Harmonious Economic Development: That is how Chuck Hammonds of the Southeast Tennessee Development District explained a part of his agency’s responsibilities to MainStreet Cleveland members.
Hammonds spoke to the group earlier this week at its monthly meeting, which is typically held at the Elks Lodge in downtown Cleveland.
Hammond is the assistant executive director of Commerce and Economic Development.
“Last year, local governments in our region received $9.7 million in requested grant monies,” said Hammond.
Hammond noted that the SETDD helped secure about $200,000 for Charleston’s Greenway project that will focus on the heritage of the Cherokee and Trail of Tears legacy. The agency was also responsible for starting the Southeast Tennessee Cultural Heritage Driving Trails, including the Music, Glory Land Road, Art, Music Tanasi, Native American and Civil War Trails as well as others.
Hammond noted that last year, the agency administered $114 million overall.
Those grants include transportation grants, sewer grants and even housing.
“We do quite a bit,” he said.
One of the most recent projects under the SETDD is the Southeast Housing Corp.
Counties having properties in rural areas become the owners of back tax properties and his agency has established a corporation to work with governments to build or refurbish affordable housing, according to Hammonds.
The SETDD also works with officials on preservation of properties of particular historic value.
To learn more about the Southeast Tennessee Development District, visit www.sedev.org.