Northeast Tennessee communities in line to receive state grants


Pictured Above, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee

On Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced $200 million in grants to be distributed to every county and city government across Tennessee for one-time, local expenses in fiscal year 2021.

“Capital maintenance, public safety and road projects don’t pause for disasters like the March tornadoes and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Lee. “This grant fund will ease the burden on local governments as they work to meet infrastructure and safety obligations.”

Funding is based on population as published by the US Census Bureau. Each county will receive at least $500,000, and each city or municipality will receive at least $30,000. The application will be made available by April 30, 2020, and the funds will be made available after July 1, 2020.

According to information released by the state on Monday, Washington County is eligible for $1,497,320 in grant money and Johnson City was allocated $1,503,688 with Jonesborough set to receive $150,030. Funds may be used for road projects, I.T. upgrades, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades, and public safety projects. Certain disaster-related expenses are also eligible for funding.

One-time expenses related to COVID-19 are eligible, including supply and equipment purchase, cleaning, emergency food and shelter programs. Counties impacted by the March 2020 tornadoes including Benton, Carroll, Davidson, Gibson, Putnam, Smith, and Wilson counties may also use the funds for tornado relief efforts.

The grants Lee announced on Monday are one-time funding and are to be used on one-time expenses. Funds may not be used to support recurring expenditures such as salaries, debt issuance, or existing programming and services. Grant funds for new building construction are not permitted.

State grant funds may be used as a match to leverage other funds, but no local funding match is required.

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