Almost half a million dollars has been awarded to the Town of Tazewell by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). The Town of Tazewell was named a recipient of a 2012 Enhancement Grant from TDOT.
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer presented a check on Wednesday for $466,604 to Mayor Wayne Jessie and Claiborne County Mayor Jack Daniels.
“These enhancement grants come out of federal funding, for things other than road projects,” said Schroer.
More than $270 million in grants have been distributed by TDOT. The money has gone to almost 200 communities across the state to build sidewalks and greenways, bike and pedestrian trails and to renovate historic train depots and other transportation related structures.
“This money can make a huge difference to small areas like this one,” he said, adding that 22 grants were awarded.
Locally, the grant funding will be used for a downtown sidewalk improvement project, he said. It will consist of replacing the existing sidewalks and placing the utilities underground along Main Street in Tazewell.
“This kind of project takes cooperation and commitment from everyone,” said Jessie. “The positive approach from our city council has allowed us to be here today.”
Jessie thanked the Tazewell City Council members, retiring Sen. Mike Faulk and Rep. Dennis “Coach” Roach, as well as Gov. Bill Haslam for working together.
“This is an example of how governments can work together at all levels,” Jessie said.
“This project will help to redevelop the historical downtown area and help attract different downtown businesses,” Daniels said. “These are much needed improvements. This makes me proud to be a part of Claiborne County.”
According to Robin Mason, Director of Economic Development for the county, bidding will soon take place on the work and the actual construction will hopefully begin around the end of December.
“We’re hoping to bring this area back to life,” she said.
The impact of some of the projects is primarily local, whereas the wildflowers grown on roadways across the state can be enjoyed annually by thousands of Tennesseans and tourists. Whether large or small, the projects serve the same purposes: improving access and providing a better quality of life for people in the state.