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Seven CDBG Grants Funded totaling $4 Million

Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter recently announced a total of $36.6 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) across Tennessee. Seven of which were funded in Northeast Tennessee totaling $4 million and will assist Baileyton, Elizabethton, Greeneville, Hawkins County, Mountain City, Rogersville, and the Town of Unicoi, with infrastructure improvements and health and safety initiatives.

The allocation of CDBG funds is based on priorities set through the public meeting process at the community level. The CDBG program is funded through HUD and administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development. Funds are available for water and sewer improvements, housing rehabilitation, health and safety projects and other improvements to enhance the quality of life in Tennessee’s rural communities. In addition to traditional community improvement and safety projects, funding was also made available for community development projects, such as sidewalk and walking trail improvements, street paving and community centers. 

Each of the grant applications submitted by the FTDD on behalf of the communities in the region were funded, something that Board Chair, Mayor Pat Shull expanded upon, “I am proud of the ECD staff at the FTDD for their efforts, seven funded CDBG grants is a great achievement, and as Chair I want to be the first to celebrate this. I know that the residents of Baileyton, Elizabethton, Greeneville, Hawkins County, Mountain City, Rogersville, and the Town of Unicoi appreciate the efforts of the First Tennessee Development just as I and the rest of the Board do when great news like this comes down from the State.”

Staff work closely with each community to identify needs that closely fit the requirements of CDBG funding. "The funding allows for much needed projects that address a range of needs from road, sidewalk, drainage, and park improvements", explained Ken Rea, FTDD Deputy Directory, Economic & Community Development. Often after all that work on the front end, what started out as an idea from a community becomes a reality.  Lance Lowery, Grants Manager with the FTDD shared that "Geneva King and I can’t wait to get started on these projects and work with our communities to transform these ideas into reality." Reiterating again the District's commitment to assist communities in implementing these projects. 

Below is a brief summary of each funded grant.

Baileyton $308,594

The Town of Baileyton plans to make improvement's to the community park by installing playground equipment and paving the existing gravel parking lot and access road. This will increase the use of the park by providing an amenity for families and will also make the park more accessible for those with disabilities.


Elizabethton $630,000

Elizabethton will complete a renovation of Franklin Pool in the Joe LaPorte Recreation Area to transform the pool into a modern, fully accessible, attractive community destination. It will involve reducing the size of the pool to allow for more efficient operations, the installation of a beach entry, reconstruction of the pool interior, and a new heater, filtration systems, pumps, valves, etc.


Greeneville $630,000

Greeneville's project consists of improvements to sidewalk and pedestrian facilities along East Bernard Avenue and West Bernard Avenue. Existing sidewalks will be replaced and additional sidewalks will be constructed to make the area more walkable.


Hawkins County $630,000

The Hawkins County Highway Department will make improvements to their facility to come into compliance with the County's MS4 Stormwater Permit. These improvements consist of constructing storage structures and spill prevention measures for secure storage of salt, aggregate, black rock and petroleum products to prevent leaching of pollutants into the stormwater runoff.


Mountain City $630,000

Mountain City will rehabilitate a multi purpose field within Ralph Stout Park to eliminate standing water and construct a new restroom buildings to replace the current outdated restrooms. This will enable the park to be used by a wider segment of the town's population and the make the park more user-friendly for visitors of all abilities.


Rogersville $630,000

Rogersville will make much-needed improvements to the Rogersville City Park, including the construction of a walking path and widened road to provide a pedestrian connection between the most heavily-used park amenities - the baseball/softball fields, playground area, and performance stage. The funds will also be used to repair and resurface the tennis courts, which will be converted to six pickleball courts and a multi-use court. Additionally, CDBG funds will be used to add the minimum-required ADA spaces and appropriate signage.


Town of Unicoi $630,000

The Town of Unicoi will utilize funds to complete roadway reconstruction of 5,000 linear feet of Massachusetts Avenue. The proposed reconstruction will address severe roadway subsidence attributed to loose gravel backfill around the sewer main that runs under the road and a high groundwater table in the project location. These improvements will alleviate the bumpy and hazardous driving conditions on the road for residents and children transported on school buses, and make future development on this road more feasible.

For questions about this or other District news, please contact Mark Stevans,

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