Accomplishments, Investments Highlight 2021, Growth Remains Focus for 2022
JONESBOROUGH – Influxes of federal and state funding for COVID relief coupled with prudent financial decisions made 2021 a productive year for Washington County.
“With an infusion of funding for projects, and foresight from our community partners and leadership, Washington County is in a great position for progress in 2022,” said Mayor Joe Grandy. “We’re getting water lines installed, looking for projects that make an impact and building upon the smart decisions made in 2021 to keep our County moving forward.”
The year began with a coordinated vaccination effort that kept our County in the top five for overall vaccine distribution through Spring. Mid-year, we were the kick-off spot for Tennessee’s 225th Statehood Celebration. The County ended the year with significant announcements regarding new tenants and expansion in its industrial park.
“While the rest of the nation regrouped, Washington County continued to thrive,” Grandy said. “We plugged away on projects and kept government offices up and running.”
Major accomplishments for 2021 include:
- Sung-Woo acquired the old ALO facility and began retooling the manufacturing space, keeping the real property on the County’s tax rolls.
- EBM-Papst began construction of its new facility while operating in another location within the County.
- A series of grants totaling $2.5 million will provide the necessary water, sewer and road upgrades to attract industry.
- Site Development Grant completed and sites are ready for new industry.
Financial Health of the County
- Received a clean audit report from the Comptroller’s Office.
- Continued to reduce debt and pay off the County’s 2013 Series Bond early.
- Using CARES Act funding instead of County tax dollars for:
- Technology upgrades, including video arraignment for our courts.
- Building air purification systems for county buildings.
- Detention Center Intake body scanner.
Began the process to bring a TCAT to the old Boones Creek Elementary School and establish a Middle College concept for area students.
- Approved football stadium upgrades for both county high schools that include new seating and field turf.
- Coordinated lighting upgrades for all schools to reduce utility costs and improve the overall lighting in classrooms and study areas.
- Approved the upgrades and began design work for an athletic complex at the new Boones Creek School.
- Finalized plans and broke ground on the new Jonesborough School.
- Worked towards funding and implementing the ACT – National Career Readiness Certification Program.
- Began a series of water projects totaling $8 million with our municipal water partners and funded a new water work crew with the Town of Jonesborough.
- Conveyed three county owned properties to Appalachian Service Project to revitalize and return to the tax rolls.
- Stabilized the Historic Ashe Street Courthouse with a new roof and miscellaneous renovations.
Public Safety Measures
- Worked with County Technical Advisory Services on a Rural Fire Study to improve service to rural areas of the County.
- Add grant oversight and administration to our Recovery Court instead of outsourcing the services.
- Provided a modernization project to improve air purification and HVAC in the Washington County Detention Center.
- Appointed a new sheriff to complete the term of our retiring sheriff.
Public Health Milestones
Worked with the Mayor’s Office, Emergency Management and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department to safely deliver first and second doses of vaccines without long lines or delays.
- Maintained our spot as one of the top 10 counties in the state and spent several months in the top five by providing 500-750 vaccines per day, 5-6 days a week during the height of the first phases of the vaccine roll out.
- Operated a Point of Distribution (POD) for four months during all the challenges of winter with help from our local government and law. enforcement leaders as well as Brightridge, which brought remote wifi capabilities to the site behind Freedom Hall to insure we remained efficient.
- Continued to provide testing and vaccinations throughout the entire year.
- Renovated the Washington County Health Department to improve patient service areas and installed a new roof.
“Going forward, we will most likely utilize ARPA funds to continue water improvements for rural residents, and consider the transfer of the Historic Ashe Street Courthouse to the City of Johnson City for revitalization,” Grandy added.
Things on tap for 2022 include:
- Opportunities to invest ARPA and Opioid funds to better our community.
- Use a $1 million grant to develop 37 acres in the Washington County Industrial Park in two pad ready sites and complete a road extension.
- Open our TCAT/Middle College with programs in Summer 2022.
- Implement portions of our recent fire study to improve response times and improve insurance ratings.