Macon County Three-Star held its first meeting of the year on Friday of last week. Cody Huddleston with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development was present to explain the new 2013 system; there have been major renovations in the evaluation process for the Three-Star program.
The Three-Star program is run through TN Governor Haslam’s office, and is designed to help counties improve from the inside. It provides a 3-tier incentive structure to encourage focused, organized efforts in different areas of community and economic development.
Many community leaders here volunteer their time to help with Three-Star efforts. Since 1992, when Macon first became involved with Three-Star, it has been responsible for the creation of the Education Foundation, Macon County Arts Council, our walking and driving quilt trails, and the RV parking project in Key Park, to name only a few, as well as helping with the acquisition of CDBG federal grant money.
Huddleston explained the new ‘five pillar’ system of scoring that Three-Star for all TN counties in 2013. This scorecard has five headings: Jobs & Economic Development; Fiscal Strength & Efficient Government; Public Safety; Education & Workforce Development; and Health & Welfare. Each category has measurable goals that must be met—counties get a larger grant match depending on how many of the five they pass.
After Huddleston’s presentation, the Three-Star members held a work session to decide which projects they would pursue this year in the improvement of Macon, and in which categories. The projects will be revealed after they are approved.
Three-Star Chairwoman Brenda Hiett said that Macon County has been designated a Tier 3 county for the 2013 project year and will be eligible for $15,000 in grant money. The money will come in the form of reimbursements for projects that meet the goals of one or more of the five ‘pillar’ categories.
“A committee will work on an activity plan in scored areas agreed upon,” said Hiett. “That is to be completed by March 3lst. After approval, the grant will be submitted to Tennessee Department of ECD Grant & Loan committee for their approval by June 30th. After working through the required process, the projects are to be completed in nine months for grant reimbursement.”
Expect future updates on specific projects to be undertaken.