Members of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board are scrambling to meet a deadline this month to continue the county’s distinction as a Three Star Community.
According to Warren County Executive John Pelham, the state has made changes to the program and the county has until March 31 to submit its application to be considered.
“We need to get our information together in the next week or so, generate a final draft and meet one more time this month to vote on it,” said Pelham. “I hate to rush everyone, but we have to submit this by March 31.”
The statement was made during the county’s bi-monthly JECDB meeting on Wednesday. Among those in attendance were McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley, Morrison Mayor Sue Anderson, Chamber president Alicea Weddington, MES general manager and CEO Rodney Boyd, industrial representative Andy Putman, agriculture representative Gary Martin, and planner Tommy Lee.
The Three Star program is offered by the Department of Economic and Community Development to represent performance, accountability, and efficiency.
By the Tennessee website, the “newly redesigned Three Star program is geared to assist your community development efforts and ensure you compete at a higher level through enhancing and improving community assets.”
The newly revised program is designed to focus on certain areas that have been identified as critical to ensuring the success of Tennessee communities:
• Jobs and economic development
• Fiscal strength and efficient government
• Public safety
• Education and workforce development
• Health and welfare
Being considered a Three Star community translates to money because those with the distinction will retain the state’s incentive dollar match for counties with an economic development project and will also provide a higher state match to counties demonstrating improvement across all five focus areas. New grant dollars will go to tier two and tier three communities that show improvement in focus areas.
The board meets bi-monthly. However, information will be compiled and voted on during a special called session of the board March 20 in order to meet the March 31 deadline.