Proposed development would bring jobs to county
Gary Hunt, founder of JustBeGreen Villages America, recently visited Morgan County Executive Don Edwards to share newly minted legislation that is specific to Morgan County. The bill, a product of 18 months of discussions between Hunt and Edwards, was sponsored in state legislature by state Rep. John Mark Windle and state Sen. Ken Yager addresses the framework to create a new development on a minimum of 2,000 acres in Morgan County.
Morgan County Executive Don Edwards, left, and Gary Hunt, founder of JustBeGreen Villages America, with a framed version of the legislation approved by the 110th General Assembly that creates the framework for a new development on a minimum of 2,000 acres in Morgan County.
JustBeGreen Villages America will be a multi-faceted sustainable living and business development that will center around agriculture, green energy, smart technologies, veterans health services and environmentally sensitive housing. The vision is to create a new community with smart technologies steeped in sustainable agriculture and commerce.
“The creation of JustBeGreen Villages America will be the first sustainable, smart-community development in the state of Tennessee built from the ground up,” said Hunt.
The new law authorizes Morgan County officials to establish a special development area to create economic growth and establish new job opportunities.
“This legislation was vital to our project becoming a reality in Morgan County, said County Executive Don Edwards. “Gary and his team worked tirelessly with myself and our two dedicated state legislators, Senator Ken Yager and Representative John Mark Windle to get this through the General Assembly.”
“It gives them a status where they can go out and apply for grants to develop a Green community in Morgan County,” Yager added. “It will be funded by private development and will use state-of-the-art green technologies that will attract many, many like-minded people into this pristine land that we call Morgan County.”
This will be a technology-driven community centered on bringing leading innovation to Morgan County. The development will blend the beauty and splendor of Morgan County’s natural resources with 21st-century breakthrough technology.
Diversified funding sources will be marshaled for various phases of the development. Funding is forecast to come from both private equity and capital market sources.
“The economic impact for our citizens will be tremendous for Morgan County,” Edwards said. “While the entire Upper Cumberland region stands to benefit, the counties that border us will especially feel the economic benefit of this development.”
“You will have people here with spendable incomes and will spend some of that money right here in Morgan County,” Yager added. “You will have people paying taxes to Morgan County and sharing that responsibility. You will see an increase stream to the local government, who can then give raises to teachers, buy books for the libraries, build better roads. It all fits together.”
Hunt said the first part of the process is to pinpoint the land. The key is that it be at least 2,000 contiguous acres in Morgan County. Hunt added they hope to begin the project within the year.
More specifics about job creation from the development initiatives are to come, with agriculture, renewable energy and veterans health services expected to be among the first projects initiated.