UNAPPROVED MINUTES

Loudon County Economic Development Agency/

Joint Economic and Community Development Board

Executive Committee Meeting

Loudon County Building Conference Room

July 23, 2009

 

 

The following members were present: Chairman Doyle Arp, Charlie Bettis, Lynn Mills, and Dale Hurst.

 

Also present were:  LCEDA staff members Pat Phillips, Kathy Knight and Stephanie Myers. 

 

Chairman Doyle Arp called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m. 

 

Approval of Minutes from the May 28, 2009 meeting

Minutes for the meeting were mailed/emailed to committee members prior to the meeting for review.  Dale Hurst moved and Lynn Mills seconded a motion to approve the minutes from the May 28, 2009 meeting. Motion carried.

 

Health Care Changes and Budget

Pat Phillips explained all three entities have been contacted regarding the agency being taken in under the respective health care programs, and each has said this is not a possibility.  The Tellico Reservoir Development Agency has agreed to allow the agency to come in under their plan, although there will be an increase of approximately $200.00 per month for the agency.  Overall, with the increased expense because of the Planning Department being relocated, the budget will increase approximately $7,500 per fiscal year.  Phillips continued that the agency will be able to fund this increase for the current fiscal year, but there will be a contribution increase requested from the entities for FY 2011.  No budget amendment was needed at this time, and no motion was necessary for this item.

Additional Business

Pat Phillips mentioned the upcoming renovations to the Williamson House that the City of Loudon has agreed to fund, which included pressure washing, painting the shutters, etc.  A rural development grant will be submitted to on behalf of the City for the handicap ramp, and the HVAC system.

 

Kathy Knight commented that the unemployment rate is now 10.1% for Loudon County, the second lowest in the Knoxville MSA, with Knox County at 8.5%.  The surrounding counties are higher, with the exception of Roane County.  The state rate is at 10.8%.  She also mentioned that Astec has cut their hours to 24-hour/week shifts, along with some salary cuts being taken.

 

Charlie Bettis asked about Christensen Yachts.  Phillips responded that he would not be surprised if the project ends up being bigger than expected.

 

There being no further business, Chairman Doyle Arp adjourned the meeting at 2:55 p.m.

 

_______________________

Stephanie Myers, Recording Secretary

---------------------------------------------

 

UNAPPROVED MINUTES

Loudon County Economic Development Agency/

Joint Economic and Community Development

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Loudon County Building Conference Room

July 23, 2009

 

 

The following members were present: Chairman Doyle Arp, Dale Hurst, Charlie Bettis, Lynn Mills, Jeffrey Feike, Rodney Grugen, Harvey Sproul, and Michael Bobo.

 

Also present were:  LCEDA staff members Patrick Phillips, Kathy Knight, Stephanie Myers, and News Herald reporter Greg Wilkerson .

 

Chairman Arp called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

 

Approval of Minutes from the May 28, 2009 meeting

Minutes for the meeting were mailed/emailed to committee members prior to the meeting.  Charlie Bettis moved and Jeffrey Feike seconded a motion to approve the minutes from the May 28, 2009 meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Financial Report Update

Kathy Knight prefaced the update by reminding the board that FY 2009 is currently being audited, and that the financial report figures may change contingent on any findings.  Treasurer Charlie Bettis reviewed the Balance Sheet and Profit/Loss Statement as of June 30, 2009 with the board.  Dale Hurst made a motion to recommend approval of the financial reports as given, seconded by Jeffrey Feike.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Executive Board Recommendations:

 

a.       Health Care Changes and Budget

Pat Phillips explained the Executive Committee had discussed the agency’s health care situation. Both the County and the cities were contacted regarding the LCEDA coming in under their health care plans, and in all three cases that was not allowed.  After speaking with Ron Hammontree with the Tellico Reservoir Development Agency, TRDA has agreed to allow the agency to come in under their plan, although there will be an increase of approximately $200.00 per month for the agency.  Currently the agency is on COBRA through April 2010. Overall, with the increased expense because of the Planning Department being relocated, the budget will increase by approximately $7,500 per fiscal year.  Phillips continued that the LCEDA will be able to fund this increase for the current fiscal year, but there will be a contribution increase requested from the entities for FY 2011.  No budget amendment is needed at this time, and no motion was necessary for this item.

