JASPER, Tenn. - The long-awaited Love's Travel Stop & Country Store near Interstate 24's exit 158 opens today.
"I'm excited to get this project," Jasper Mayor Paul Evans said. "I'm proud for the town. I think that this is something that's going to get even better for us."
A ribbon-cutting and grand opening are planned for Oct. 31, but officials have not announced a time for that event.
The project was been in the works for almost two years. City leaders had to annex about 35 parcels of property, including the site known as the Shellmound Business Park, and build a sewer line to it.
At times, it seemed the development would not come to fruition.
"Everything has moved pretty good on this project," Evans said. "We had a couple of little snags, but we were still able to get it completed on time."
City leaders praised the sewer line's contractor, Green Brothers Construction of Crossville, Tenn., for helping Jasper meet its deadlines for completion.
"I would recommend them to anybody," Evans said. "They've just done an outstanding job."
Alderman Leon Rash, who has been on the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen since 2000, said Green Brothers did "the best job of any construction company that we've used" since he has been on the board.
The business park is ready for the construction of other businesses, and officials said they expect the area to "boom" in the coming years.
"I think this is a steppingstone for greater things to come," Rash said.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.