Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced in March 2017 that the Perry County Industrial Board has been awarded at $760,000 to extend a forced main sewer line to the I-40 Industrial Park in the northern end of the county.

Perry County is one of 25 Tennessee communities that will receive more than $9.6 million in Site Development Grants.

“By making our rural communities ready for investment and economic success, we help them attract jobs and more opportunities for citizens,” Haslam said. “I congratulate Perry County and look forward to watching as they thrive and bring new businesses to our state.”

The Site Development Grant program is part of the larger Rural Economic Opportunity Act passed in 2016 and updated in 2017.The grants are intended to help rural communities overcome barriers to site certification and prepare them to receive an economic development project that creates jobs in their community.

These funds assist communities in finalizing infrastructure and engineering improvements for project-ready certified sites.

“We want to help these rural communities up their game and increase their close rate by making our rural county site inventory among the most attractive and project-ready in the world,” Rolfe said. “We are proud to see Perry County taking the initiative to invest in themselves and look forward to seeing their future success.”

“Each of the recipients is taking a major step to enhance their community and with the assistance of the site development grants, they are given the opportunity to compete for jobs and business,” TNECD Assistant Commissioner for Community and Rural Development Amy New said.

“The Site Development program shows great return on investment, and I am thankful that the investment from the Rural Economic Opportunity Act will continue to help many more communities in the years to come.”

The Site Development Grant program works in cooperation with the department’s Select Tennessee Site Certification program.

“Through its Site Development Grant program, TNECD has awarded $21.6 million over three years to communities throughout Tennessee,” TNECD Site Development Director Leanne Cox said.

“These grants are a valuable resource for local economic development projects, demonstrating Tennessee’s proactive approach to industrial development and support for further growth and job creation.”

Applications were reviewed by an advisory committee made up of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Austin Consulting, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Transportation and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.