The various roles of CCT, which once served as an umbrella organization with responsibilities not only for economic development but also leading the Chamber of Commerce, the Office of Tourism, and managing the Workforce Development Complex, have gradually been passed on and the organization is preparing to pass its last responsibilities to the new Joint Economic and Community Development Board. The board expects to hold its last meeting in November, when final contracts will be handed over to the joint board or allowed to expire.
Board Chairman Sam LaPodrte quizzed one of the organization’s last employees, Kim Eggers, about the status of the remaining contracts and the last funds in the checking account. He asked Eggers to make sure everything will be zeroed out before the end of the year to prevent the organization from having to go through another tax reporting year. LaPorte praised Eggers’ dedicated service to the organization, including willingly taking part-time status to help make ends meet.
“We have our ducks in a row and we are ready to go,” said Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett. He was referritng to the successor to Carter County Tomorrow, the Joint Economy Development Board. He said two more representatives need to be appointed to the board from the Carter County Commission and Elizabethton City Council. He said the organization now has its tax numbers and identification, so it can accept grants and other financial instruments for the county.
The old organization continues to pay money toward maintaining the county-owned Workforce Development Complex. Just last month Eggers said $6,000 was spent to repair the air conditioner and compressor on one side of the building.
Meanwhile, business goes on. Eggers reported that visitors from the Elizabethton Airport, which is just across Tenn. Highway 91, had paid a call to inspect the part of the property inside the flight path of the airport. She said a Federal Aviation Administration official had suggested that a large magnolia and a tall oak should be cut down and replaced with a shorter tree.
LaPodrte said Carter County Tomorrow only has a leaseholder interest in the matter, and the request should be forwarded to the County Commission. But last month’s crash of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s plane just across the street from Carter County Tomorrow made everyone more conscious of the safety needs of the airport.
“We were fortunate a few weeks ago,” Eggers said.