General Assembly Approves Legislation Aiding Morgan County

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The state senate approved a house amendment and sent to the governor legislation sponsored by Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) to assist Morgan County in attracting vendors to turn the former Brushy Mountain Penitentiary into a tourist attraction.  

Senate Bill 1708, which aims to recruit new jobs to the area, directs a portion of the state and local sales tax proceeds from items sold in the project to the Morgan County Industrial Board for 20 years.  The funds, which only exclude the portion of the sales tax used for education, will help retire the bonds that the county intends to issue to pay for the property and infrastructure for the site. 

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Morgan County to bring a significant private investment into the county,” said Senator Yager.  “This will be a major job creator and passage of this legislation was critical to assist in paying for the infrastructure for the project.”

Brushy Mountain Penitentiary is in the final year of a five-year decommissioning by the Tennessee Department of Corrections.  If the project does not move forward, the facility will essentially be abandoned by TDOC at the end of this year.

A private consortium has come forward to help develop and renovate the site into a tourist attraction, including a “moonshine” distillery.  In November, voters in Morgan County, which is a dry county, overwhelmingly approved a measure to allow the distillery to operate.  

“This project has the potential to revitalize our economy.  I am very pleased the committee has approved it,” Senator Yager said. 

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) in the House of Representatives. 


TDEC Announces Public Hearing Dates For 2015-2025 Solid Waste And Materials Management Plan

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced October public hearing dates in its process to develop the 2015-2025 Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan. Public participation activities for this planning process began in March with a series of four special focus meetings and continued in May with four public input meetings and one Web-based conference. ... (click for more)

Local Company Seeking Chase Bank Grant

AQQOLADE, a local professional services business, has applied for a $150,000 grant from Chase Bank as part of a newly launched program, Mission Main Street Grants. AQQOLADE has submitted a questionnaire outlining a business plan that will result in growth of the business and NEEDS AT LEAST 250 votes to be eligible for a grant. Clients, fans and community members can show ... (click for more)

Witnesses In 17-Year-Old Murder Case Say They Saw Hollingsworth Threaten, Mistreat Wife

Two potential witnesses in a 17-year-old murder testified Monday that they saw Adolphus Lebron Hollingsworth threaten and mistreat his wife Vicky before she disappeared in 1997. Hollingsworth, who is under $200,000 bond, is set for trial on Nov. 4. Orville Hughes said he lived around the corner from Vicky when he was on Chamberlain Avenue and they were on Duncan Avenue. ... (click for more)

Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)