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Rural King

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Everything posted by Rural King

  1. Evansville is a nice and interesting city. It has a very nice downtown with a couple of mid-rise towers, but mainly low-rise buildings dominate. It has one of the more impressive courthouses in the state, but that's subjective, esp. in a state where it seems like every county has a pretty impressive stone courthouse of substantial architectural design. The city appears from what I read to have a pretty healthy economy, pretty fair city governance, and a impressive young and up-coming mayor. Interesting side note: The city has the 3rd oldest baseball stadium in continuous use in the country, Bosse Field. The Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League play there, which is not affiliated with MLB.
  2. I have probably been to over half the counties in the state, but the major cities and county seats I can recall off the top of my head are - Gary, Crown Point, Michigan City, Lafayette, South Bend, Elkhart, Indianapolis, Evansville, Terre Haute, Logansport, Monticello (went to Indiana Beach all the time as a kid), Winamac, Rensselaer, Rochester, Valparaiso, La Porte, Kentland, Newport, Williamsport, Fowler, Sullivan, Vincennes, Princeton, Nobelsville, Knox, LaGrange, Bloomington, New Albany, Anderson, Bedford, Kokomo, Richmond .........Quite a few more in southern and eastern Indiana I can not think of off the top of my head.
  3. The fiance and I have been looking at Washington D.C., so it raises several questions about neighborhoods folks might be able to help me flesh out a little. What is the neighborhood/area around Walter Reed in the "District" like? This is an area of interest for us. Silver Springs and College Park are also two other areas that we are really starting to learn about, how do they compare in the scheme of things of living, working, and commuting in the city. Laurel is someplace else I have looked, albeit it further out. We are really just starting the process of looking, so any comments on these areas, or any other areas anyone would suggest looking at would be great. Pretty much we are just trying to learn about some neighborhoods for good starting points in our search for what might suit our needs/wants in a neighborhood best. Easy access to mass transit and an ability to walk to various types of amenities would be big pluses.
  4. Absolutely fantastic pics. Of course I especially like those terrific trolley scene pics, although I find the fireman pic very compelling as a unique image of a moment in time in the life of the city. The lighting in all the pics added a lot IMO as well. Great job all around. Hope to see more from time to time.
  5. Dyersburg receives 722,000 dollar grant for downtown urban renewel The Dyersburg State Gazette has reported that a Community Enhancement Grant has been awarded for the renovation of downtown Dyersburg. The $722,000 grant is part of a $2 million dollar plan to redevelop and enhance the downtown square around the historic Dyer County Courthouse. Plans include the burying of overhead electric, phone, and cable lines; along with new sidewalks, streetscaping, lighting, and benches. Dyersburg and Dyer county for their size are very progressive in their efforts to improve the quality of life via enhancement projects like this and their aggressive economic development policies. The Dyer Chamber Commerce plays a very big role in both of those aspects, and it would be probably hard to find a better COC in the state for a county of this size.
  6. I heard ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber had been working on something for Clarksville but the Nashville Post article I saw referenced of course is for subscribers only.....so I figured it was only a matter of time before another media outlet would pick up the story and divulge it for free....thus leading it here. LOL This would be HUGE! I so hope Clarksville lands this chemical plant. The economic benefits such a plant and employment boost could have on the city could be staggering. The direct payroll and that from subsidary contract work for local businesses (tool & die, commercial supplies, etc) would tremedously boost the ability of the city draw in new retail, dining, and commercial businesses. Not to mention the shot in the arm to the residential construction in the city. The tax base of the city would of course also go up, which would hopefully enable the city to operate without raising taxes and still have extra funds for new enhancement and infrastructure projects.This simply would be great for Clarksville and the State of Tennessee. Matt Kisber for Governor if he pulls this off after landing VW - not the mention the countless other smaller plants and businesses that have come to or expanded in TN under his tenure as ECD Commissioner.
  7. ^ LOL Gotcha - I was thinking you were saying the city only had one Starbucks which seemed weird for the population, so I just chalked it up to different demographics. Maybe your Starbucks is the better one, thus the reason for the long lines .
