Erwin board moving on strategic plan

Brad Hicks • Jan 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM

In August 2010, the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen held its annual retreat to develop a strategic plan for the town and outlined goals it would want to see the town accomplish in the coming years.

At Monday’s regular meeting, aldermen received an update on where many of these goals currently stand.

Town Recorder Randy Trivette said the first goal of the strategic plan was to see the revitalization of downtown Erwin within the next five years.

This, Trivette said, is already under way, as representatives with Kimley-Horn, the planning firm previously selected by the town to complete a downtown revitalization master plan, are slated to present their finalized master plan to Erwin officials next month.

From there, it will be up to officials to approve detail design work and engineering design necessary to implement the master plan, Trivette said.

To work on improving the town’s working relationship with Unicoi County’s other governmental entities, Trivette said the town has worked with the county and town of Unicoi, particularly through the county’s economic development board, to ensure services are not being duplicated and money is not being spent unnecessarily.

The board’s third goal — to implement flood control measures by the end of 2011 — was not met. However, Trivette said progress is being made. He said a retention pond in the Rock Creek area has been completed. Design work is complete and easements have been attained for a planned retention pond at Evergreen Cemetery. Trivette said this project is likely to be put out to bid next month.

Trivette said a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation permit for a planned retention pond near the Unicoi County YMCA and Unicoi County High School has been obtained, and he is working with the YMCA and school system to secure funding for the project.

The implementation of the downtown master plan will also aid in keeping old businesses and recruiting new ones, Trivette said. He also said planned improvements to Industrial Drive and a railroad spur that serves businesses located in the town’s industrial park will help.

The town is also working to expand tourism opportunities and, with last month’s approval to purchase property along Nolichucky Avenue that may serve as a skateboard park/playground in future, it is also working to bring in new youth and recreational facilities, Trivette said.

“I think a town that’s planning for the future and planning forward is a strong town and able to provide the services that it needs for its citizens,” he said. “Instead of reacting to situations and problems and issues that we have, we’re taking care of those on a day-to-day basis and have policies and procedures in place to handle those, but we’re looking to the future with the planning and improving and making Erwin a better place to live, work and play.”

The board also unanimously approved a proposal from engineering firm Tysinger, Hampton & Partners for design engineering work for resurfacing projects on Carolina Avenue, Love Street and Harris Hollow Road that will be paid for, in part, with funds from a Surface Transportation Program grant.

Trivette said the town will be responsible for $28,100 for engineering costs on the project. The estimated $22,500 for construction/engineering inspection will be covered through the grant, Trivette said.

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