MANCHESTER, Dec 06, 2012 -- As rural communities grow they often outgrow basic facilities like police and fire stations, city halls and justice centers. Coffee County is one of those growing communities that has outgrown its current justice center.
USDA Rural Development (RD) State Director Bobby Goode joined Coffee County Mayor David Pennington and other local leaders today to break ground on the construction of a new 67,500 square-foot justice center just off Hillsboro Highway.
"This project provides construction jobs in the local economy now," said Goode. "And after the construction is complete it will provide better rehabilitation facilities for those who need it."
The partnership between RD and the county utilizes a low-interest RD loan of $22,000,000 to fund the construction of the center on a 44-acre site owned by the county. The center will more than double the current inmate capacity from approximately 192 to 402 and will include a workhouse, classroom, laundry, kitchen and medical support facilities. The current justice center was remodeled in the 1980s and is no longer adequate for the needs of the county. The new center will bring the county system in line with state capacity requirements.
Others participating in the event included Sen. Lamar Alexander's Representative Evann Freeman, Sen. Bob Corker's Representative Jane Jolley, Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman, Judge Jere Ledsinger, Sheriff Steve Graves, Jail Committee Members Anne Frisby, Robert Gilliam and John Hershman, Project Manager Elvis Butler, Architect Marion Fowlkes, TCI representative Bob Bass and RD Area Director Faye Rodgers, Area Specialist Doug Shelton and Area Technician Debbie Gilchrist.
Rural Development community programs finance construction or improvements to essential services like reliable access to clean water, wastewater treatment, healthcare, education, job training and first responder facilities. Loan-guarantees encourage private lenders to expand the availability of affordable financing in rural communities. Direct loans and grants create sound financial opportunities for local governments to meet essential infrastructure needs.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted at least 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in southeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Lawrenceburg at 931-762-6913 Ext. 4, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 ext. 1494 or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.