  8. 4 Wal-Marts but only one Starbucks? Demographics are weird, we have 3 Starbucks in Jackson and only two Wally-Worlds - albeit the downtown Starbucks is getting the axe with the recent cut-back in stores by corporate.Over here we can also relate to the lack in grocery chains - 4 Krogers - 1 Food Giant owned Market Place - and one substantial independent "Camps" makes one want at least another option - Schnucks, Publix, etc. - even if all the Krogers are well-ran and offer great variety. As for thoughts. I think that moving forward with merging the city and county is something that should happen, but the benefits of consolidating governments will have to be sold and re-inforced to county residents for some time to come. As the city grows as the ever larger percentage of the county's population I think it will become easier to sell to the the county residents. I would wager that this growth will help re-inforce and maintain the seperate identity of Clarksville from Nashville.
  9. I read in a couple of places that the Music Star overbooked for a 4th of July trip into the city for the fireworks show. Reports said the train left lots of folks at the stations along the route. Anyone know if this is true or know anything about the story?
  10. ^ Thanks for the links! Great to read about the progress of downtown BG. The city needs to keep up it's efforts in it's downtown redevelopment efforts and those of it's industrial recruitment. The city has a whole lot of potential to raise it's profile and image sigificantly in the coming years, and it needs to make sure it capitalizes on that potential while it's out there at it's peak.
  11. I think "worst" or "best" lists have to be taken with a grain of salt. Some like business preferences for locating operations can be indicative of trends, albeit with a subjective slant fo those firms surveyed; while other lists that rank a place a good place to live can vary wildly on the subjective measures they use in their determinations. If a place is gaining/retaining jobs, gaining/retaining population, and overall has a stable and positive environment I think it's hard to say it's a particularly bad place to live and/or raise a family. The city is growing at a pretty quick rate, so at end of the day it appears for lots of people and businesses their own personal subjective views of the city are positive ones. So what a ranking says is fairly irrelevant if the facts on the ground say otherwise, no?
  12. The possible relocation of a division of the Jackson National Life Insurance Company to either Cool Springs or the AT&T building without incentives sounds great. This is a very positive sign that the Nashville metro is becoming quite attractive business locale via its own synergy and merits, perhaps enough so that incentives will play a less important role in luring new businesses/industries during these slower economic times nationally.
  13. The majority of the workforce in Clarksville, and in most of Tennessee, have skill sets that are more in line with manufacturing employment, so it makes sense to me that cities and the state try bring the most and best jobs in this category as possible. White collar jobs are not very useful if folks won't qualify for them or have the skill sets to tranistion into them. Cities of course still need to try to attract white collar jobs to diversify their labor-force and create new opportunties for younger more diversely trained workers entering the labor market, but when the majority of your workforce would benefit from blue collar manufacturing and/or service sector employment, then that's what you have to go after. My understanding and experience is that most Japanese and German manufacturers treat and pay their employees very well. Unfortunately the examples I can think off the top of my head that use "temps" in the fashion described are all U.S. based manufacturers, which is not to say it's exclusive. It also seems to be mainly the US auto makers, and esp. some of their subsidary supply firms, who are having to cut wages, use temps, etc. to stay competative against their better managed competitors who have not had not incurred "legacy" benefit liabilities from operating within the US labor market for decades. If Clarksville lands VW I think you will be pleasantly suprised at how good an employer and corporate citizen the city will have landed. I have never seen or heard of a city that has a foreign owned or domestic auto-maker who has not reaped substantial benefits for its local workforce and community. Look at Princeton, IN; Smyrna, TN, Bowling Green, KY; Canton, MS, Spartanburg, SC, etc. I doubt any of those cities would trade their plant for a white collar operation, as that is simply not the right demographic fit for those cities or their workforce at this point.
  14. ^ Without a doubt re-designing the project would add millions in costs and be more hurdles for the project. I think however if this project is to ever become reality in it's current scope it's probably going to have to re-designed to either include office space to draw a new sector that will commit funds to the project, or re-designed downwards. Either way I think most of us are probably at the point were we can agree this project is probably not going to move forward in it's current form anytime soon barring some unforseen event(s) altering the reality of the fundamentals. The only alternative thus seems to be more money being spent to design something substantial and profit making for the site, over sitting on millions in investment that may not have a return for years, or ever - resulting in a substantial loss in time and capital funds. I still think at the end of the day in a few years we will see a subtantial and bold project go up on this site, be called Signature Tower or named something else due a redesign. The city continues to see good helathy growth, so we just have to be patient. Good things come to those wait, even if those good things are not exactly how we originally invisioned them or hoped they would turn out.
