Codes top concern according to community input meeting results

By BOB WEAVER
HORIZON Staff

CELINA-TVA representatives who facilitated a community input strategic planning meeting here recently have released the list of priorities as voted by those in attendance. The top item in three of the four areas of focus had to do with establishment and/or enforcement of building and property codes or neighborhood covenants or laws, and cleanliness.

“The City of Celina has been working on this issue for some time now and we plan to implement some changes gradually after the first of the year,” said Celina mayor Willie Kerr when asked about the meeting, “Some good ideas were talked about at the meeting and I hope people stay involved as future action and meetings happen.”

A follow-up and progress check meeting is tentatively scheduled for June of 2015.

The four focus areas are jobs and economic development, housing and neighborhoods, land use, infrastructure and environment, and community services and education.

The first item in the community services and education area was a desire to develop a coop or job apprenticeship and trade learning program for high school students. A close second in the list for the same focus area was a need to increase the involvement of younger people in community civic and other activities.

Other items high on the focus lists include the recruitment of manufacturers, attracting other small businesses, building a new jail, developing the river port, library improvements, roadway improvement between Celina and Hermitage Springs, a Celina bypass, and promotion of local resources including Dale Hollow Lake, and the local logging and lumber industry. Also mentioned was a retirement community, Donaldson Park use, and a youth community center.

The complete summary of the meeting and the priority list for each focus area may be seen at here.

The meeting was a first step in developing a long-term strategic plan for Clay County and its communities.

City, county, and school officials will then evaluate the future needs of their departments, state and federal officials will reveal plans for road and other infrastructure changes and then the three elements will be used to make a strategic plan, including funding mechanisms such as grants, with the goal of an overall improvement economically, aesthetically, and livability wise.

The meeting was sponsored by local officials–including the Clay County Mayor and Commissioners, the City of Celina Mayor and Alderman, the Clay County Chamber of Commerce, the Clay County Three Star Committee, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

Several business owners, private citizens, and local officials were in attendance at the initial meeting, including Three Star committee chairman Dr. Doug Young, Chamber of Commerce president Ray Norris, county mayor Dale Reagan, commissioners Liz Boles, Winton Young, Bryan Coons, Dorothy Burchett-Forney, and Billy “Cornbread” Maxwell, Kerr, Celina city council members Buddy Thompson, Donald Haston, and Charlie Goad and schools director Jerry Strong.