Quarterly Report

First Tennessee Development District
4th Quarter Status Report

October — December 2016

Economic and Community Development

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

  • Town of Mountain City
  • Rogersville Chamber of Commerce

The District assisted the following communities that were funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission:

  • Town of Erwin – Trail Extensions
  • Erwin Utilities – Temple Hill & Bumpus Cove Broadband Expansion
  • Unicoi County - Rocky Fork Water Line Extension

The District assisted the following community that was funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission:

  • Town of Unicoi, Mountain Harvest Kitchen Incubator Equipment & Entrepreneurial Training Programs

The District assisted the following communities with Appalachian Regional Commission Pre-Applications:

  • ETSU, Tennessee Institute of Public Health
  • Johnson City
  • Greeneville Water Commission
  • Networks Sullivan Partnership
  • Sneedville Utility District
  • Walters State Community College in Greeneville                                               

District staff assisted Carter County with a Tourism Enhancement Grant.

Eighteen requests for Section 106 Review were submitted to the Tennessee Historical Commission, the most ever during a quarter.  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. 


One business in Sullivan County was assisted by the Business Development Loan Program. 

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) Design Phase
  • Hancock County, (Kiefer FIDP) Construction began on the gas line project and is about 90% complete.
  • City of Bristol, Meeting to discuss potential application to assist with infrastructure upgrades. 

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 design phase has begun and the WWTP plans have been submitted to EDA for approval.  The water project will be submitted at a later date once an engineer has been selected.

  • Town of Mountain City, (Parkdale EDA) The engineer Brian Frederick has been selected and the FTDD administration contract has been signed. Design will begin soon after January 3, 2017.  

  • Town of Unicoi, (EDA) Phase I (Rural Development) has been completed.  Construction has begun and is approximately 25% complete. 

  • Town of Mosheim, (US Nitrogen EDA) Construction is about 90 to 95% complete.

  • City of Kingsport, (Eastman EDA) The Raw Water Conveyance project construction is about 55% complete.

  • Greene County, (C&C Millwright EDA) Construction is about 45% complete.

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

  • Johnson County-Administration agreement signed, environmental complete and began working on the plans and specifications.
  • Mt. Carmel- Meeting to discuss a potential CDBG to address pump stations within the system.

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

  • Johnson County, (Parkdale ARC) The project is 95% complete. A final pay request will be submitted soon.  

Housing Programs

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

  • Completed 1 Project in Sullivan County                                                                             

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

  • Completed 1 Rehabilitation Project in Bristol, VA
  • Environmental underway for a Rehabilitation Project in Johnson City
  • Completed 2 Homeownership Projects:
  • 1-Johnson City
  • 1-Bristol, VA

Community Housing Development Organization funds were awarded to:

  • Horizon Community Development for a Rental Project in Sullivan County                                  

Work under the Johnson City CDBG Program consisted of: 

  • Environmental Review is underway for an additional reconstruction project
  • Contracts signed on 2 Reconstructions, 1 Rehabilitation, and 1 Emergency Repair
  • Completed 1 Rehabilitation Project

Projects under the Carter County HOME Program included:

  • Completion of 6 Rehabilitation projects
  • Inspections and work write ups are underway for 3 additional projects

Public Meetings were held in the following communities for their HOME Grant Programs and Application Intake has been scheduled to be held in January 2017: 

            Greene County                Hawkins County             

          Town of Erwin                Town of Surgoinsville   

The work associated with the Town of Greeneville HOME Program Grant was completed in the 3rd quarter.    We plan to apply for the Town of Greeneville in the new round of applications.   

Area Agency on Aging and Disability

 The Public Guardian program served a total of 34 clients as follows:

  • Conservator of Person and Property = 33
  • Conservator of Person Only = 3
  • Power of Attorney = 2
  • The program admitted 3 new clients during this quarter.
  • A total of 7 volunteers were utilized with four providing direct and two providing indirect services.
  • The program recruiting one new volunteer during this quarter.

