CCT to administer $250,000 grant for A.Y. McDonald expansion

Published 6:02 pm Thursday, August 23, 2018

A little help is on the way for a company’s expansion effort in Carter County.

Located off Industrial Drive in Elizabethton, A.Y. McDonald is already in the process of their roughly $8 million expansion project which is expected to bring 36 new jobs to the area. During a special-called meeting Thursday morning at the Workforce Development Complex, Carter County Tomorrow board members voted unanimously to serve as the administrators for a $250,000 grant by the State of Tennessee, which was provided by the state as an incentive to encourage the expansion project.

Roughly a week ago, the fast-track grant was brought before the Joint Economic and Community Development Board. Jon Hartman, Elizabethton Planning and Development director, told the JECDB that they are unable to accept funds at this time due to the current structure of the board. During the meeting, members voted to allow JECDB Chairman Curt Alexander to handle the signing of all documents pertaining to the project and to appoint CCT as the fiscal agent to handle the pass-through money for the A.Y. McDonald project only.

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Hartman added that CCT is not receiving any compensation or charging any fees to serve as the fiscal agent. CCT will simply serve as the pass through for the money in regards to the A.Y. McDonald project and was selected due to their experience in the disbursement of funds and being an agency that can accept the grant funding.

Members in attendance were quick to point out the importance that A.Y. McDonald brings to the community. CCT members Richard Tester and Dale Fair both stated during the meeting that the board is willing to serve in any capacity that they can to assist economic development in the community.

Having CCT involved with the development is also a way to encourage cohesion between city and counties representatives. Members talked about the importance of working together on projects, locally and regionally, which was ultimately one of the reasons that led into the expansion of A.Y. McDonald.

The announcement of the expansion was made by the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP) months ago. The partnership consists of local communities across the region, including the City of Elizabethton and Carter County.

“Helping existing companies grow and working with the state and regional partners to get that done is one of NeTREP’s most rewarding activities,” NeTREP Chairman Chuck Perry said following the announcement of the expansion. “A.Y. McDonald is one of those employers that’s steadily having a positive impact on our local communities. We’re grateful for their decision to expand here and excited about what this will mean for the many families who will benefit from the new jobs created.”