By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
COOKEVILLE – Preparing industrial property for possible development has been a main focus for the Cookeville City Council recently, and during recent council meetings, the council has approved measures designed to enhance properties that are available but not necessarily “ready” for development.
At the Sept. 16 council meeting, the council voted to apply to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for funds to clear the Lemon Farris Industrial Site east of Highway 111 and to contract for all environmental reports that a potential industry would require to locate on the property.
Cookeville Economic and Community Development Specialist Melinda Keifer explained to the council at the Monday council work session that the property has been shown three times within the last year to prospects and that the site was in a raw condition and very hard to see. She admitted that the last time she showed the property it was actually a bit embarrassing because of the state of the property.
“It was a great project and I know we didn’t get a second look because they literally could not tell what was with the property,” Keifer reflected.
Keifer has estimates for the site development grant to clear, burn, remove trees, seed and straw, install a new cross fence, stump grinding and install erosion measures as needed.
The total project budget is $273, 240 and the city will be responsible for a match in the amount of $27,324. The proposal passed the council unanimously.
“It’s really important that we continue to do things like this, getting sites ready for economic development” said Councilman Mark Miller, thanking Keifer for her work on the project.