Working with communities across the region, the First Tennessee Development District has secured $1.6 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for the Town of Erwin, Hancock County, and Greene County. The Community Development Block Grant Program provides annual formula to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities. The FTDD applies for funding on behalf of communities, and administer funds once awarded, and projects range from community infrastructure, such as sewer and water, to livability and sustainability which includes public parks and public safety.
Town of Erwin:
Utilizing $630,000 of CDBG funding, the Town of Erwin will improve and extend the town’s sidewalk infrastructure along S. Elm Ave, Love Street and Mohawk Drive. The project is proposed to replace an estimated 6,800 feet of existing sidewalk that is in poor and does not comply with the American with Disabilities Act and construct an additional 600 feet of sidewalk. “Sidewalk condition throughout town is a huge concern for our leaders and it is a high priority for us to get these busy thoroughfares brought up to ADA standards,” said Mayor Glen White, “we want to continue to be a very accessible, and walkable community. Upgrading our sidewalk conditions help achieve that goal.”
Hancock County will utilize $630,000 of CDBG funds to construct amenities at Hancock County Park. This project will implement amenities identified in Phases 2 and 3 of the Hancock County Park concept plan and will see the construction of a baseball field, softball field, bleachers, a playground, a restroom/concession building, ADA-compliant gravel walkways and parking areas, an asphalt access road, and general site grading. This will effectively build out the park per the Master Plan and provide all the amenities requested by county residents during the information gathering phase of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Greene County will utilize $420,000 of CDBG funding to purchase approximately 150 sets of turnout gear to properly outfit every volunteer firefighter in Greene County. This turnout gear will consist of a jacket, pants, boots, hood, and helmet. All turnout gear will also contain NFPA-standard reflecting with high visibility for the safety of the firefighter. There are approximately 273 active volunteer firefighters among the 15 volunteer fire departments and only 17% of these firefighters have access to compliant turnout gear. This severely hampers the ability to adequately fight a structure fire and inhibits the departments’ rescue and extinguishment capabilities. Much of the gear being used by volunteer firefighters in Greene County is nearing 20 years of age. This is nearly ten years beyond when the gear should have been replaced. “We are absolutely ecstatic about receiving this funding for our volunteer fire departments. This amount of funding is game changing for us, these departments, and our citizens,” said Mayor Kevin Morrison of Greene County. He went on to add that “I especially want to thank Lindsay Gainous with TNECD, Lance Lowery of the FTDD, and Greene County Fire Chief Ryan Holt for their hard work, effort, support, patience, and diligence in shepherding this crucial funding through to successful completion on our behalf.”
For questions specific to the Development District's Economic & Community Development program, please contact Ken Rea, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions related to this announcement, please contact Mark Stevans, email@example.com.