TIPTONVILLE, Tenn., Dec 11, 2013 -- Lake County Mayor Macie Roberson today recognized the contributions of five local, state and federal agencies that worked together to help Lake County Industrial Site at the Port of Cates Landing fulfill the requirements for certification under the State's Select Tennessee Certified Site program. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Field Representative Charles Marquis, USDA Rural Development (RD) Area Director Harriet Cannon, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation (GEMC) President Dan Rodamaker, participated in the event at the Lake County Courthouse.
According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development website the certification program sets a consistent and rigorous standard that businesses can rely on in making critical location decisions. "In our globally competitive world, business decisions are made quickly—especially when those decisions involve meeting the immediate demands of the market. A well-prepared site alleviates risks and costs for a company."
Roberson noted the certification has been a regional effort and expressed gratitude to Reelfoot Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcia Mills for coordinating the partnership of five funding agencies. Grant funding included $19,950 from TVA, $12,076 from USDA Rural Development, $7,500 from TNECD, $679 from GEMC and $550 from NWTDD. The funds were used to complete the required archeological survey, to update the environmental assessment and conduct a survey of railways for the final Select Tennessee Site Certification. The certification is good for three years and can be renewed.
"Certification puts Lake County and the Port of Cates Landing on the map, literally," said Cannon. "This makes the Port a lot more competitive when businesses are looking for a good place to locate production."
Rural Development business enterprise programs help local governments and non-profit organizations improve local business infrastructure and promote job growth. The business loan guarantee program makes it possible for private lenders to provide needed financing for business start-up, modernization and expansion in eligible rural areas.
Others participating in the event included Rep. Stephen Fincher's Representative Ivy Fultz, Lake County Commissioner and GEMC board member Tony Bargery, GEMC Board Member Joan Mouser, GEMC VP for Economic Development Emily Sullivan, West Tennessee Industrial Association Executive Director Mike Philpot, and RD Business Program Staff Tyler Hayes and Mitzi Hailey.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Union City at 731-885-6480 ext. 4, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1497, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).