Tuesday, July 8 2014, 06:21 PM EDT
4 S.E. Tenn. Cities Awarded Transportation Grants
Three Tennessee counties were awarded large amounts of money to better non-traditional transportation in their cities.
"We're focused on some of our smaller communities that don't have the resources that our larger ones do," said Gov. Bill Haslam, who made trips to Pikeville, Dunlap, Monteagle, and Tracy City on Tuesday to announce the grant awards.
In all, Haslam announced more than $1.7 million dollars in grants.
"If you look at growth, both economic and population, our rural areas have struggled a little bit," said Haslam, "so we're doing what we can to help that.
Pikeville was awarded a $250,000 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant. The money will be used to install new windows, lighting, and insulation at the old Pikeville Elementary School. Haslam also announced a $59,000 grant to help pay for the construction of a new farmers market pavilion.
"In Tennessee, we take for granted having this thriving rural area, but really around the country, rural areas have struggled coming out of the recession, " said Haslam.
Dunlap was awarded a nearly $600,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The Coops Creek Greenway Project will include parking, bike racks, and public space in the downtown business district.
The final grant for nearly $820,000 is also from T-DOT. More than $200,000 will go to Monteagle for sidewalks along highway 64. Tracy City was awarded more than $600,000 for walking and biking trails.
Haslam says its important for him to get out of Nashville and visit rural Tennessee.
"You know, it's easy as governor to get trapped in your office in the capitol and think everything revolves around there," said Haslam, "well the people of Tennessee know that that's not so."
By: Drew Bollea