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Oliver W. Jervis, Chairman of the Tracy City Downtown Revitalization Committee, has announced the completion of the committee’s work. An application filed with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development on November 1, 2013 requested admission to its Tennessee Downtowns Program.
On February 1, 2013 Tracy City was advised it had been selected as one of six towns in Tennessee for round three of the program. The admission to the program included a $15,000 grant for downtown improvement.
The committee engaged in a yearlong study of principles of downtown revitalization that included seminars conducted by Tennessee Downtowns in Tracy City and other towns on the middle Tennessee area as well as webinars.
The committee developed a budget in July 2013 for projects to be funded from the grant. Three subcommittees were formed: (1) a Design and Green Space Improvement Subcommittee, chaired by committee member, Jeremy Fults with additional member from the committee, Sue Bouldin Parrot, architect, Clayton Rogers, and Historical Planner, Melissa Mortimer, from Southeast Tennessee Community Planning District; (2) a Promotion and Publicity Subcommittee chaired by Jervis with additional members, Cindy Day, Patrick Dean, Rhonda Pilkinton, and Marshall Graves; (3) a Downtown Economic Restructuring Subcommittee chaired By Mayor Larry Phipps with additional members from the committee, Nadene Fultz Moore and Emily Partin, and Pam Myers, C.W. Price, Neil Price, Bill Roddy, and Barry Rollins.
Projects completed with the grant funds are a Tracy City brochure that features the town’s history, natural sites for recreation, and hospitality including restaurants, dining facilities and shops. An internet Facebook site for Tracy City has also been developed and is being regularly maintained (facebook/tracycitytennessee.com). Several businesses have assisted with building, parking or site improvements.
New entrance signage has been erected on State Highway 56 on the north toward Coalmont and U.S. Highway 41 on the south toward White City. In addition, a new welcome sign for downtown has been erected on U.S. Highway 41 at the former Grundy County High School. Beautification improvements have been made at the Mini Park.
Other objectives of the Downtown Revitalization Program have come fruition including the acquisition of the site of the former railroad roundhouse, engine repair shop, and depot. Tennessee Department of Transportation has approved a $603,000 grant for construction of a ten-foot wide asphalt Mountain Goat Bicycle Path from Tracy City Elementary School through the downtown area to Nathurst Street.
On July 8, the mayor and board of alderman passed a resolution establishing Economic Advisory Council to continue the momentum for downtown business development, which has included six new businesses in the downtown area since the November 1, 2012 filing of the application for admission to the Tennessee Program.
On Monday, July 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. the leaders of the Tennessee Downtowns Program from Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will be at Tracy City Hall to conclude the Tracy City Downtown Revitalization Program and present material on their next level program, the Tennessee Main Street Program. All interested persons are invited.