TNBA Member Areas Awarded $1.2 Million for Economic Development Efforts

Posted: August 4, 2020

State Awards 8 Grants Totaling More Than $2.3 Million

Tennessee’s independent and cooperatively owned broadband providers are investing in the state’s economic future, and it is paying off.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced eight site development grants totaling more than $2.3 million, with half of those in areas served by Tennessee Broadband Association (TNBA) members.

“We know from experience that the accessibility of broadband is a key component in attracting industry,” said TNBA Executive Director Levoy Knowles. “Broadband is vital as we work to rebound the economy during this COVID-19 pandemic, and these sites were selected in no small part because of the work our members do every day to connect these communities to broadband.”

Grants include:

  • $100,000 to the Industrial Development Board of Coffee County to conduct due diligence studies at Middle Tennessee I-24 Rail Megasite. The site is located in Ben Lomand Connect’s service area.
  • $500,000 to the Industrial Development Board of Fentress County, served by Twin Lakes Communications, for site grading and preparation at Clarkrange Regional Business Park
  • $87,300 to the Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Lawrence County to conduct due diligence studies at Lawrenceburg Industrial Park. The park is in Loretto Telecom’s service area.
  • $498,750 to Decatur County, which is served by TDS Telecom, for grading and site preparation at Highway 641 Industrial Site

“These funds will continue to help Tennessee communities attract jobs and enhance the quality of life for their residents,” Gov. Lee said in a news release announcing the grants. “I congratulate the recipients and thank them for their efforts in building and growing businesses here in Tennessee.”

The grants are designed to help communities achieve Select Tennessee site certification and prepare industrial sites for economic development projects. Select Tennessee certification helps market industrial sites that meet program criteria.

“As we recruit new industry and support the growth of existing Tennessee companies, it is critical for us to have a robust inventory of shovel-ready sites,” Rolfe stated in announcing the grants.

The Site Development Grant program is part of the Rural Economic Opportunity Act and works in tandem with the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Select Tennessee program. Since 2016, the program has awarded 100 Site Development Grants totaling nearly $35 million in assistance to local communities.

Others receiving grants include:

  • $500,000 to Bristol Tennessee Essential Services for grading and site preparation at Bristol Business Park
  • $229,687 to Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board to construct an industrial access road at Corporate Business Park South
  • $100,000 to Hawkins County Industrial Development Board to conduct due diligence studies
  • At Phipps Bend Industrial Park
  • $294,582 to Lexington Industrial Development Board for grading and site preparation at Timberlake Industrial Site

To learn more information, visit the Site Development Grant program website.