LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – On Friday morning, Mayor Mike Stanfield alongside the city council met with Neil Hansen, State of Tennessee transportation manager. Also, in attendance were Jacksboro Aldermen Jerri Starrett and Gene Stevens.

Hansen met with the group to give input on the most viable projects the city would be seeking Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant funding for in 2020. Currently, the city has three TAP grants that will improve signage, lighting and sidewalks throughout the downtown area. The first grant totals $521,160.  Construction should begin within the next month. The next, a second grant, totals $1,242,166.25.  Grant three is $457,762.50.  A construction date has not been set yet for these grants.

Activities eligible for TAP grant funding range from pedestrian and bicycle facilities and safe routes for non-drivers to scenic turnouts and overlooks. Councilman Bill Archer said he was most interested in the pedestrian and bicycle facilities and safe routes for non-drivers’ funding. This could include new or reconstructed sidewalks, walkways or curb ramps, bike lane striping and bike parking. The grant could also be utilized for new or reconstructed ADA compliant greenways and off-road trails.

Hansen said that the City of LaFollette and the Towns of Jacksboro and Caryville could apply together for funding to join the towns and the city via sidewalk with one overseeing the grant.

After the meeting finished, Archer sat down with WLAF to follow up on a request he made during a council meeting several months ago. Archer requested the city send out letters looking for interest in corporations that could bring a movie theatre back to LaFollette or a bowling alley. Archer said the city has sent out letters to Regal Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas and other corporations. Regal has responded saying that they would not look at a city with a population of less than 12,000.  LaFollette has a population of approximately 8,000. “We’re waiting on responses from the others,” said  Archer. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/12/2019-6AM)