From: Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy - Accomplishments for 2022/Goals for 2023
Top Accomplishments 2022:
- Two major industries began operations in the WC Industrial Park -
- Sungwoo HiTech America Corporation completed renovations of the 370,000 sq ft (former BushHog Building) and began production in the fourth quarter. They are contracted by General Motors Corporation to produce parts in their EV and autonomous vehicle program. At startup Sungwoo employed over 100 people.
- EMB-Papst celebrated the ribbon cutting on their new 175,000 sq ft building and were in full production in the third quarter. Papst manufactures fans and high efficiency motors as components for companies that build HVAC equipment and has already employed over 100 people.
- Water Line Projects in rural Washington County – The development of a partnership between Washington County and the Town of Jonesborough, establishing a shared installation crew, resulted in the completion of over 15,000 feet of water lines serving hundreds of new customers.
- Top 10 ranking in the state for election process.
- Industrial Park Expansion -
- Continued investment in Washington County Industrial Park with two projects totaling $5.4 million. First is a road extension project managed by TDOT which will access another area of the park.
- Second is a grading and storm water project creating two ‘pad ready’ sites to market for new industry.
Most proud to be associated with:
- Secured state funding of nearly $20 million for Bones Creek TCAT Satellite Facility. The State of Tennessee has agreed to fund the establishment of a TCAT Satellite facility at the former Boones Creek Elementary School site. An architect has been engaged and is working on a plan that includes renovation of part of the existing structure, a demolition project and construction of new Tech Center classes will begin in the fall of 2023 at the renovated space.
Challenge for 2023:
- Labor Force for Industry and Business - Attracting new business and industry is critical to GDP growth in our community and available workforce is a key element of consideration in the process. Currently, our unemployment is very low, creating a shortage of available workers.
- Manage infrastructure development with population growth - The recent surge in population growth in Washington County creates demand on road, water distribution, schools and County government services.
Issues to resolve:
- TCAT Opening - To support the demand for workforce in our region, the TCAT Satellite will provide training in multiple areas. Using the ‘Middle College Model’, high school students will be trained in a specific trade while completing their class studies and graduate with a high school diploma and work ready certificate.
- Appalachian Co-Op Meat Producers - Begin construction on state-of-the-art processing facility to support and enhance the local supply of meat products.
- Regional Economic Development Organization - Market Washington County as part of a larger population using combined MSA data for population and workforce.
- Create a regional inventory of available sites and building locations.
- Market region with all attractions to enhance tourism industry.
- Promote airport Aerospace sites and enhance commercial aviation options for travel.
- Complete Boones Creek Ballfields - Work with contractor to complete two baseball and two softball fields as proposed.
- Begin work on new Election Office project - First, relocate election office operations to Princeton Arts Center with minimum renovation work. Second, continue work on permanent space for Election Commission Office/storage and voting center.
From: Washington County Commission Chair Greg Matherly - Washington County Commission Accomplishments for 2022/Goals for 2023
Accomplishments for 2022:
- Approval of funding for Waterline project in the rural areas of Washington County.
- Approval of the Waterline installation crew project with the town of Jonesborough.
- Approval of the plan working with the Board of Education to complete the Boones Creek Athletic Fields.
- Approval of the New Election Commission Office Space
- Approval of Funding for Washington County Volunteer Fire Departments equipment request from ARRPA Funds.
- Approval of “Baby Doe Funds” assisting many drug treatment organizations in our local area.
- Approval to move forward with the former Boones Creek Elementary School site for the construction of the TCAT.
- Approval of the AARPA funding for the Appalachian Co-op Meat Producers.
- Approval of Projects at the Washington County Industrial Park. Most proud to be associated with:
- The continued development of the TCAT project at the former Boones Creek Elementary School.
- The opening of the new Jonesborough School
Government Challenges ahead in 2023:
The labor force will be a continuing challenge for Governments and Business alike this year.
The County Commission recognizes the need for workforce development and job training to prepare a better skilled workforce in our community.
The County Commission also recognizes that there will be additional infrastructure requirements as our local population continues to grow.
We also recognized the need for managed growth working with the City of Johnson City and the Town of Jonesborough.
Issues that require resolution and are on the table:
The County Commission will be installing a new voting system and a better-quality sound system that will allow the citizen to have better access to quality audio/video and much more customer friendly.
Many of the above issues will continue to need to be revisited throughout the year, for example the Waterline project, TCAT, and Boones Creek Ballfields just to name a few referenced above.
The officials of Washington County strive to serve the citizens to the best of their ability and with the latest methods and Technology. I am sure they will have several projects for us to review for funding in the coming year.
We will have a busy agenda the entire year!