Local cleanup group takes next steps to join state beautification program

Published 8:05 am Saturday, April 23, 2016

While the goals of Carter County Proud, have remained the same — to clean up litter across the county — the members’ vision has consistently grown. Most recently, the board has approached various community members seeking support for the organization to become an affiliate of Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTB).

Carter County Proud founder Edward Jordan said this will give the county access to funding, assistance from the state with materials, and opportunities to educate youth and residents about the importance of keeping the county clean. He said it is not only the responsibility of citizens to take pride in their county, but it is also a step in the right direction for tourism and industrial development initiatives.

The move to join KTB has garnered the support of County Mayor Leon Humphrey and Tourism Task Force Chair Cody McQueen, as well as various County Commissioners and citizens in the city and county.

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On Monday, April 25, the group, along with the Director of KTB Melissa Marshall, will present to the Tourism Task Force the benefits of becoming an affiliate. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Airport Conference Room, and Jordan said the public is invited to join and support the cleanup of Carter County.

“Becoming an affiliate will enhance our efforts of ridding our beautiful county of litter and dump sites, and also give us access to many other great benefits that will enrich and beautify our county,” Jordan said.

Some of the benefits he mentioned include grants, education and enforcement.

“KTB also assists in tree planting, cleanup, booths at special events and much more by providing materials, guidance and multiple tools,” Jordan said.

If the Tourism Task Force chooses to take the next steps towards becoming an affiliate, Carter County will invest a portion of its tourism funding from the hotel/motel tax into the program, but Jordan said it is well worth it for the experience and benefits provided. Jordan said that in most counties, the tourism board and Chamber of Commerce operate the program, and Humphrey recommended the same model for Carter County.

“Marshall will also explain to our county officials how to proceed with the application process,” Jordan said.

To learn more about the program, which is funded by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, visit www.keeptnbeautiful.org.

“Please attend this very important meeting in support of our effort to become an affiliate of KTB,” Jordan said. “ We are also extending this invitation to many groups that are currently involved in our community in various cleanup efforts. This is a major milestone in our effort of cleaning up our beautiful Carter County. Your help is needed to make this happen.”