Quarterly Report

First Tennessee Development District
2nd Quarter Status Report

April — June 2017

Economic and Community Development

Hancock County has received funding for construction of a call center facility in the Hancock County Industrial Park. The District assisted the county with the following applications:

  • Tennessee Economic & Community Development Project 95
  • Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

 USDA Rural Development is also a partner in the project.  The grading portion of the project has begun.

 A Downtown Loan Program has been established to assist businesses in the Town of Erwin.  Bank of Tennessee, First Tennessee Bank, and Mountain Commerce Bank have partnered to establish a $75,000 loan fund to assist businesses in downtown Erwin to purchase and renovate existing buildings and purchase equipment; the first loan in the program has been made.  The District and the Town of Erwin worked together to help establish the program.

Thirteen requests for Section 106 Review were submitted to the Tennessee Historical Commission during the quarter.  These reviews are required by the state and federal governments to ensure that ongoing federally funded projects do not affect significant historical sites in the region.

Community Development Block Grant Façade Program Applications are due August 11th.

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); this project is complete.
  • City of Bristol - Attended meeting to discuss potential infrastructure project application.
  • Washington County – Attended meeting to discuss potential EDA application for Mullican Flooring in Johnson City.
  • Greene County – Attended meeting to discuss FIDP/EDA application for prospective industrial plant in lower Greene County.

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); the project was bid and bid has been approved by EDA.  A preconstruction conference will be scheduled in the next quarter.  Phase II, which includes the water plant, will be bid at the end of 2017 or early 2018.
  • Greene County – (C&C Millwright EDA); there has been little change in the construction progress due to the complexity of the project.  The project is roughly 45% complete.
  • City of Kingsport – (Eastman EDA); the Raw Water Conveyance project construction is about 95% complete. A closeout package will be sent to the EDA sometime next quarter.
  • Town of Mosheim – (US Nitrogen EDA); construction is complete.  The final pay request is being prepared for submittal to the EDA.
  • Town of Unicoi – (EDA); Phase 1 – Rural Development – has been completed, as has Phase II – construction.  The final pay request is being prepared for approval by the EDA.
  • Town of Mountain City – (Parkdale EDA); the engineer Brian Frederick has been selected and the FTDD administration contract has been signed.  Design is complete and has been sent to the EDA for approval. 

Housing Programs

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

  • Carter County – 1 project

  • Sullivan County – 3 projects

 During the quarter, the District helped potential homeowners in the following communities apply for funds available through the Northeast Tennessee/Virginia HOME Consortium Down Payment Assistance Program:

Bristol, TN - 3 Potential Homeowners Helped Bristol, VA - 1 Potential Homeowner Helped
Johnson City - 3 Potential Homeowners Helped Kingsport - 2 Potential Homeowners Helped
Sullivan County - 1 Potential Homeowner Helped Washington County - 1 Potential Homeowner Helped

Environmental Reviews for the following are complete and the projects are ready for bid:                              

  • Bluff City – 1 Rehabilitation project
  • Johnson City – 1 Reconstruction project
  • Kingsport – 1 Rehabilitation project, 4 Reconstruction projects
  • Sullivan County – 1 Rehabilitation project

During the quarter, the District assisted with Johnson City Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to complete 1 Emergency Repair project, and 3 reconstruction projects.

During the quarter, the District wrote HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) Grants awarded to the following communities:

  • Town of Greeneville
  • City of Mountain City
  • City of Elizabethton

During the quarter, the District completed the bidding process for three rehabilitation projects in Hancock County.  Additional projects are under inspection and/or review.

During the quarter, the District completed one rehabilitation project in the Tazewell HOME Program.

Area Agency on Aging and Disability

The 29th Annual Conference on Aging was held on Tuesday, May 2,2017 at the Millennium Centre in Johnson City.  There were 260 attendees and 27 sponsors/exhibitors for the one-day event.  The keynote for this year’s conference was presented by Janie Walters, professional speaker and trainer.  Her presentation was called “The Garbage Truck Comes on Tuesdays and Fridays.”  This year’s Older Americans Month theme was “Age Out Loud”.  Workshops for the conference included:  The Changing Landscape of Protecting Vulnerable Adults; Blow A Bubble, Not A Gasket; Suicide Prevention; Living with Loss; Transportation For Older Tennesseans; The Many Faces of Dementia; Eating to Reduce Inflammation; What Older Adults Don’t Know About SNAP Could Be Costing Them; RX Abuse in Northeast Tennessee; Safety for Seniors; TennCare’s CHOICES in Long- Term Care Services and Supports; End-Of-Life Planning; Improve the Quality and Performance of Your Governing Board. 

