published Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Rhea County leaders expect more tourism, jobs in 2013

DAYTON, Tenn. — An influx of fishing tournaments will attract oodles of anglers and create a trickle-down effect for businesses in Rhea County, a Dayton city councilman said this week.

Hosting 12 fishing tournaments this year will have "quite an impact" on the city and county, Councilman Gary Louallen said at a meeting of the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council.

He told the group of more than 20 economic leaders that there is a new website for the tournaments at www.fishdayton.com.

Also at the meeting, County Executive George Thacker announced 50 new available jobs at International Automotive Components.

"I am so pleased that IAC decided to continue growing their operations here in Rhea County," Thacker said.

Bill Pryor, with the tourism committee, said planning is ongoing for a Civil War re-enactment this year, but finding an available date and a location have created a challenge.

He said after the meeting that a site the group had asked about was the county fairgrounds in Evensville, Tenn.

According to county industrial board Chairman David Brown, construction on an access road from Highway 68 to General Shale in Spring City, Tenn., should begin in late spring. He said it would "open up all the industrial opportunities" of that area when completed.

Graysville Mayor Ted Doss said the lighting updates at City Hall and the ballpark are almost completed. The city had received a $93,000 grant for energy-efficient lighting from the state.

Doss earlier said the updated lighting could increase the number of festivals and softball tournaments held at the city's ballpark.

Also, tourism council Executive Director John Payne passed out 2012 activity reports that showed 46 inquiries from industries interested in the county were received last year and 18 had submitted proposals.

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