The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development chose the county for the latest round of its Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program. As part of the 4-year-old program, consultants will visit the county to evaluate potential properties for industrial sites and advise counties where investment may be most beneficial and how sites can be improved to attract companies.
“We don’t have very much property left for industrial sites,” County Mayor Mike Taylor said Monday. “When we go to the market to try to entice industry to come here, we need some more tools to draw them in.”
Like other mountainous counties in Northeast Tennessee, Taylor said there isn’t much suitable flat land for development in Johnson County. Star LED, a lighting manufacturer, moved into one of the last available spots in the county industrial park last year.
Now, Taylor hopes the state consultants will identify new properties, and then a second grant will help the county purchase them.
“At the end of the day, it’s about having industrial sites attractive to different types of industry, so companies will want to come, build a factory here and offer some jobs,” he said. “I’m just happy that we were selected.”