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What would $1.5 million do for a town like Tracy City, Tennessee? We will soon have an answer to this question. For the last several months, individuals have been working tirelessly to come up with a solution to a problem. The city has grants it has been awarded totaling around $1.2 million. With a $300,000 match on behalf of the city, Tracy City could see a life-altering amount of money used for the mutual benefit of its citizens. The grants include renovations to the old Grundy County High School, two grants for sidewalks and streetlamps in downtown, and the construction of Tracy’s portion of the Mountain Goat Trail.
The old, beautiful building that was Grundy County High School is near and dear to many hearts in Grundy County. The grant for renovations to the facility would focus on bringing the building up to code for the parts that are usable, renovating the front wing, and bringing the gymnasium up to par. The city hopes that the building will be used for a variety of purposes. The gym would also be available for sporting events and for rental to the public. The classrooms will also be available for rental for anything from doctor and lawyer offices, to clinics and shops and parties, as well as vocational classes from local technical schools.
Recently, Tracy City was accepted to the Tennessee Main Street Program. The program is highly competitive, and only six towns in the state were given the opportunity this year. The city has two grants for sidewalks and streetlamps to beautify downtown and to make it easier for citizens and tourists to enjoy, with convenience, what downtown has to offer. These grants will be instrumental in helping Tracy’s Revitalization Committee achieve their goals of enhancing Main Street and making the city a great place visit.
The Mountain Goat Trail is a remarkable venture in itself. Many remember the train that used to come from Cowan to Palmer called The Mountain Goat. Many have told of how the conductor would throw candy and gum to children as it passed through town. The railroad in Grundy County used to be a vital part of the area’s culture. With the leadership of the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance, Tracy City has approved funds for easements and construction of walking and bike trails for the 5-mile portion in Tracy City. This paved trail will preserve the history of the great Mountain Goat and will provide the citizens of Tracy and the surrounding area with a beautiful place to exercise and to enjoy their town.
The venture of attaining a loan has not been an easy road. A $300,000 loan for a small town like Tracy City can be a scary thing. It has been met with stiff opposition. A primary argument against the loan is that the city simply cannot afford it, while others argue that it will do nothing to improve the city and will only be more headache than what it’s worth. At my request, Tracy City Alderman Seth Layne, Mr. Brad Harris with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) came from Knoxville to take a look at the city’s 2012 audit. After reviewing the city’s finances, Harris assured the Board of Mayor and Alderman that this venture is not only noteworthy, but also feasible for the city to accomplish given their current financial standing. Upon approval from the State Comptroller’s Office, Tracy City will be proceeding with all necessary measures to accomplish these goals.
The Board of Mayor and Alderman of Tracy City ask that you partner with them in helping revitalize Tracy City. As a community, Tracy City has never been more ready for positive change. The city has been given an extraordinary opportunity to change for the better, to make this city into what its citizens know that it is – a wonderful place to live and a beautiful place to visit.
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