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Knox County, Knoxville, others to work together under $4.3M HUD grant

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 15, 2010) -- The City of Knoxville – working with Knox County, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and other local governments and agencies – has been awarded a $4.3 million grant to develop a comprehensive plan for a more sustainable East Tennessee.

The regional plan will address a wide range of issues including air and water quality, economic and workforce development, healthy living, housing issues, land use and transportation. It will focus on getting local governments and key organizations in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Union and Loudon Counties to develop the region’s capacity to work together for a more sustainable future.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the 45 recipients of the competitive Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants on Thursday.

“This is great news and we’re very pleased that HUD has recognized our regional potential,” said Community Development Director Madeline Rogero. “This grant provides us with a golden opportunity to be proactive and work together with our neighbors to make East Tennessee a better place to live for all of us and for future generations. It gives us a chance to not just react, but to get out ahead on important sustainability issues.”

MPC prepared the application that the City of Knoxville Community Development Department filed on behalf of a “diverse consortium of organizations from across the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area” formed to address common livability and issues across the five-county region.

That group includes the city and county governments within Knox, Blount, Loudon, Anderson and Union Counties as well as organizations the like the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and MPC.

Other partners in the group include the Knoxville Area Urban League, East Tennessee Community Design Center, The East Tennessee Development District, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, Maryville College and the East Tennessee Quality Growth Organization.

The grant will be administered by the City of Knoxville’s Community Development Department and MPC will be the lead planning agency and will oversee the planning process.

A Board of Mayors, including all the city and county mayors in the Knoxville MSA, and a Community Leadership Team will work together to accomplish the grant goals.

Those include:

  • Establishing the initial identity and direction
  • Developing a shared sustainable vision for the area
  • Adopting a regional plan for sustainable development and a regional implementation plan with a focus on five demonstration communities one in each county of the Knoxville MSA

 Knoxville’s grant was the fifth largest of the 45 awarded by HUD with only the larger metropolitan areas of Seattle, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake County and St. Louis receiving greater funding. No region received more than $5 million. The 45 recipients were chosen from 225 eligible applicants.

 

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