Haslam barnstorms eastern Tennessee, doling out grants
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam visited eastern Tennessee Tuesday, announcing several grants that will make the state a healthier place for its residents.
PIKEVILLE: The City of Pikeville and Bledsoe County are the recipients of a $59,200 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program grant to help fund a new farmers market pavilion.
Gov. Bill Haslam was on hand in Pikeville for the announcement Tuesday. In a news release, Haslam said “I’m happy to announce this grant to help the county and city build a farmers market pavilion to better serve the area’s needs. The grant is part of our efforts to increase economic activity in our rural communities by responding to the growth in and demand for Tennessee’s fresh and local farm products.”
The grant was made in response to a proposal by both the county and city to provide matching funds for the construction of a permanent pavilion for year-round use. The proposed 40 X 56-foot pavilion will be located at the site of the existing part-time market located in the downtown area of Pikeville.
The TAEP Farmers Market Capital Development Grant Program’s purpose is to increase income to Tennessee farmers by providing assistance for the establishment or improvement of farmers market in communities throughout the state.
The program is funded through the state’s cigarette sales tax and was established in 2005 to help increase farm income and rural economic activity.
DUNLAP: Later in the day, Haslam and Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer announced a $591,141 transportation alternative grant to the city of Dunlap to connect residential areas near Coops Creek with the downtown via a greenway expansion.
Phase II of the Coops Creek Greenway Project, located at the beginning of Highway 127 and continuing along the edge of the creek. Included will be parking, bicycle racks, and a gathering area for public events.
The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement, and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).
MONTEAGLE: Haslam then visited Monteagle, where a grant of nearly $820,000 will be used to expand the exisiting Mountain Goat Trail and connect the town with nearby Tracy City.
The grant will also fund a key section of the Mountain Goat Trail, a projected 35-plus mile trail linking Franklin and Grundy counties.
The town of Monteagle was awarded a $216,320 grant for a Pedestrian Corridor Extension Project. About 2,000 feet of 5-foot sidewalks on the east side of Highway 64 will start at Dubose Street, heading south to Elgin Drive.
A new pedestrian crosswalk will also be created across Highway 64 at the Monteagle City Ball Park.
Tracy City received a $603,569 grant to fund the Downtown Sidewalk and Mountain Goat Trail Connector Project.
The project will provide pedestrian and bicyclist enhancements to the historic downtown business district, including a multimodal path and trailhead parking.