Evidence-Based Programs and Caregiver Support Programs:

  • Four Take Charge of Your Diabetes workshops were held at Hancock Senior Center, Johnson City Senior Center, Jonesborough Area Senior Center and Elizabethton Senior Center with a total of 45 participants and a 67% completion rate.
  • Provided a Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management leader training in December and trained 6 new leaders for the area.
  • As part for the Tennessee Respite Coalition, we provided a Caregiver Luncheon in November to honor local caregivers during Caregiver Appreciation month with a total of 28 attending.
  • Participated in the VA Stand Down event for homeless veterans and the VA Caregiver Resource Fair reaching over 300 veterans and/or family members.

CHOICES provided the following services:

  • 588  Information, assistance and screening calls
  • 145  Home visits to facilitate enrollment into CHOICES
  • 103  Pre-Admission evaluation and Medicaid application submitted to TennCare and Department of Human Services
  •  96   Referrals to Managed Care Organizations
  •  25   Money Follows the Person (MFP) surveys
  •  14   Nursing home visits to counsel individuals and families on Long Term Services and Supports
  •  6     Community Living Support Ombudsman visits

Comments received from individuals this quarter:  “Everyone I’ve talked with has been so kind and helpful. Sometimes when you deal with government programs it’s difficult, and at first, I was dreading it but everyone has been so kind, caring and respectful.  Very pleased.” “They were phenomenal.” “It was quick to get help.” “It is a wonderful program. We are very appreciative of the program.”

State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) provided the following services:

  • 36 SHIP events
  • 18 booths at health fairs
  • 9 Part D enrollment events – 141 people counseled
  • 9 presentations
  • 3,239 total client contacts
  • 319 face to face counseling
  • 1,491 phone call client contacts
  • 1,429 mail outs, miscellaneous contacts
  • Recipient of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) Innovation Project award of $60,000 from TCAD to increase low income subsidy and Medicare Savings Program counseling and application assistance through new and innovative ideas. 

FTAAAD received a $191,500 grant award from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to perform minor home repairs and modifications for 60 low-income senior households in the eight-county area.  The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is a charitable organization dedicated to enriching our quality of life.

FTAAAD was awarded a new contract in the amount of $62,526 from TCAD and the Department of Human Services to conduct outreach for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) /Food Stamp Program.    

FTAAAD received a grant in the amount of $1,560 from the Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation, an affiliate fund of East Tennessee Foundation to provide home-delivered meals for an entire year for one qualifying low-income senior citizen or disabled adult in Carter County.

Home-delivered meals, homemaker, personal care, in-home respite, personal emergency response system and supply reimbursement services were provided to approximately 900 Individuals during this quarter.   We have a waiting list of 1,984 individuals. 

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 District Solid Waste Needs Assessments for Hawkins County.
  • Prepared for District-Wide Workshop for solid waste staff to discuss upcoming TDEC grant opportunities and 2016 Annual Solid Waste Progress Report process.
  • Coordinated and attended Qualitative Assessment meeting for members of the Northeast Tennessee Regional Solid Waste Planning Board.
  • Worked on Environmental Reviews for Town of Baileyton, Town of Surgoinsville, Unicoi County, Mountain City and Johnson County for CDBG projects.
  • Worked on Environmental Reviews for Erwin and Erwin Utilities for ARC POWER Initiative projects.
  • Prepared Environmental Reviews for Main Street Rogersville and Mountain City for CDBG Façade Grant projects.
  • Prepared Environmental Reviews for Elizabethton and Bulls Gap for Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant projects.
  • Gathered data for 2016 Annual Solid Waste Progress Reports for Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties.
  • Provided technical assistance to Washington County on regional tire collection site operations. 

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:

  • Continued work on Erwin Street Improvement Plan.
  • Met with local highway officials and elected officials to discuss the TDOT Funding Guide developed by District staff.
  • Attended training events covering ADA Transition Plans, TDOT’s Driveway Manual and Intelligent Transportation Systems Infrastructure.
  • Participated in Corridor Management Agreement working group for US 11E in Sullivan County.
  • Prepared Bike/Pedestrian Crash Data document.
  • Prepared Commuter Pattern interactive map.  Available on the District’s website.
  • Conducted RPO Technical Committee meeting in November.
  • Participated in Road Safety Audit Review on SR36 in Washington County.
  • Attended TDOT Commissioner Schroer’s Summit in Kingsport.
  • Prepared TDOT Project Status Interactive Map.  Available on the District’s website.
  • Worked with Representative Timothy Hill and TDOT staff on safety improvement project on SR75 in Sullivan County.
  • Prepared interactive map of major traffic generators in the District which is available on the District’s website. Responded to various requests for data and technical assistance including traffic maps and counts, GIS information and TDOT grant programs.

