Members of the Claiborne County Industrial Board and Joint Economic and Community Development Board held a joint meeting on Friday, Oct. 13, but the Industrial Board could take no official actions due to lack of a quorum.
Board Member Tom Mottern asked that board members present review the minutes and provide any comments concerning their accuracy. County Mayor Joe Tyler Duncan participated in a discussion about appointing a replacement for Bill Stanifer and possibly enlarging the board. Individuals serving on the Industrial Board need to be county residents with a civic desire to serve and a willingness to work are needed. Individuals with industrial, manufacturing, or service industry experience are needed. Suggestions for nominations may be given to Dennis Shipley at the Chamber of Commerce or sent to the county mayor's office.
Participants at the meeting reviewed the Industrial Board budget and noted that there were a number of negative numbers in the report. The negative numbers result from County Commissioner failure to adopt a county budget as of the date of the Industrial Board meeting. A board member also noted that Crane, Thompson and Jones, (an accounting firm) has agreed to audit the industrial board's financial records. Duncan advised that the accounting firm had requested the necessary county documents to support the audit.
George Coots informed the meeting participants that work on the Blue Top water tank was underway and that work should be completed and the tank back in operation by December. The water tank is under rehabilitation and is being sand blasted, inside and out. Residents serviced by the Blue Top water tank may notice a decrease in water pressure during this time. The Claiborne Utility district is also continuing to work on the sewer line extension in Harrogate. They expect to complete that sewer line work in early January.
Meeting participants also heard second hand reports that local industrial leaders had been in contact with Gov. Bredeson about the seemingly interminable delays in completely the U.S. 25E road construction in (and leading into) Claiborne County. One report indicated that work would resume by the end of this month. This report was greeted with hope and skepticism.
The Economic and Community Development Board did have quorum
and after review and approval of the minutes of their last meeting, reported that they had participated in last month's Governor's Conference. In addition to winning an award for best county booth (a public information display to increase tourism and development in Claiborne County), the county was recognized for attaining Level III as a Governor's Three Star Community. This difficult achievement is worth considerable money to county governmental agencies and city governments in Claiborne County. Local government agencies that are awarded grants that require matching local funds get to reduce their contributions by five percent. While many people think that grant money is free money, most state and federal grants require local governments to fund some of the project's costs. Grants frequently come as 50/50 or 80/20 packages. In a 50/50 grant, the state will fund half of the project's cost and the local community will pay the other half. If a community is part of a level III, Three Star County, the state will pay 55 percent of the project and the community will only have to contribute 45 percent.
Duncan congratulated members of the Economic and Community Development Board for efforts and accomplishments.