But the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council, which has been a Three-Star recipient for 27 of the program's 28 years, is well positioned to reach the third benchmark this year, according to Shan Harris, regional economic development specialist, with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
"You're already doing about 99 percent of this now," Harris
told the RETC Board Monday."We just want you to be a little more focused about how you go about it."
Rhea County's commitment to the Three-Star
Program is obvious, according to Harris
held a statewide Three-Star conference in October, Rhea County had the largest delegation of the 86 counties participating.
The biggest change in the program is an increasing emphasis on community awareness, Harris
The county's five-year strategic plan is still the centerpiece of the Three-Star
said that when the top priorities from all the participating counties was compiled last year, those statewide priorities were: 1.Business recruitment, 2.Education, 3.Improving infrastructure, and 4.Tourism.
"You're almost like a model for other communities your size," Harris
said."It takes a lot of work and cooperation to achieve what you have here in Rhea County.I am very, very proud of you."Harris met Tuesday morning with Walker, Rhea County Executive Billy Ray Patton and the mayors of each of the three municipalities to further discuss the program.