Tag Archives: November 2018

November Was Another Busy Month for County Government – Dec 2018

{Ron Woody, Roane County Executive}

The first week of the month had many County Commissioners at the Roane Alliance Gala. The Roane Alliance is the county’s economic development organization. This year’s Gala was once again well attended and supported by our local business and city governments. The Alliance was established in 2001 and has been led by four CEOs over the years. The Alliance is once again in search of a new leader as Wade Creswell has taken a position at Oak Ridge National Lab. Best wishes to Wade and thank you for your public service. The second week the commissioners honored a group of eight new Roane County Treasures. Roane County Treasures is a program started in 2007 that honors men and women who lived and contributed to the betterment of Roane County. A list of Treasures can be found on a plaque on the first floor of the Courthouse.

In the third week, County Commissioner Charlotte Bowers and Executive Ron Woody joined Oak Ridge Representatives at an intergovernmental meeting. They met with the Department of Energy (Oak Ridge Office and Washington DC Office), Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and State Legislators to discuss the environmental clean up of the Oak Ridge Reservation and the challenges of cleaning the legacy DOE site.

The commission met the fourth week of November to approve a significant resolution that starts capital improvements for our county schools. For the first time in eight years, the county approved issuing debt. The debt may only be issued for large projects, and school building project qualifies as a large project wherein 7.1 Million in bonds were approved. We anticipate construction will start on the Oliver Springs Middle School conversion to a Middle and High School will begin in late Spring early Summer. This project is estimated over 5 million and another one million was approved for a new sewer plant to service the Midway elementary, middle and high schools. Part of the bond’s proceeds will be shared with the Oak Ridge School system for their county projects.

The County Commission further discussed possible legislation regarding the TVA ash spill at the County Commission meeting. More to come on these issues as a special meeting will be held on December 4th. The commissioner’s plates are full with the TVA Kingston ash spill issues, potential jail construction, and further capital education improvements. Stay tuned.

Founders Day – Nov 2018

{Amber Cofer, Assistant to the County Executive}

Pause and Honor Our County’s Treasures
Roane County was officially founded on November 6, 1801. In 2007 Roane County began celebrating Roane County’s Birthday with the Founder’s Day Celebration by naming a Class of Roane Treasures each year. Every year we pause to honor the individuals who have shaped Roane County into the county it is today. These individual have made tremendous contributions not only to our county but also the state and nation. The Treasures are individuals who have helped shape the county’s history through different endeavors.

Roane County will be honoring the following individuals at this year’s Founder’s Day Celebration:
Roane Treasures (70-90 years old): James Little, Dillard Moore, Earl Nall, Jessie June Raby Nelson, and Alton Richards.
Golden Treasures (90 years or older): Gerald Lay, Charles Harris, and Warren Kocher We welcome all to celebrate Roane County’s 217th birthday as we honor the Twelfth Class of Roane Treasures.

Among those honored will be the first African American coal tester at TVA in Kingston, a senior fitness instructor, Boys and Girls Clubs mentors, military veterans and a WWII POW survivor.

What Does Roane County United Way Do – Nov 2018

{Dina Jackson, Roane County United Way}

What Does Roane County United Way Do and Why Should You Care?

I’m approached every so often with “I know United Way helps folks, but what do you all do?” Roane County United Way (RCUW) is first committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in our community by supporting efforts that provide basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and services that keep them safe and healthy. We work with programs, partnerships and agency services that invest in information services, transitional shelters and housing, food programs and emergency assistance. We focus on Education, Health and Self -Sufficiency of our citizens that want the opportunity to better themselves through:

Education: We keep track of kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading proficiencies, and employment success. We support programs that promote: school readiness, workforce skills development and disabled children reach milestones.

Health: We’re improving the health of our entire community through resources, support, and investment in nutrition and fitness, mental health services and preventative screenings and leading the way in service gaps such as dental services for working adults with no insurance.

Self Sufficiency: Stable employment and financial literacy provide a solid foundation for families and individuals to thrive. We’re helping individuals and families build strong, stable foundations through resources and programs that enable them to achieve stable employment and financial literacy.

We do this by partnering with local nonprofit organizations, supporting them through grants, providing workshops, and guidance when needed. This past year our community volunteer panel (made up of individuals from various experienced backgrounds) reviewed financial reports, service models and service impact of partner organizations. This panel recommended that the RCUW financially support 22 programs that met with our mission. We organize the Teacher’s Supply Closet, host a MyFreeTaxes site, provide networking opportunities through our interagency meetings and more.

Why Should You Care? Roane County United Way inspires and creates positive movement for non-profits and the community. By providing training, professional development, and collaboration, RCUW pushes our community forward into innovative thinking-helping our “home” to move forward and to be successful. So please consider supporting the Roane County United Way.

GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER.

New Agribusiness Loan Program – Nov 2018

{Jamie Kinard – Roane County Executive’s Office Grants Coordinator}

The East Tennessee Development District (ETDD) received funding from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TGA) to start a new agribusiness loan program. These low-interest revolving loans are to stimulate farm and agribusiness income. The offer is to aid in the purchase of machinery and equipment that create, retain jobs or produce new markets for locally produced farm products. This new loan program is operated by the ETDD with oversight by the TGA. The max loan amount set is $25k. All loans have a minimum interest rate of 4.0% (2% below prime) for a max of 7 years.

Applicants must be a Tennessee resident and 18 years or older as of the first of the year. Applicants must operate a farm or agribusiness and demonstrate ability/ financial capacity to operate.

Tennessee farmers can procure buildings, greenhouses, remodel projects, aquaculture production ponds, harvesting, and processing equipment, beehives, coolers, irrigation, permanent fencing, livestock equipment, and grain storage. Tractors, property, travel, and salaries are a few of the ineligible criteria. More details will be available in December.

Revolving Loan Fund: Growing Jobs in Roane County – Nov 2018

{Amber Cofer, Loan Manager & Jennifer Suter, Reporting Officer}

In 1987, Roane County Government received Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) from the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) for the establishment of the Roane County Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

These funds were obtained to provide low-interest loans to local businesses, create new jobs, retain existing jobs and aid small business development. In essence, Roane County will act as a “bank” and accept the responsibilities of a commercial lender when making an RFL loan to a local business.

This program allows Roane County to play an active role in helping to create jobs and expand the business base in our community. Currently, our portfolio consists of 14 active loans and 23 loans that have been fully repaid. Each business loan is classified as a fixed asset or working capital loan. In a fixed asset loan, the money is used for the construction or renovation of real property or the purchase of equipment. Proceeds from a working capital loan are used to fund the day to day operations of a business, typical of a startup.

As of June 30, 2018, Roane County has invested $2,877,604 in local business and has generated $449,923 in interest income. There have been 871 jobs created and 369 jobs saved. Roane County’s EDA Board consists of members of the community who have specialized knowledge of lending and economic development. The County Executive serves as chair, the Board also includes a representative from the Industrial Development Board, a local bank officer, and two area business owners. This board approves loans that make it past the general vetting process before any funds are distributed. Because this involves federal funding, the County files a semiannual report to the US Department of Commerce to ensure appropriate internal control structures are being followed.

To be considered eligible for these funds, you must be establishing or expanding a business within the boundaries of the Roane County EDA plan. Hopefully, this article has given a bit of background on what this important program does and, more importantly, how it’s helping grow the economy of our wonderful county.

If you would like more information on the requirements and eligible activities regarding the EDA Loan, you may contact the EDA Loan Manager, Amber Cofer at the County Executive’s Office at 865.717.4103 or come by the County Executive’s Office and pick up an information packet.