Valley View Business and Industrial ParkWhitwell, Jasper and Marion Counties
The city of Whitwell is located on Hwy 28 S in the southwestern Sequatchie Valley of Marion County approximately 11 miles north of Interstate 24 and 24 miles from metropolitan Chattanooga. Whitwell city leaders have continually worked to create jobs and improve quality of life for the community. Provision of utility services to existing and future businesses was paramount in accelerating economic growth, particularly sewer service at the north end of the county.
Since 2013, the city has been home to Prologue LLC, a manufacturer of green fire logs that utilizes renewable resources including leaves and wood bio-mass inputs. The current facility commenced operations in a 7,500 square foot building at the Valley View Business & Industrial Park. The owner, a native son of Whitwell, had invested over $2 million into the Prologue operation that initially had 5 employees with plans in place to increase employment to 34 employees. Sewer services were needed to enhance the company’s ability for expansion and allow for the development of the industrial park.
Innovated Tool & Die was originally created in the 1970’s in northern Virginia. In 1984, the Whitwell native and Prologue owner purchased Innovated Tool & Die company and oversaw its successful expansion. The owner announced plans to locate a southern subsidiary of the metal fabrication business and bring an additional 64 new jobs to his home community and the Valley View Business & Industrial Park, but the operations were also dependent on the availability of sewer service.
Whitwell city officials saw the opportunity to partner with nearby Jasper and Marion County to extend sewer service to the industrial park. With the assistance of Southeast Tennessee Development District (SETDD) and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD), a strategy was set to leverage local matching investments and sewer treatment capacity with federal funding to complete the project.
Whitwell not only paired Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and USDA Rural Development funding, they also created a partnership with nearby Jasper who had sewer capacity and willingness to serve the park and industries. Marion County joined both municipalities to provide matching funds for the ARC grant. All three local governments would see the benefits from the industrial growth, and their willingness to collaborate positioned the project for funding.
Collaborative Funding and Operations
In 2016, Whitwell received $160,000 in ARC funding (49% of the total project cost) to supply adequate sewer treatment services to current and future industrial park consumers. Marion County provided $125,850 in matching funds for the ARC grant, and USDA Rural Development provided $40,000 in Community Facilities Grant funding to Whitwell that completed funding requirements for the project. Jasper agreed to provide sewer treatment service through its existing plant that allowed the community to complete the project within 6-8 months to provide services in a relatively short timeframe for the industrial customers. Upon completion, all sewer improvements would be owned and maintained by the Town of Jasper, the operator of the sewer system.
The City of Whitwell, Town of Jasper and Marion County partnered to assist Innovated Tool and Die with its planned location, Prologue LLC with its expansion, and the industrial park with other marketable property. Project results include
|Direct Jobs Retained (Prologue LLC)||34|
|Direct New Jobs Created (Southern Innovated over a 5 year period)||64|
|Projected New Future Jobs to be Created (Industrial Park capacity for additional industrial and commercial locations over a 5 year period)||202|
|Projected New Direct Industrial Investment (Southern Innovated)||$6,000,000+|
|Appalachian Regional Commission||$160,000|
|Whitwell USDA Rural Development Communities Facilities Grant||$40,000|
|Marion County Match||$125,850|
|TOTAL SEWER LINE EXTENSION FUNDING (Projections for federal grants and local funding )||$325,850|
Project Leadership and Partners
City of Whitwell – Mayor – Project Contact
Town of Jasper
Marion County Government
Appalachian Regional Commission
USDA Rural Development
Southeast Tennessee Development District
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
For project information visit the City of Whitwell.
TNECD Infrastructure Programs – Appalachian Regional Commission
Adequate infrastructure is a fundamental component of successful economic and community development. The mission of the Appalachian Regional Commission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. TNECD serves as the lead agency in administering Tennessee’s ARC funding and programs. Through ARC, TNECD is able to assist in the award of grants each year for economic and community development projects in the 52 counties in middle and east Tennessee served by ARC.
For more information visit TNECD Community and Rural Development