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Town awarded $100,000 grant to renovate arts center

Jonesborough was among 100 Tennessee cities and counties awarded money last week in the form of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.
As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the state grants were awarded to localities wanting to implement cost-effective strategies that reduce total energy expenses and save taxpayer money through improved energy efficiency in buildings and transportation systems.
Gov. Phil Bredesen awarded Jonesborough $100,000 to be used for lighting retrofits and solar panel installation at the former Booker T. Washington School.
Town leaders are transforming the former school, which was purchased from the Washington County Shcool System late last year, into an cultural arts center.
“(Town Administrator Bob) Browning and I went to Nashville to personally lobby for this grant because we thought the Booker T. Washington project was very important to the Town,” said Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe. “I’m tickled to death that we got it and it will go a long way.”
Applications were scored on the local government’s overall conservation strategy, project feasibility, readiness to proceed, community impact, partnerships and the ability to extend funding impact beyond a one-time use. In all, the state awarded $9.2 milllion in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants.
Due to the strong response from local governments, the state announced a second round of EECBG grants that will award an additional $3.8 million to Tennessee communities.