 The Washington County SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council held its annual Senior Crime Prevention Academy (SCPA) on Friday, June 23, 2017 at the Johnson City Senior Center at Memorial Park Community Center.  Following breakfast provided by the Johnson City Senior Center Foundation and welcome from vice-chairman, Cathy Carter-Bisner, this year’s program included workshops on:  RX Abuse in Northeast Tennessee by Mark Stevans with the First Tennessee Development District; Advance Directives, Living Wills and Elder Law by Attorney Jim Wheeler, The Law Offices of James R. Wheeler; and Scams and Safety in the Community by Lt. Scotty Carrier with the Johnson City Police Department.  Door prizes were awarded at the end of the SCPA.

The National Senior Games were held in Birmingham, Alabama on June 2-15, 2017.  Tennessee was first in the overall medal count of 638 with 200 Gold, 199 Silver and 239 Bronze medals. 

CHOICES provided the following services for this quarter:


  • 713      Information, assistance and screening calls
  • 113      Home visits to facilitate enrollment into CHOICES
  • 202      Pre-Admission Evaluations and Medicaid applications submitted to TennCare and Department of Human Services                                                               
  • 147      Referrals to Managed Care Organizations
  • 5          Nursing home visits to counsel individuals and families on Long Term Care Services and Supports
  • 21        Community Living Support Ombudsman visits


 The average cost savings per year for enrollment in CHOCIES Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) versus Nursing Home Placement is $34,166 per person.  CHOICES HCBS enrollment continues to increase steadily.

National Core Indicators-Aging and Disabled Survey progress:

  • 19      Calls to schedule surveys
  • 38      Home visits to complete surveys

FTAAAD hosted a Housing Symposium bringing community partners together to discuss housing opportunities in TN, as well as the state’s plan to increase housing and prevent homelessness in all facets of life, i.e., aging, disability, mental illness, and others. 94 people attended.

Worked with the other AAAD’s across the state and designed a screening tool that streamlines the process and allows an individualized score to prioritize callers and determine the program/s for which they are eligible.

 Evidence-based programs and caregiver support programs and nutrition monitoring:

  • A Take Charge of Your Diabetes workshop started on June 12 at the Jonesborough Area Senior Center with 13 participants.
  • An evidence-based program display and nutrition presentation was provided in Erwin at the Clinchfield Senior Center Health Fair on April 19; over 50 participants.
  • The Caregiver Telephone Support Group calls included topics on Male Caregiving: It’s Different for Men; Tips for Traveling & Caregiving; and Understanding & Responding to Dementia Related Behaviors.  Three caregivers participated in these events.
  • Nutrition monitoring visits were completed at Kingsport Senior Center, Elizabethton Senior Center, Johnson City Senior Center, Watauga City Hall, Mount Carmel Senior Center, the Central Kitchen, and FTHRA provider monitoring.
  • A FTAAAD display table was set up for the Alzheimer’s Tennessee Caring & Coping Caregiver conference in Johnson City on June 6 with over 100 attending.
  • A presentation on caregiver stress was presented during the Caregivers Connect meeting at First Broad Street United Methodist Church in Kingsport on June 7 with 6 caregivers attending.

10 units cost contract amendments to increase the maximum amounts, and 8 senior center contract amendments were completed; 1 to increase travel expenses and the others for unit decreases.  FTHRA nutrition contract had to be amended due to transfer some funding from Title CI to Title CII as well as adjust Options funding.

16 unit cost contracts and 13 grant contracts were executed during this quarter.

All 16 unit cost providers were monitored by a site visit except for 3 Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS) were desk reviews.  Also conducted were 11 senior center fiscal monitoring visits as well as FTHRA and Legal Aid of East TN.

The final report for the SAFER Homes Project to the Community Foundation was sent on June 16th.  The home repair projects consisted of: 30 ramps, 4 roofs, 12 bathrooms, 7 floors, 8 miscellaneous weatherizations, porch, step, replacement projects.  FTAAAD expended $191,500.

Information & Assistance handled 2,262 calls, completed 289 intake screenings.  There was a large increase in calls from April to May.  April calls were 584 and it jumped to 844 calls in May and 834 in June.

State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) counseled 1,077 Medicare beneficiaries, held 14 public and media events, held 6 presentations reaching 90 people in attendance and attended 8 health fairs reaching 1,125 in attendance.

Home-delivered meals, homemaker, personal care, in-home respite, personal emergency response system and supply reimbursement services were provided to approximately 986 individuals.

86 individuals were referred to outside agencies for regular food boxes, services for the blind, utility bill assistance (including the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program), Salvation Army, Kingsport Meals-on-Wheels, Frontier Health, Crisis line, Sheppard’s Corner, Sheppard Center, Department of Human Services and USDA home repairs.

16 individuals received assistance from our Emergency Assistance Program to help with utility bills, water bills, rent, eye surgery and pest extermination.

The Public Guardian program served a total of 33 clients as follows:

  •          Conservator of Person and Property – 31
  •          Conservator of Person only – 2

The program admitted 3 new clients during the quarter.  A total of 6 volunteers were utilized with 4 providing direct services and 2 providing indirect services.


