Economic board appoints CCT as fiscal agent for project

Published 3:32 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Members of the Joint Economic and Community Development convened Tuesday inside the Carter County Courthouse to discuss a handful of topics, including the acceptance of a state-based grant for the expansion of A.Y. McDonald.

The company announced in July they would go through an expansion project totaling roughly $8 million for the facility located in Carter County. The expansion is expected to bring in 36 jobs to the area.

Jon Hartman, City Planning and Development Director, indicated to the board that the State of Tennessee offered an incentive of $250,000 to the company as part of fast-track grant program to incentivize the expansion, which was accepted by the company.

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According to Hartman, the way that the board is currently set up, JECDB cannot accept funds at this time. In a way to get the funding to the business, Hartman alluded to the fact that the board could appoint JECDB Chairman Curt Alexander to sign all documents pertaining to the grant while also appointing a fiduciary (fiscal agent) to manage the funds for the project.

During the process of selecting a fiscal agent to accept funds, Hartman stated that two are able to handle funds expected to come in — Carter County Tomorrow and the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce. Hartman stated that if the board appoints an entity to handle the funds, it would only be for the fast-track grant and no other projects. CCT offered their services due to experience of handling funds and being a local economic board that covers the bases of accepting the grant, Hartman said. In the event there are issues in CCT accepting the fiscal agency role, Hartman added the Chamber would be willing to step in and accept the funding to be dispersed. Hartman also added that auditors stated if the grant passed through a local government agency — City of Elizabethton or Carter County — that a separate fund would have to be created, which could “take up to three months.”

The motion of Alexander being the representative to sign all documents was passed unanimously by attending members with Rob Toney making the motion, being seconded by David LeVeau. Appointing CCT as the fiscal agent, and the Chamber if CCT falls through, also passed unanimously with Toney making the motion and Delissa Lafleur providing the second. Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey was absent from the meeting.

With the approval, Hartman added the board of CCT is expected to meet in a called-meeting in the near future to begin work on the fiscal agency responsibility.

Mayor-Elect Rusty Barnett, who also serves on the board, brought up the idea of having the board being the agency that accepts the funding in the future, instead of having to seek out an agency for each project that comes through. Mitch Miller, CEO of the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP), stated that JECDBs in Washington County and Unicoi County are currently set up to accept funding for projects.

Following discussion, Alexander indicated that he would follow up City Attorney Roger Day and that the board could work alongside NeTREP to pursue of idea having the board to accept for future projects.

Hartman also added that the area’s first tax increment financing (TIF) project could be receiving the green light as soon as the end of this month, pending any setbacks.

Last month, the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency appointed a committee to review all applications that come through the TIF program. During the meeting, it was learned that an application had already been submitted for approval — a motel. Hartman added the application is going through the reviewal process and is expected to be placed on the EHDA Board of Commissioners’ agenda for their August meeting.


In other business, Miller provided an update on the progress of NeTREP.

The partnership, which helped secure the expansion of A.Y. McDonald, is currently in the process of organizing the Meet the Mountains Festival, set for Aug. 24-25. Miller stated the “base camp” for the event will be located in downtown Johnson City but that the event is actually for the Tri-Cities as a whole with surrounding areas offering events to showcase the outdoor opportunities in Northeast Tennessee. Carter County’s Watauga Lake and Roan Mountain State Park will be involved during the festival with a pair of events happening at their location.

Visit to learn more about the upcoming event.