The state's Department of Economic and Community Development has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Appalachian Regional Commission to set up a program to drive smart development in more than two dozen Tennessee downtowns. The IDEA initiative — IDEA standing for Ignite Downtown Economic Action — will assess 27 Main Streets and provide recommendations for how to boost their developments. Locally, the program will work with officials in Columbia, Franklin, Gallatin, Lebanon, Leiper's Fork and Murfreesboro.
USDA Rural development State Director Bobby Goode said that the three partner agencies are contributing a combined $121,500 to fund the initiative. “The amount of money invested for each town may seem pretty small, but by working together at the state, local and federal levels we leverage each other’s strengths for this next step and future steps that grow out of the plans each community makes as a result of the IDEA Initiative,” Goode said.
Mt. Pleasant is in line to land a tile manufacturer that is preparing to invest $55 million in a 500,000-square-foot plant that will employ 180 people. UST Inc. is getting $5.2 million in tax incentives to build the factory. Tim Hodge at the Daily Herald has more details about the Maury County deal.
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