Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 26, 2014

Motion for job work session with small businesses fails

By Gary Nelson
Senior staffwriter

CROSSVILLE — One county commissioner requested holding a work session with small business owners in Cumberland County to encourage business expansions and the creation of more jobs in the county, but the motion failed after a brief discussion.

Johnny Presley, 3rd District commissioner, made the motion during the new business portion of the Cumberland County Commission's monthly meeting last week.

Presley said, "Some of these local businesses would expand and create more jobs if they had some help from the county like the other big companies got."

Jan McNeil, 5th District commissioner, supported the motion.

Carmin Lynch, 9th District commissioner, said there is already a committee in place that deals with the jobs issue and that is the Joint Economic Community Development Board.

"All cities in the county, the county and the Chamber are represented on the board. I agree with the subject, but I think it should start from the (county) board that's already in place," Lynch said.

Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner, chairs the JECDB and said the board was going to to hold a special-called meeting on Thursday, March 27, to address the The Tennessee Three-Star Community Grant.

"This is a vital meeting. We have to meet and discuss the grant and vote on a plan and submit it to the state or there won't be anymore grants," Rimmer said.

"Will the board work with the county?" Presley asked.

Rimmer said the JECDB meetings are open to all commissioners and meetings are published in the newspaper and announced and encouraged county commissioners to attend the meetings.

Presley's motion failed in a 15-2 vote with him and McNeil voting in favor. Other commissioners agreed with Lynch and would like to see a recommendation from the JECDB.

Charles Seiber, 4th District commissioner, did not attend the meeting.

The Joint Economic Community Development Board is scheduled to meet Thursday, March 27, at 5 p.m. in the third floor conference room at Crossville City Hall. The group will discuss matters relative to the state of Tennessee's Three Star grant program. There will also be an executive committee meeting immediately following the regular meeting. The public is welcome to attend.