UC Digest: A county-by-county look at business news in the Upper Cumberland
A new restaurant is opening in Cannon County, and it will neighbor moonshine maker Short Mountain Distillery. The Stillhouse Restaurant, which will serve up seasonal and local farm- to-table Southern dishes cooked by chef Todd Hollandsworth, as well as cocktails crafted from the Short Mountain blend, is celebrating its grand opening with a reservations- only event Saturday, May 16. The venue will also be available for events. The Stillhouse Restaurant is located at 8280 Short Mountain Road, Woodbury. For more information, call (615) 563-1243.
A pharmaceutical start-up that will set up shop in Clay County’s spec building on Highway 52 continues to make progress on the completion of its new lab. Cumberland Biosciences, which announced an agreement to locate in Celina last June, hopes to finish construction by the end of May, said Ray Norris, executive director of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce. He said they’re spending roughly $2.5 million to finish the building to their specifications. Cumberland Biosciences will look to identify biomarkers for critical diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s. The firm reportedly signed a seven- year lease for the space. Cumberland Biosciences said it expects to hire 20-25 people. There was no word on when hiring could begin.
City and county officials have cleared the way for a new business in Cumberland County, one that will cut and shred used tires into a variety of sizes. Todd Hinch and Stanton Brewer plan to open and operate Upper Cumberland Tire Shredding at a 10-acre site on Maryetta Street near the county’s solid waste department. They say they’ll create roughly 25 jobs upon opening – with the potential of adding more in the following year. Hinch and Brewer went thought a series of public meetings to get the local OK. Final approval needs to be granted by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation before business can begin.
Aldermen in Smithville finalized their liquor sales ordinance in March, amending the city’s municipal code to formally allow for package liquor stores. Among the rules: There are no limits on the number of stores, but no retailer shall operate, directly or indirectly, more than one liquor store in the city; applicants must have been a resident of the city for the previous two years or a citizen of the county for three; stores must be at least 1,500 square feet in size; stores are required to keep a minimum of $150,000 worth of inventory in stock; and no liquor stores will be permitted within 400 feet of any hospital, school, church or other place of public gathering. City voters approved a referendum allowing for liquor sales back in the November election.
Also, Jacob Young has been named the new manager of Edgar Evins State Park. Young, a Tennessee Tech graduate, former DeKalb County resident and park ranger at Roan Mountain State Park, began his new duties March 1. He replaces Carl Halfacre, who retired last fall.
Bank of Putnam County has expanded its reach again in the Upper Cumberland. The Cookeville-based financial institution purchased the Jamestown branch of SouthEast Bank and celebrated the newly named Bank of Fentress County with a ribbon cutting in late March. Last year, the bank built a new branch in Monterey, and officials say there are future plans to include another office in Clarkrange, on the corner of Highway 62 and Highway 127. The Jamestown office address is 416 E. Central Ave.
Things are going “extremely well” at Integrity Foam Solutions LLC, which started operations last year on North Grundy Quarles Highway in Gainesboro, according to owner Eli Schmucker. Integrity Foam is a full- service foam fabrication plant with in-house cut and sew operations.
Citizens Bank of Lafayette and its holding company, Citizens Bancorp Investment Inc., have acquired Traders Bank, a state-chartered banking corporation headquartered in Tullahoma with additional locations in Manchester, Shelbyville and Winchester. Citizens Bank management says it intends to merge Traders Bank into Citizens Bank during the second quarter of 2015. Traders Bank branches will continue to operate under the Traders Bank name.
Citizens Bank of Lafayette operates 15 locations, including Citizens Bank in the communities of Lafayette, Westmoreland, Red Boiling Springs, Hermitage Springs, and Gainesboro; Bank of Celina in Celina; Liberty State Bank in Liberty, Alexandria, Smithville and Lebanon; and Smith County Bank in Carthage. It is owned by Citizens Bancorp Investment Inc., a bank holding company also headquartered in Lafayette. It has approximately $667 million in assets.
Officials overseeing an expansion of the Overton County Nursing Home requested in February a six-month extension for completion of their project, pushing their target date from March 1 to Sept. 1. The project, which includes an addition and renovation of the existing 160-bed facility, was originally approved in July 2012.The estimated project cost was $6.34 million. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the extension was requested because of additional design changes required by the state.
Entries are being taken for the 30th annual Fall Dale Hollow Bass Classic at Dale Hollow Lake. Pickett County officials say fishing tournaments such as this bring business to the lake during a time when traffic is generally down. There are a number of tournaments offered at Dale Hollow throughout the year; Star Point Resort, for example, holds several, including in the spring. The Fall Dale Hollow Bass Classic is scheduled for Oct. 3-4.
The annual Rollercoaster Yard Sale will also be held Oct. 1-3 – its route goes around Dale Hollow Lake – giving visitors another entertainment option while in town.
“Any time we can get people out and about in the community – it’s good for the economy,” said Janice Neal with the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce. “It helps many of those (who) offer accommodations, restaurants, gas stations, boat repair and such – which in turn helps the rest of the economy.” Interested anglers can check out the registration form at http://www.dalehollow.com/sites/default/files/ DHBC15EntryForm.pdf.
A pair of popular Cookeville restaurants has changed hands this year. Jay Albrecht, founder of Seven Senses Food & Cheer, and new partner Michael McDearman, a GrillMaster, barbeque expert and competition cook, took over operations of the New York-style WestSide Deli in February. They also hired local chef Chad Combs as their director of operations for both eateries. And Mauricio’s, 232 N. Peachtree Ave., welcomed new owners Tonya and Jeff Cummings. The couple, who also own the Whistle Stop Cafe in Baxter, recently remodeled the upscale Italian restaurant, a former family residence, and have added lunchtime hours.
Smith County recently received two grants from the Tennessee Department of Environment Conversation (TDEC). The county received $3,000 via TDEC’s used motor oil collection grant, which empowers local governments to provide adequate infrastructure to properly disposing of used motor oil, as well as a $15,544 recycling equipment grant, meant to give local governments resources to increase recycling participation, with the goal of decreasing the amount of solid waste sent to landfills.
Overall, five counties in the UC received grants. Others included Jackson, Pickett, Overton and Van Buren. All were assisted in their application by the Upper Cumberland Development District’s economic and community development team.
Fall Creek Falls is considered one the nation’s most favorite state parks, officially. The park, which spans both Van Buren and Bledsoe counties, finished sixth in a recent USA Today Readers’ Choice contest for Best State Parks, the only Tennessee recreational area that made the short list. Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park, is highlighted by a 256-foot cascade – one of the highest in the eastern U.S. It encompasses 26,000 acres and has more than 34 miles of trails, a nature center, golf course, horse stables, playgrounds and picnic pavilions. Letchworth State Park in New York took the top spot.
The Upper Cumberland Regional Airport is under new management. Jason Baker was hired to the post in April. Previous manager Jim Kmet announced his plans for retirement earlier this year, after nearly five years at the helm. Also new on the job is Marvin Bullock, who took over as president of the Sparta-White County Chamber of Commerce. Bullock was hired from a list of 30 applicants. He’s served as the Cumberland regional coordinator for the Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation, among other roles. Former interim president, Jody Sliger, recently took over as director of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s ThreeStar program.
There’s a new president serving the McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce. Mandy Eller took over for Alicea Weddington, who had served in that capacity since 2007. Eller was introduced by city officials back in December. She says she hopes to increase membership and plans to have a regular presence at board meetings.