Tag Archives: April 2019

Planning Ahead for Roane County

{Ron Woody, Roane County Executive}

The county has recently taken some progressive steps in planning the county’s future. If one feels that nothing has been accomplished we understand, but below the surface, work has been going on, plans have been formulating, and execution of plans have taken place and/or are ready to take place. So, what plans are we talking about?

First, I think more of our county leadership recognizes that Roane County is not an industrial mecca. As an industrial agent recently said, “More than half of our proposals are put in the waste can because we are in a high wage, low unemployment area and new companies do not want to compete for the workforce.” The high wage, low unemployment is due to TVA, DOE, and related contractors. Slowly, a shift in thinking is taking place. What are our county’s assets? Great climate, a beautiful water system of rivers in Tennessee, Emory and Clinch, and friendly cities and communities. Maybe investments should be made in our recreation and tourism industries?

The county has been putting plans together for years for recreation and tourism development and as noted in last month’s newsletter, has hired master planners to complete the process. This year the county is eligible for a $250,000 recreation grant but we must match $250,000 local funds. The county does not have $250,000 but has taken the needed steps in the 2020 Budget to secure a large portion. Further, the county is applying for Tennessee RiverLine 652 project from the University of Tennessee. More details about this will be discussed in a future article.

The county is further working with Legacy Park Foundation and the National Park Service as the Manhattan Project Historical National Park is coming online in Roane County.

New trail systems, (both land and water), a National Park within Roane County, new courtesy boat docks on the reservoir, enhancements to Riley Creek Campground, and other recreation assets are helping Roane County lay the foundation for a vacation, recreation, and tourism destination.

More to come…

Roane Alliance 2018 Annual Report

{Pam May – Interim President & CEO, The Roane Alliance}

Much of the work the Alliance does is behind the scenes or promoted outside the county, making it a challenge for residents to really know what the Alliance does or who we are. Each year the Alliance publishes an annual report, providing a snapshot of the prior year’s projects and accomplishments. In addition, this year’s report also provides details about the Alliance and its staff and how the team works to increase economic prosperity for Roane County and its residents.

The report is now available online at RoaneAlliance.org/report or for a copy call 865.376.2093

Here are just a few of the highlights from the report:

  • Roane County had the lowest unemployment since 2004, and within 0.1% of the national average;
  • There were 383 jobs grown in our industries, providing one of the largest net job growths in over a decade;
  • 143 Roane County graduates became Tennessee Scholars – a new record;
  • Every middle school teacher in Roane visited five participating industries through the Educators in the Workplace program, and not only a first for Roane but also for the state
  • Roane was awarded the Seal of Approval from the American Association of Retirement Communities (AARC);
  • Visitors spent $69.82M in Roane County, an increase of $2.33M over the previous year;
  • Chamber event attendance increased by 59%, with more than 1,500 Chamber members and customers coming out in support of other members;
  • Expansion and remodel of the K-25 Overlook – to be open very soon;
  • Watts Bar Lake was featured on Fox 43’s Knoxville Weekend and in a full-page editorial in Travel South Magazine;
  • Bradbury Community Club and the John Muir Fest were featured in Ohio Magazine; while
  • 1,474 social media posts promoted events and attractions throughout the year.

Staff Retreat and Visioning

{Bonnie Angus, Roane County Executive’s Administrative Assistant}

The Directors of Roane County met on March 13, 2019, for their 6th annual staff retreat and visioning meeting. The focus of this meeting was to discuss our vision for Roane County’s future and what goals we need to meet in order to be successful. Ron Woody, (County Executive), asked, “What do we want to be or where are we forced to go?”

A director from each county department presented slideshow presentations about what their focus points and current goals for the next 5-10 years such as building improvements to the county courthouse, better coverage and response time for Emergency Medical Services, and the completion of the ADA Transition Plan with Building Codes, and Zoning. Roane County has many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead but with each department working together we are confident our goals and visions for a bright future will be met.