  15. Kentucky has had a similar falling off, both are states that have active established communities on other boards, it may just be those boards at this time continue to be the preferred venues. Basically all it would take would be 3 or 4 dedicated forumers in either state to get things going, but until we find those dedicated folks it may be slow going as more passive forumers tend to fall off if regular discussion is not taking place and content is not being driven. It will happen though, we just have to be patient with folks discovering UP and finding it a furtile ground to discuss their views and news on local developments.
  16. I would think an office component could be a winner, lots of firms I would wager would like the prestige of securing office space in what would sure to be the state's premier high-rise structure. Not sure if it could make the project happen anytime before the economy turns around, but it could help realize the project materializes at it's current scope/height.
  17. ^ Good to see that Clarksville is in the mix, I was just mentioning in the East Tennessee forum topic on this subject that I hear much about the Clarksville mega-site in contention for auto plants, then low and behold it is in the running for the plant. This just goes to show that Tennessee has great mega-sites to offer for manufacturers across the state as at least two of our mega-sites have made just about every short list for all the recent auto plants built in the US. They didn't mention the West Tennessee Auto Park site in Crockett County (WTN) though, and I am pretty sure it is still TVA certified, or at least was. Anyways, I have to give TECD and local communities across Tennessee kudos for their great efforts to bring new businesses and economic opportunity to every region of the state.
  18. The fiance and I were planning on possible coming up to Clarksville to visit with her friend and husband who has just returned from 15 months in Iraq this past weekend. The plans were to attend River and Spires event as well as it would have worked out perfectly, unfortunately they had a full house still with their family, so we went to Gatlinburg instead. Maybe we can catch it next year, it sounds like a great festival that we would enjoy - and possibly we can't catch/meet some local forumers at the event as well.
  19. The Leaf-Chronicle is reporting that bids are being accepted to start work on the Legion Street project. The fountain sounds like a nice touch and burying those untilities will do wonders. That is one thing that stands out in my mind when I downtown Clarksville a few years ago was the darn utility wires obstructing some awfully nice nice views and streetscapes, so this sounds like a good start at addressing that aesthetic issue with downtown and do wonders with marketing it.
  20. Dyersburg's Security Bank Building [Cordell Hull Hotel] gets facelift with major renovations The Dyersburg State-Gazette is reporting that renovations are under way to renovate one of the city's taller and land-mark structures. Current plans are to redo the building's brick and limestone facade to memic the building's original look as much a possible and place a time capsule in a cornerstone of the building for posterity. The 7-8 story building (my memory fails me) is one of the taller structures in downtown Dyersburg and was originally the Cordell Hull Hotel before becoming the Main Branch of Security Bank. Plans are for the renovations on the building to be complete in 90 days. I will try to get a new picture of the building if I am up that way anytime soon. Downtown Dyersburg has a small fairly dense urban core, with the Security Bank Building and First Citizens Bank buildings adding some height and urbanist to the city's downtwon lanscape. Most other buildings are 1-3 stories spanning a couple blocks out from the court square which houses a historic domed courthouse.
  21. Looks like the Rutherford Regional Planning Commission put a big wretch into the developers' hope of bringing Bible Park USA to the Blackman Community in Rutherford County. It voted 8-7 to reject zoning changes and permit requests for the project. The project still has to go before the full County Commission, but odds are looking long that Rutherford County is going to want to give millions in tax incentives to a project that faces strong local opposition and may not pan out nearly as well as projections indicate with lean economic years a real possibility in the near term. There is a whole Tennessean article here where folks can read the full story.
