Faulkenberry Elected as Chairman of Jefferson County Industrial Development Board

The Jefferson County Industrial Development Board met Friday for the first time since February, joined by guests Darrell Helton, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, and Russell Turner of the County Commission. This meeting would also be the first to include two new members: Scott Faulkenberry, exiting Director of the Jefferson County Economic Development Agency, and local businessman Mike Dockery.

First on the agenda was the approval of minutes, which was passed in a motion by Alex Miller, 2nd Dockery. A brief overview of the financial report followed, and was passed in a motion by Faulkenberry that was appropriately seconded.

Next on the agenda was the election of officers. The position of Chairman went to Faulkenberry, who was nominated by Steve Hammer. Hammer would also nominate Dockery for the position of Treasurer. Both nominations passed, while Hammer and Jeff Duignan will continue their roles as Secretary and Vice Chairman, respectively.

The Board then began a discussion about the Joint Economic Development Task Group meeting that is tentatively set for September 25 at 6:30 pm at the Jefferson County Courthouse. Russell Turner was on hand to answer any questions about the proposed Task Group. After much discussion about the nature of the meeting and purpose of the group, it was explained that the Sept. 25 meeting will be a work session, meaning there will be no voting action, and community input is encouraged. The meeting will administratively be a Commission meeting, with the IDB bringing an explanation of their existing decision-making process. After gathering feedback, a new process will be created, if needed. Turner went on to state that the nature of the Task Group may change, but the current intent is for it to be a non-voting discussion and communication-based group.

Last on the agenda were the report on Economic Development and final announcements. Among other smaller updates, Faulkenberry stated that Eon Solar was still interested in pursuing a solar panel operation, and will likely come to the IDB for incentives in the future. Guest Darrell Helton stated that Jefferson County is of particular interest in rail operations, and that it could be a major attracting factor for industry. Ultimately, the Board shifted focus toward preparation for the Sept. 25 Task Group meeting, where they will present their current process for public feedback. The next IDB meeting is set for September 22.

A final motion by Miller (2nd Dockery) was passed and adjourned the meeting.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor

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