Jonesborough specialty plate proposal on hold for year

Sue Guinn Legg • May 1, 2012 at 9:57 PM

A proposal for a special Tennessee license plate to help promote tourism in Jonesborough and raise funds for town beautification projects will wait another year for the legislative approval needed to begin the process.

Town Administrator Bob Browning said the idea for the specialty place originated with Mayor Kelly Wolfe, who took the proposal to state Rep. Matthew Hill late in this year’s legislative session.

Wolfe said while Hill, R-Jonesborough, had hoped to attach the proposal to another bill up for vote before the close of the legislative session, Hill recently advised the mayor the plate will not be taken up until next year.

In the meantime, Wolfe said the idea is already generating widespread support and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will soon begin discussions of potential designs for the plate and uses for it proceeds.

“We’ll be gathering input and talking this summer about what the design focus should be and what the proceeds should benefit,” Wolfe said. “We hope we can get our plan together and with help from Matthew Hill, get it filed (with the Legislature) next spring.”

Wolfe said the idea came to him after he saw a specialty tag promoting “Historic Franklin” while driving in Middle Tennessee. “I saw that and I thought to myself ... why in the world don’t we have our own plate? We’re the oldest town in Tennessee.”

Once the proposal receives the legislators’ initial approval, Browning said the town will have one year to come up with a design and to gather pledges from a minimum of 1,000 people who will be willing to purchase the plate. Possible themes will likely be led by Jonesborough’s “first in the state” distinction.

“It is good advertising for the town,” Browning said.

“We’ll put together a committee for the design and work with the civic groups to promote the sale.”

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