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County looks for competitive edge
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Officials will be looking into giving Warren County a competitive edge on attracting new businesses by participating in a site-ready program offered by the state.
“We are in very exciting times for Warren County and McMinnville,” said Industrial Development Board director Don Alexander before the Joint Economic and Community Development Board. “I think you would find that over 95 percent of the communities in Tennessee would like to be where we are right now.”
 Alexander was referring to Warren County’s recent success in attracting companies like Miniature  Precision Components, Sansin Manufacturing, DN Plastics and Simpkins Energy, as well as the possibility of future expansion and attracting other businesses into the county.
To keep the good times rolling, Alexander recommended the county have sites certified through the Select Tennessee Certified Sites Program offered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
Sites must have a minimum of 20 developable acres, have utilities on site for a formal extension plan in place, have a boundary survey and topographic maps complete, have documented environmental conditions and geotechnical analysis, have minimized risk factors for development, and be certified by Austin Consulting and Foote Consulting.
According to TNECD website, the state has 25 certified sites. There is no fee charged to apply for site certification and TNECD has grants to pay the consulting fees for Austin Consulting and Foote Consulting Group to assist each applicant and to review the site. There will, however, be expenses associated with obtaining the professional studies and documents required, and these will be the responsibility of the applicant or site owner. 
Having sites that have already been certified gives communities a competitive edge in attracting businesses that are looking for a building or a property that’s ready to go, says Alexander.
“Time is money for these companies,” he said. “They are all in a hurry. Much like having something available is a plus for us, so is having site certification. Having the site certified means we had all the work done, including surveys, maps, core drillings and plans for electrical, water, sewer. They can be constructing in a matter of days. They wouldn’t have to wait.”
Alexander says he has two sites under consideration for certification, with one located in the Mt. View Industrial Park and one site yet to be secured by the IDB.
JECDB members gave Alexander permission to apply for a grant and begin the process.