Carter County Tomorrow set to focus on … tomorrow

Published 7:51 am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Carter County Tomorrow Board of Directors is looking to tomorrow as the group plans to start strategic Photo by Brandon Hicksplanning sessions this summer.
CCT Board Chair Richard Tester said the move toward the planning sessions came after Elizabethton’s City Council requested improved communication and a clearer picture of where CCT is going. Council broached these subjects during recent budget discussions, when continued funding for the agency was questioned.
“We want to put a strategic team in place that will help point the agency in the direction it needs to go in the future,” Tester said. “The city wants a clear mission from Carter County Tomorrow. A lot of that is communication, and others just don’t like the agency and want to see its demise. That would not be favorable for Carter County.”
CCT President Tom Anderson said the strategic planning team will review the name, mission, funding options, structure, foundation documents and future plans and target areas during the sessions.
“Do we need to be more specific?” Anderson said. “Do we need to restructure? We need to make sure that we are better focused for the future. We can’t be as effective and as efficient as we need to be if we are not. This will make us a better, stronger organization for the future.”
Anderson said CCT will seek t a facilitator for the group and would be contacting leaders from the city, county, Carter County Tourism Council and Chamber of Commerce to be a part of the strategic planning team.
Sam LaPorte suggested Anderson work with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service and the County Technical Advisory Service to see what information they had and if they could help with facilitation before arranging the sessions.
CCT also approved a contract with Parsons Brinkerhoff to complete the master plan for the West Elk Avenue development district.
Parsons Brinkerhoff was the lowest of three bidders with a bid of $38,627. Elizabethton’s City Council approved using $38,000 regional industrial development funds for use on the plan.
The other bidders were KimleyHorn with a bid range of $48,000 to $56,000 and McGill Associates with a bid of $78,000.
Anderson said Parsons Brinkerhoff had the staff on hand to start the study and would have it completed in three months after they were given the go-ahead to start.
“This will do the impact study which will be required if the city approves using that development area as a tax increment financing district,” Anderson said.
The study will give the economic impact and marking analysis along with an opinion of what business or development would work in that area.
“This is a huge impact to the city and the county,” Anderson said. “It is important to get this under way.
The board also approved the 2014-2015 proposed budgets for CCT, the Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Council and the Workforce Development Complex.

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