Roane County High School Band is Heading to Nashville

{Zackery Williamson, Roane County Schools}

The Roane County High School Wind Ensemble (Band) has been invited to perform at the 2019 Tennessee Music Education Association State Conference, to be held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville April 10-13, 2019. The band has also been asked to be the performing ensemble at the 2019 Tennessee Bandmaster’s Hall of Fame Concert. The band’s performance will be held in the Tennessee Ballroom CD on Thursday, April 11th at 9:00 p.m. With this performance coming up the band has had a special guest visiting their rehearsals. Colonel Thomas Rotondi retired Commander of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C.; Colonel John Bourgeois retired Commander of the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band; Dr. John Culvahouse retired Band Director Univ. of Georgia and Kennesaw State Univ.; Roy Holder retired Band Director Lake Braddock High School, Virginia; Joseph Hermann current President of the American Bandmasters Association and retired Director of Bands Tennessee Tech Univ., just to name a few. People are welcome to come and visit a rehearsal at Roane County High School as we prepare for this performance.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

{Brian Matthews, Roane County Highway}

Creedence Clearwater Revival wanted to know, “Have you ever seen the rain?” Yes, yes Roane County has seen the rain. We have been dealing with working thru the recent damages caused by the rain. We have taken the county commissioners to see the damage and we were visited by TEMA and FEMA to check on the storm damage, too. Right now estimates of damage are $7,660,000.00 and climbing. We are working closely with Tim Suter and his staff to make sure things are back to normal as quick as possible. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 865.882.9782.

Commissioner Flood

Tanglewood

Winton Chapel Before

Winton Chapel After

Tennessee Elevates to a Level 3 – State of Emergency

Numerous rounds of heavy rainfall and flash flooding moved across the state starting February 6th. This rainfall set new records across many locations in Tennessee for the month of February and nearly the entire state received between 10”-20” of rain. Flooding during this time caused widespread damages to roadways, homes, farms, infrastructure, and communities.

Roane County’s Office of Emergency Service responded to support the local fire departments, law enforcement, EMS crews, Roane County Highway Department and the Roane County Rescue Squad to deal with the immediate threats to life and property. Communication with local governments, utilities, and county departments started early to assess the damages caused by the rainfall.

Estimates are approaching $10M to repair the losses in Roane County. New hillside slides are still being identified creating major safety concerns on our roadways so this number could continue to grow. We established an e-mail address Roane.EMA@roanecountytn.gov for residents to self-report damage to their homes or businesses in addition to our crews being out completing damage assessments. All of the information is compiled and reported to TEMA on a daily basis. Seventy-six of our county residents have reported some level of damage to their homes. Residents are urged to call the TEMA Assistance Hotline at 1-833-556-2476 for flood damage assistance.

While flood waters have largely resided across the state, the Tennessee River still remains at the action and minor flood stage, the Mississippi River remains at a minor flood stage, and the Obion, Hatchie, Cumberland, and Stones Rivers remain at action flood stages. Locally, we continue to see new slides along our roadsides. Our Highway Department is working hard to make our roads safe as quickly as possible.

The State of Emergency is still active and the danger is still present. Please do not move safety barricades or signage. Public safety is of the utmost importance. Roads will be opened as soon as they are safe.

Message from the Director of Accounts and Budget

Dear Readers,

It has been some time since I have reported to you on the status of our office. We have been busy since the completion of our Fiscal Year Ending 2018. Listed below are some of our accomplishments:

1) We managed to finish the year with a clean audit with no findings

2) We have upgraded our server and with that allowed us to implement Docket Management

a) With this software, we are able to scan our documents that will all us the capability to pull an invoice from the system instead of digging through boxes. TIME SAVER!!!

3) We have upgraded the file room to allow for a larger office to be occupied

4) We have part-time employees helping with the scanning process and thankful for the volunteers

5) We have started the Budget Process 2020 and included in this newsletter will find our schedule for the next few months. Descriptions on what we will be working on may change depending on the availability of data for those funds.

Our office is always available for any questions you might have during this process and also for questions related to the current year operations.

From our staff, we wish you all a very Happy Easter!!

Respectfully,
Connie Cook-Aytes, Director of Roane County Accounts and Budgets