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Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has provided Tracy City with a grant to begin a downtown revitalization program. A committee appointed by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen has been working for several months to study downtown revitalization, develop a plan, and designate projects to implement the plan. Last week the readers of this newspaper were introduced to the historical significance of Tracy city that is the driver of the downtown revitalization effort.
The goal is to re-establish Tracy City as the commercial center of the plateau. The committee has created three working subcommittees, economic restructuring, design, and promotion. The committee invites all interested persons to join it in working on one of the subcommittees. Contact may be made through Nadene Fultz Moore, secretary for the committee, at Grundy County Historical Society Heritage Center at 465 Railroad Avenue in Tracy City, by phone at 931-592-6008 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money in the amount of $5,000 has been allocated to the design subcommittee to assist business owners in the downtown area to make face lift improvements to their properties. Southeast Tennessee Department of Community Development has provided the committee with an architectural historic planner to work with the design subcommittee. Design for façade improvement on three historic buildings on Railroad Avenue has been proposed to date. All funds allocated for façade improvements and work to be done must be expended and completed by June 30, 2014. All downtown building owners who want to participate in the program should contact the committee secretary as soon as possible.
A major project underway is the acquisition of the former site of the railroad roundhouse, engine repair shop and depot on the south side of Railroad Avenue. This property is in excess of four acres contiguous to the Mini Park and is intended to be developed as a central park for the city. A portion of the Mountain Goat Bicycle Trail is intended to be located along the edge of the park where the railroad tracks once ran. Negotiations are in progress with the current owner for purchase of the property through the assistance of Land Trust of Tennessee. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen have applied to Tennessee Department of Transportation for a grant to fund the cost of the Mountain Goat Bicycle Trail through the downtown area. The grant application is pending.
The promotion subcommittee has established a facebook site for the city. It is working on a print brochure. The brochure will be designed to attract people from outside the city to come to the city and environs for shopping, dining, recreation, cultural study and enjoyment. The brochure is intended to be distributed widely in the general area at visitors’ centers and similar venues.
The economic restructuring subcommittee is chaired by Larry Phipps, Mayor of the city. It is communicating with downtown business and property owners to explore ways the town government can assist existing businesses to remain viable. It also is working to attract new businesses to the downtown area. Temporary uses for vacant downtown buildings are being sought. One such use being considered is display area for the works of local artists and artisans. Artists, artisans and property owners interested should contact Diane Nunn at 580-37105585.