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

  • Prepared District Solid Waste Needs Assessment for Hawkins County
  • Provided assistance to the Hawkins County Emergency management Agency in developing a Disaster Debris Management Plan; coordinated meetings with Hawkins County stakeholders.
  • Completed a 5-Year Recycling/Diversion Analysis for all 8 counties within the region.
  • Conducted a Regional Solid Waste Planning Board Member Workshop on the importance of disaster debris management; included local EMA directors.
  • Completed and implemented interactive map of the region’s solid waste facilities.
  • Completed environmental report for Greene County Partnership project.
  • Worked on contacting individual manufacturers for response to recycling feedstock survey of industries throughout the district.
  • Worked on 2017 Hancock County CDBG environmental review.
  • Prepared 2016 Unicoi County CDBG environmental review.
  • Participated in Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation on-line grant system webinar.

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:

  • Coordinated a meeting of the RPO Technical Committee with presentations on corridor management agreements, services provided by the Tennessee Transportation Assistance Program, and local project updates.
  • Attended meetings concerning the US 11E Corridor Management Agreement.
  • Worked with TDOT and local stakeholders to identify critical rural freight corridors for potential funding.
  • Attended the Rural Regional Plan kickoff meeting for Dale Hollow RPO
  • Attended a Bristol Rail Coalition meeting
  • Participated in meetings of area transportation planning agencies.
  • Participated in the Tri-Cities Regional Transit Summit in Jonesborough.
  • Attended the NADO National Regional Transportation Conference
  • Completed safety requests for Sullivan County and the Town of Mount Carmel.
  • Updated the interactive map of TDOT projects, available on the RPO webpage.

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


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

  • Staffed 33 planning commission meetings.
  • Staffed 10 boards of zoning appeals meetings.
  • Staffed 4 meetings of a local legislative body.
  • Staffed 4 other local meetings concerning development and land-use controls.
  • Reviewed 12 requests for zoning variances.
  • Prepared 3 zoning ordinance amendments.
  • Reviewed 2 requests for rezoning and prepared maps and ordinances.
  • Reviewed 1 preliminary plat for a total of 2 lots and 2.37 acres.
  • Reviewed 28 subdivision plats including a total of 63 lots and 151.69 acres.
  • Reviewed 14 community development site plans for a total of 14 lots and 26.8 acres.
  • Provided continuing education opportunities on the topics of zoning and major thoroughfare plans for 1 planning commission or boards of zoning appeals totaling 2.5 hours of CEU’s for 5 individuals.

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 Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)) an Appalachian Transitional fellow to help further that work.
  • Begun planning a Regional Food Policy 101 presentation in partnership with Second Harvest, ASD, and elected officials in NE Tennessee and SW Virginia.
  • Coordinated outreach and promotion of Retail Academy for area communities to increase retail recruitment in five communities in NE Tennessee.
  • Planned and carried out the 51st Semi-Annual FTDD Board Meeting, held at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton.
  • Continued outreach with regional Anti-Drug Coalitions to provide support for regional efforts for a healthy workforce.
  • 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 County Wine American Viticulture Area, and Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association.

Workforce & Literacy Initiatives

  • Work Ethic Diploma:
    • Mechanization of the diploma is being funded by the Niswonger Foundation and is expected to launch this fall.
    • Promotion of the diploma has been done throughout the region at various civic clubs and in professional development settings for schools.
  • All area high schools should have students working toward this distinction beginning with the 2017/18 school year.
    • Work Ready Community (WRC):
      • Regional team members attended the third academy in Nashville which focused on the education perspective of Work Ready Community.
      • A regional press conference was held to announce that all counties are not officially listed as participating in the Work Ready Community Initiative on the ACT national website.  Coverage has been favorable and widespread.
      • County level meetings have now been held in Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, and Unicoi Counties.
      • Working on special pricing with ACT to reduce the costs for school systems to begin using the curriculum and begin the NCRC testing in the high schools.
      •  The Communications department at ETSU will have a student team working with the District on WRC fall semester.
      • FTDD’s Director of Workforce Initiatives continues to promote WRC through presentations to various stakeholder groups around the region.
  • Educational Development Index (EDI):
    • Presentations on need and the potential to fund have been made to chamber and economic development leaders
    • Presentations have been made to Eastman Chemical.
    • Official project proposals are being finalized with ETSU for submissions to Eastman Foundation, MSHA, Wellmont, BCBST, and Niswonger.  As ETSU will be the fiscal agent, they are taking the lead on this work.
  • Career Quest TN:
    • The contract with ETSU has been signed for Career Quest TN 2018 to be held April 12th and 13th.
    • All core team members have agreed to continue to serve.
    • Kick-off for planning meetings begins in August.
  • Faith-Based Addiction Recovery Events:
    • The District is partnering with the State of Tennessee and ETSU on Adoration 2017, which will be held on the campus of ETSU.
    • FTDD’s Director of Workforce Initiatives is serving on the regional event team coordinating the Holy Friendship Summit planned for May of 2018.  The summit will include national speakers and is in partnership with Duke Divinity School.

Calendar of Events


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