New Recreation Center pool to be finished in time for Memorial Day

Friday, January 16, 2015

By Ivory Riner

Staff Writer

After spending last summer without an outdoor pool, Lewisburg City Manager Randall Dunn was pleased to announce the construction of the new Lewisburg Recreation Center outdoor pool is to be complete on May 23, just in time for Memorial Day.

The outdoor pool will be zero-entry, meaning it has an edge or entry that slowly slopes from the deck into the water. This allows it to be handicap accessible.

During their meeting Tuesday, the Joint Economic Community Development Board members joked about who would be the first person to go down the new swirly slide and jump from the diving board during the grand opening of the new pool.

Going around the table, each JECDB member updated the others on what was going on in his or her area.

The biggest news was the closing of Goodman Manufacturing's plant in Fayetteville, announced last week. Goodman has another plant in Dayton, Tenn. and it will also close in the next 18 to 36 months, as its parent company, Japanese-operated Daikin Industries Ltd, moves to consolidate its Goodman brand in Houston, Texas. Goodman is already headquartered in Houston, and its only non-Texas facilities are in Tennessee. The Fayetteville plant has 1,700 workers.

"Even though Goodman is located in Lincoln County, Marshall County has a huge number of workforce that are employed by Goodman and count on that industry to feed their families and bring in income," wrote County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett to Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman.

With nearly 2,000 people out of a job in Lincoln County, the workforce in Marshall County will certainly be affected.

Liggett is planning to host a multi-county meeting to start a recruitment process to provide jobs for those left jobless in Marshall, Lincoln, and other surrounding counties.

Philip Bolander, who was recently elected Mayor of Petersburg, was introduced as a new member of the JECDB.

The Town of Petersburg is currently looking for a new planning commission chairman, said Bolander.

He added that the Senior Center in Petersburg is struggling because seniors are not attending its meetings or participating in its activities. Right now, this could be because it is too cold for the seniors to get out of their homes. Bolander asked the board for their help on finding grants that would help fund renovations.

Lewisburg Director of Economic Development Greg Lowe spoke about the new Select Tennessee Certified Sites Program. Under this program, eight industrial properties in Marshall County submitted by Lowe are to be evaluated and categorized on which is the best to invest in.

"This program does not hold us to any cost, we just had to assist in the information gathering," said Lowe.

In April, he will host the second Manufacturing Day. Lowe believes the first Manufacturing Day, which was held in October was a huge success. He hopes to have the next one at either Forrest or Cornersville High School.

"The major plan is to get word out on what is offered in Marshall County and get students on the right educational path to fill those positions that are out there," he said.

The old Tennessee College of Applied Technology building just off the square will now be the site of a TCAT Shelbyville industrial maintenance building.

Funding for equipment and the instructor to operate for one year was provided by the Labor Education Alignment Program grant. The goal of the Tennessee LEAP is to help ensure that postsecondary institutions are producing the skills and credentials the state employers need.

The state is starting a new Reconnect Drive to 55 initiative which will give older adults the opportunity to earn a certificate from one of the 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, free of tuition.

Chapel Hill's Administrator Mark Graves announced that 70 Walmart Neighborhood Markets celebrated their grand opening last year, but Chapel Hill's topped the charts nationwide for largest sales on the first day.

With the resignation of Councilman Robin Minor in December, the City Council will vote to fill the position next week, said Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham.

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its first scavenger hunt. After a person has picked up his map at the Chamber office or participating business, he has to visit each of the businesses listed. During the visit the person is given a sticker, and if he spends over $10 he will earn a second sticker. After he has received all of the stickers under the "visited business" section, he must turn in his map to the Chamber of Commerce office, 227 2nd Avenue North, Lewisburg. Then he will be entered in a grand-prize drawing. Those who received stickers under the "made purchase" section will be entered in a second grand-prize drawing.

This is the Chamber's effort to promote local businesses and to encourage people to shop local.

Students who do not participate in the TNPromise program will have an opportunity to go through with a new pilot program Liggett and Mike Wiles are planning to put in place.

Project Learn is a different program Wiles is working to start. Inmates who are released from jail will have the opportunity and guidance to earn their GED and maybe go on to a post-secondary education. The goal is to reduce crime in Marshall County.

The next JECBD meeting is to be held on Feb. 10 and a full board JECDB meeting is to be in March.