Washington County and Johnson City leaders provide community economic update


There was a large gathering of business and government leaders Thursday for a lunch and a status report on the three local governments in Washington County, Tennessee.

The 5th annual State of the City, County and Town Chamber of Commerce was held at the Millennium Center in Johnson City with reports from Mayor Brock, Grandy and Vest.

Everyone agreed that things were going well, but there is always room for improvement.

“We have so many attributes here in Johnson City and in our region. We need to harness them more to promote growth. We’re at less than 1.5% growth, those numbers are questionable, but we need 3-5% growth, “Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock said,” So everything we do , we must use all that we have, we cannot overlook any stone that we can use to our advantage to help promote growth at a very intelligent level.

“Right now we’re going through a little economic boom, I think, in Jonesborough. We have a city center that we’ve been working on forever and I think we’re finally seeing a lot of vibrancy downtown, so we’re excited about that, Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest said,“ If you don’t haven’t been there, now it’s a very busy city center with lots of interesting shops, lots of great restaurants and events happening almost every weekend, a great place to visit. ”

“As you know, we have our challenges, especially in economic terms. We have a declining population throughout the region and we are working very hard to focus on some regional perspectives that will help change this trend, ”said Washington Co. Mayor Joe Grandy,“ What we know is that we have an emigration from our 18 to 40 year olds and what we’re trying to do is understand what drives that and how we can keep some of these people here, locally, who are critical to the development of our workforce- of work.

Washington County has been a hot topic of economic development lately.

Lawmakers are working to build a Pinnacle-style development in the Boones Creek area. Improvements are also planned for some downtown businesses in the coming months.

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