 

Williamson House Improvements

Phillips explained the work that was being done at the Williamson House, which included pressure washing the exterior, porch and steps, painting the shutters, and some interior painting.  Furniture has also been purchased for the sitting room area.  He will be submitting a grant application to Rural Development on behalf of the City for handicap accessibility, energy improvements, and possibly some upgrades to the kitchen. 

 

 

 

Branding and Marketing

Phillips stated TRDA and the LCEDA have met with Trademark Advertising and signed a contract with them to design new marketing materials for the agency.  It has been 10 years since the last update was done.  The funding for this will come from Innovation Valley, so it will not affect the Agency’s budget.  The new marketing materials will be interchangeable depending on whether a prospect is interested in commercial or industrial development.  The binders will have a hub where a CD can be placed for the agency.  Later in the year the agency will be updating the website. 

 

Projects and Prospect Activity Reports

Phillips explained that the agency has submitted several large projects, including a VW project and a $400 million dollar project.   Several buildings have been shown to a Michigan supplier, and the agency is waiting on a follow-up from them.  Tier 1 suppliers for VW will be located onsite with VW, the Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers are looking for locations all along I-75. 

 

The Nationwide building has just become available, as they will be vacating that location in Sugarlimb.  This is a 70,000 sq. ft. building.

 

Phillips shared what transpired at the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) conference in Louisville, KY.  Although there was a smaller turnout than usual, the agency did make several contacts.  Knight added that several retailers had already been looking at Loudon County as a potential location, specifically Lenoir City.  A lot of them are looking for existing space.  All of the commercial properties at Sweetwater Creek have sold to a developer from Virginia.  They should be breaking ground before the end of the year for a new center.  The existing center where Food City is located also sold to a developer out of South Carolina.  Overall, Loudon County is in better shape comparable to the rest of the country.

 

Knight added that Innovation Valley hosted a Lunch and Learn Series at Astec earlier in the day.  Several from Knox and Blount Counties attended, along with a local teacher from Loudon.  Astec shared the skill sets they require, and highlighted the math requirements needed to run a C & C machine.  Astec offers classes for students to tour and learn about the requirements needed for their facility.  A lot of interest was shown in the program by the attendees. 

 

 

Additional Business

Phillips mentioned the agency will be hosting a lunch for area manufacturers interested in a degreed Maintenance Program being offered through Pellissippi State. There will be 20 full scholarships offered for this program for the first year.  The event will be held August 5, 2009 at Calhoun’s.

 

Knight shared the latest unemployment rate for the County, which is 10.1%.  We are still the second lowest in the region.  Knox County is the lowest at 8.5%, with Monroe County at 18.6%.  Phillips added the economists are not predicting a fast turnaround for the economy.  He doesn’t see the unemployment rate coming down to 6-7% for a several years.  Businesses will be very reluctant to start rehiring people and industries are finding ways to be more lean and efficient in their operation.

 

Chairman Arp said he received an email from Burt Robinson, the public information person for TVA, who relayed the concrete paving is done over the Hwy 321 dam and the striping is done.  They will be demobilizing all of the equipment by Sunday, and the lanes have opened up in both directions.

 

The Chairman continued that unless the TIGER funding for the bridge below the Ft. Loudoun dam is completed on the local level, the county probably won’t get the funding.  Phillips added that right now it is on the bridge bond program for next year, if it is passed.  The projects on for this current fiscal year will get funded, but there is no guarantee that projects scheduled for the next several years will be.  Funding will be based on the condition of the Tennessee economy.  He supposed that most likely the legislature will not fund the project because of the continued loss of revenue, but we may be surprised.

 

Harvey Sproul asked what had been done regarding the mowing at Centre 75.  Phillips responded that he is still waiting on quotes for the job. 

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.

 

______________________________

Stephanie Myers, Recording Secretary

 

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09-21-09