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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Mayor to Host Meeting for Mayors from Five Counties
December 8, 2010 - Mayor Bill Haslam will host a meeting of city and county mayors from five counties Friday to discuss a $4.3 million planning grant aimed at creating a more sustainable region.

The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the East Tennessee History Center at 601 S. Gay Street. The meeting will feature a presentation about what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant is designed to accomplish and how it will be administered.

HUD awarded the three-year sustainable communities planning grant to a consortium of local governments and organizations from the five-county region earlier this fall. The grant will be administered by the City of Knoxville's Community Development Department and the Metropolitan Planning Commission will serve as the lead planning agency.

The grant project area includes Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon and Union Counties.

Mayors from all five counties and municipalities in those counties will create the Board of Mayors. The Board of Mayors and a Community Leadership Team, along with a broad group of consortium partners, will work together to help direct the process and accomplish the grant goals over the next three years.

This initial Board of Mayors meeting is expected to be the first of many during the process of creating a more sustainable vision for our five county region.

The grant is designed to help the partners develop a comprehensive sustainability plan for the area addressing issues ranging from air and water quality and health to economic development, land use and transportation among other things.

Local governments and key organizations are encouraged to work together to determine, first, where they want to be in terms of sustainability and then develop a plan to get there.

"This grant provides us with a great opportunity to work together for a better future for the entire region," Haslam said. "It's hard to reach your destination without a map and we believe this process will provide us with a great and viable one."

He noted that there are differences in terms of size and interests among the various governments represented on the Board of Mayors.

"But really our similarities are greater than our differences," Haslam said. "We're all concerned about the environment. It doesn't matter how large or small your community is. We all have the same worries about energy, environmental and quality of life issues. It's to our advantage to work together because we can leverage our resources to accomplish more and produce greater benefits for all our communities."

The meeting is informational for elected officials in the five-county project area.

The mayors invited to Friday's conference include:

Anderson County Mayor Rex Lynch
Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett
Loudon County Mayor Estelle Herron
Union County Mayor Mike Williams
Alcoa Mayor Donald Mull
Clinton Mayor Scott Burton
Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill
Friendsville Mayor David Staley
Greenback Mayor Tom Peeler
Lake City Mayor Tim Sharp
Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens
Loudon Mayor Judy McGill Keller
Louisville Mayor Tom Bickers
Luttrell Mayor Johnny Merritt
Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor
Maynardville Mayor Paul Bowman
Norris Mayor Chris Mitchell
Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan
Philadelphia Mayor Paul Stallings
Plainview Mayor Rodney Minor
Rockford Mayor Carl Koella III
Townsend Mayor Patrick Jenkins
For Immediate Release
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