Heritage Center, Main Street Greeneville, Appalachian High Country Wine American Viticulture Area, and Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association.
  • Assisted with the planning and implementation of the IT Sector of the inaugural CareerQuest TN interactive career fair for students across Northeast Tennessee.

Workforce & Literacy Initiatives

  • Work Ethic Diploma:
    • Evaluated options for mechanizing the tracking of the Regional Work Ethic Diploma
    • Met with current employer sponsors to gauge needs and interest in expansion of the program. Robinette, MSHA, Wellmont, and Spherion are signing on as new employer sponsors
    • Outstanding requests are being evaluated by ATT, CenturyLink, Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union, and General Shale
  • Work Ready Community:
    • Regional core team members have attended two academies to date. The next academy is in Nashville in April.
    • Regional core team meetings have been held to review academy learnings and evaluate the regional infrastructure to support achieving our goals.
    • County based budgets have been submitted.
    • County level teams are being formed.

Educational Development Index (EDI), is being promoted around the region. This program is in
partnership with the Quillen College of Pediatrics and ETSU Department of Education. EDI maps
vulnerabilities within a community based on information obtained from kindergarten teachers.
Presentations have been made to mayors, superintendents, United Way leads, Niswonger Foundation
and others. A presentation to chamber and economic development leaders is planned in May.
Requests for funding are now being developed.


Faith Based Addiction Recovery Events have been held in Washington, Sullivan and Carter Counties.
These community events are in partnership with the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health
and Substance Abuse and the various county drug coalitions. The next event will be held in Unicoi
County.

  • CareerQuest TN:
    • Attended by more than 4,700 8-12th grade students from 52 schools in ten counties
    • Partnered with ten higher education systems
    • 63 organizations representing Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, Healthcare and IT
    • More,than 425 individuals volunteered
    • More than $57,500 raised from private donations to cover the costs of the event

Calendar of Events

 

To learn more about upcoming events, please visit the District Calendar