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 21 Planning Commission meetings.
  • Staffed 4 Boards of Zoning Appeals meetings.
  • Staffed 2 other local meetings concerning development and landuse controls.
  • Reviewed 2 requests for zoning variances.
  • Prepared 6 zoning ordinance amendments.
  • Prepared 2 subdivision regulations amendments.
  • Prepared 1 amendment to zoning maps.
  • Reviewed 32 subdivision plats including a total of 73 lots and 179.6924 acres.
  • Reviewed 4 community development site plans for a total of 4 lots and 8.0663 acres.
  • Provided continuing education opportunities for 5 Planning Commissions or Boards of Zoning Appeals totaling 92 hours of CEU’s for 36 individuals.  The following topics were addressed:
    • Annexation
    • Powers and Functions of the Local Planning Commission in Tennessee
    • Stormwater Permitting
    • Subdivision Regulations
    • Zoning Ordinances
    • Site Plan Approval Process

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 and many more.
  • Continued to support the implementation of Team Awareness for local employers as a tool to address productivity, absenteeism and drug use in the workplace in partnership with ETSU and the region’s Anti-Drug Coalitions.
  • Continued outreach with regional Anti-Drug Coalitions to provide support for regional efforts on a healthy workforce.
  • Planned the FTDD Annual Open House for regional partners.
  • Assisted with the planning and implementation of a regional conference on local food systems and healthy eating initiatives in conjunction with Appalachian Sustainable Development, Second Harvest Food Bank & Appalachian Regional Commission.
  • Assisted Southeast Tennessee Development District Staff with the planning of the 2017 TDDA Annual Training Conference.
  • Assisted various regional tourism organizations with planning and implementation of projects including Tanasi Arts & Heritage Center, Main Street: Greeneville and Appalachian High Country Wine AVA. 

Workforce & Literacy Initiatives

Work Ethic Diploma

All area school systems are signed on and participating in the work ethic diploma program.  Plans are for the senior class of 2018 to be the first students region wide to be awarded the distinction.  We are working with Niswonger Foundation, ETSU and the TCAT Morristown on mechanizing the tracking of the criteria and a means for providing information to businesses.  To that end, the Director has facilitated two regional meetings with CTE directors and with guidance counselors.  In addition, the Director is meeting with area businesses to gain partners who guarantee students awarded the diploma an interview if they are qualified for the advertised job.  To date, four new companies have been added to the original list.

Work Ready Community

In October, a press conference announcing that all counties had applied and received acceptance into the ACT Work Ready Community initiative was held on the FTDD Rose Garden.  The mayors and area businesses participated in the announcement which received tremendous media coverage.

Fourteen regional core team members attended the first academy in Atlanta and have participated in a regional planning meeting since that time.  In December, a regional stakeholders’ event was held at the Gray Fossil site to introduce work ready community to area leaders.  Some 70 attendees learned about the process and heard from businesses (Eastman Chemical and International Paper) and students about why the National Career Readiness Certificate is important to our region.


The Director continues to work with Dr. Wood (Chair Quillen Pediatrics) and Dr. Hale (Asst Chair ETSU College of Education) on the early developmental index project.  The director arranged presentations to area superintendents and one for the area United Way directors.  We are seeking buy in and ultimately funding to do the mapping for our region.

Faith Based Initiative

The Director continues to work with the State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, area drug coalitions, Special Projects director and area volunteers to host community events for churches and faith based organizations to learn how to help people with addiction.  Events have been held in Johnson City and Bristol.  The next event will be in Carter County.

Diversity Champion/Young Professionals

As part of the regional diversity champions’ initiative led by ACFCU, the Director is partnering with the HR Manager of NFS, Larry Durham, to meet with young professionals around the region to understand what brought them to the region and/or kept them in the region.  Their feedback will be provided to area leaders in economic development and tourism and to HR leads around the region.

Calendar of Events


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