  22. Champion Homes looking at facilities in Dresden [Weakley Co.], McKenzie [Carroll Co.], and Milan [Gibson Co.] as possible new manfacturing sites in wake of the loss of their facility in Henry [Henry Co.] The McKenzie Banner in a recent article reported that Champion Homes was looking at the idled Quebecor Building in Dresden as a possible site to restart their mobile home manufacturing in the wake of fire that destroyed their operation in the City of Henry. While nothing is certian about Champion Homes moving to site, Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester stated he was confident that Champion Homes would chose a location in Northwest Tennessee as the firm was looking was looking at other sites in the region; including facilities in Milan, McKenzie, and Bruceton [Carroll Co]. Carl Holder, Economic Developer Director for Henry Co., stated his county was still working with Champion to try to retain their operation within the county. The West Tennessee Legislative Delegation according to the article was going to meet with Champion Homes to discuss ways to keep the firm in West Tennessee, while the State of Tennessee was already working with the company in regards to the matter. It is definitely good to see the state and local governments being so pro-active in keeping a major manufacturer in West Tennessee. Ideally the facility could have been rebuilt in Henry, which as small town will suffer the lost of it's primary employer. McKenzie is the next best location for displaced workers being less than 10 miles south of Henry, with Dresden also being manageable at roughly 30 miles. Just retaining the operation in West Tennessee would be great, but for the workers lets hope that Henry County, McKenzie, or Dresden are able to provide the facility for Champion Homes in the near term so that as many of these idled workers can return to their jobs as possible.
  23. Milan [Gibson County] to see downtown redevelopment spurred by the construction of a new downtown school board office and pursuence of redevelopment grants The Milan Mirror-Exchange reported last week that the Milan Special School District voted 6-1 to construct their new central administrative offices at the intersection of Main and Church in downtown Milan. The move was passed after hearing a pledge by Mayor Crider to pursue further downtown improvements if the school board voted to choose the downtown location, which was supported by many in the community, esp. current downtown merhcants, who see it as a much needed first step in reviving the city's struggling historic core. The new 7,600 sq/ft facility will require four existing buildings torn down, which should proceed swiftly as all the owners have already agreed to sell at agreed upon verbal prices offered by the city. The City of Milan will also be pursuing state and federal grants to do a phase redevelopment of downtown in the coming years. Mayor Crider specifically spoke to the board about grant funded projects underway or recently completed in several other West Tennessee cities, such as Humboldt and Bolivar, which included new sidewalks, street lamps, installation of underground utilities, and the re-paving downtown streets. The aMirror Exchange also reported that downtown businessess are already able to start the process of improving their aesthetics via a repainting program sponsored by a local painting contractor in the city. All in all it seems that Milan's new mayor, along with the city council and special school board, are taking the first big steps in developing plans to redevelop their historic downtown into a location where businesses and activites can once again find a place to take root and thrive. Downtown Milan has a unique chance to succeed as it is the only city along US 45 in Tennessee that does not have a by-pass, thus all regional traffic heading to and from Jackson from the north along US 45E has to pass through the downtown corridor. This heavy traffic count with proper marketing and business planning could be exploited by old and new businesses alike. Update: Here is another Milan Mirror-Exchangearticle that talks about he creation of a downtown improvement committee for Milan and what projects the city is looking at undertaking to improve the downtown streetscapes and infrastructure.
  24. Newbern [Dyer County] to see 45 new jobs due to Eaton manufacturing consolidation The Dyersburg State Gazette is reporting that Durodyn Manufacturing, a maker of hoses for the military and industry, is closing their facility in Arizona to consolidate operations with it's parent company's facility in Newbern, Tennessee. The Newbern Eaton plant currently employs 187 employees according the the State Gazette and looks to gain upwards of 45 employees from this process. Newbern is the second largest city in Dyer County with a population of 3,117 accroding the TECD. Despite it's apparent small stature, it is a manufacturing powerhouse for the region for it's size. The city currently has an estimated 1460 jobs without counting these jobs, or the recentlyy opened Briggs & Stratton Plant which probably employs at least 200 employees. Dyersburg for comparison, another major industrial center, has a population of 17, 452 and has roughly 4,000 manufacturing jobs not counting a new automotive plant, NSK Steering Systems America Inc, that will/does employ a sizable number of new workers. Clearly Newbern, and for that matter Dyer County as a whole, is doing well in maintaining and expanding it's industrial employment levels, which can be attributed to a great spec building program, good marketing, and quality city/county leadership and co-operation.
  25. I much prefer from the marketing stand-point the "Gateway to the New South" slogan and logo compared to "Tennessee's Top Spot". "Gateway to the New South" implies a new beginning in terms of growth and opportunity in an effective generic sense, while "Tennessee's Top Spot" will imply a very specific claim -or claims- that will have to be backed up and justified to potential new residents, businesses, and industries who will have already formulated in their own minds what that claim entails.
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