ELIZABETHTON – Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett and State Sen. Rusty Crowe announced Thursday that Carter County will be receiving more than $900,000 in grant funds from the state in response to local government needs and the impact of COVID-19.
Barnett said the grant funding was welcome news to Carter County as the county is looking at decreased revenue in the upcoming fiscal year due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. “The state has cautioned local governments that revenues could be significantly down due to the virus outbreak,” Barnett said. “With residents being asked to stay at home whenever possible, revenue the county receives from sales tax along with money that comes in from the fuel tax are expected to be below normal levels.”
“We are very grateful to Gov. Lee and our officials in the General Assembly, especially Sen. Rusty Crowe, for their support our community during this difficult and uncertain time,” Barnett added.
With the anticipation of decreased revenue, Barnett said the county is looking to tighten the budget, and that could put some necessary projects on hold. He hopes that the grant funds the county will receive through the Local Government Support Grants approved by the Tennessee General Assembly and Gov. Bill Lee will allow some of those needed projects to continue.
Carter County’s share of the grant funding from the state is $936,990, with that money being earmarked by the state for very specific types of expenditures. According to information Barnett received from the state, permitted spending categories for the grant funds include: COVID-19 response, IT hardware upgrades, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades for existing water and sewer infrastructure, road projects, and public safety.
Barnett said he will be working with Carter County’s other elected officials to prioritize the projects that could benefit from the grant funding.
Crowe said he was pleased to be part of the effort to help Carter County and the other communities across the state as they try to recover from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I am pleased the General Assembly and our Governor worked together to make these funds available to local communities in our state to help them get through these difficult times,” Crowe said, adding he has high praise for how the local communities in Northeast Tennessee have responded to the virus outbreak. “I am very proud of Mayor Barnett for being so proactive in this crisis. When we stand together, we are stronger, and I am proud to stand with Mayor Barnett for the citizens of Carter County.”