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City eyes $15K master plan
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McMinnville officials are considering a measure to provide $15,000 to create a strategic plan for Warren County.
Warren County is a ThreeStar Community, a program provided by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to encourage communities to implement activities that will impact the community’s competitiveness in a global economy. Participating communities are eligible for various benefits, including an annual grant.
The county’s participation is through the Joint Economic Community Development Board which oversees the annual evaluation that’s required by participating communities to ensure they are making progress to improve in several areas.
Those areas include: Jobs and Economic Development, Fiscal Strength and Efficient Government, Public Safety, Education and Workforce Development, and Health and Welfare.
Mayor Jimmy Haley made a request of the city Finance Committee to earmark $15,000 in the city’s 2017-18 fiscal year budget to fund the strategic plan, if needed.
 “As part of Three Star, there is a competitive grant we always apply for and we received last year,” said Haley, chair of JECDB. “That grant went for the design element for the advanced robotics training center. That was one of the things that helped sell it to the state that it was a partnership and we used the grant money toward an actual project that would come to fruition if the governor approved the $5.5 million grant, which he did.”
This year’s grant, if received, will go to fund the creation of a strategic plan that will be created by Upper Cumberland Development District at a cost of $15,000. Haley says a backup plan is needed if the grant is not awarded.
“The county will put the $15,000 in its budget request,” he said. “They’ve done it in the past because the county is the clearing house for all this. If we did not get the grant, we have to make sure we have a backup plan to do this one way or another and have our ducks in a row with it being in the county budget as well as the city’s budget, too, just in case. If we get the grant, it’s reimbursable. It comes back to us as soon as we complete the project.”
Finance Committee members agreed to consider the expenditure during this year’s budget discussions.