Tennessee aid boosts industrial park in Cleveland, broadband in McMinn County

This 2014 file photo shows work on the Spring Branch Industrial Park and exit 20 ramp widening projects in Cleveland, Tennessee. / Staff file photo

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Bill Lee's first executive order as Tennessee governor last year directed all executive departments to "place a high emphasis on the development and success of our rural areas," where the state's economic growth has lagged in recent years.

On Friday, Lee's top economic officials made good on that pledge by distributing checks in Bradley and McMinn counties to aid industrial development and rural broadband extensions.

Bob Rolfe, commissioner of economic and community development development, distributed a $1 million check to develop part of the new Spring Branch Industrial Park in Cleveland, $525,000 in matching funds for sewer extensions elsewhere in Bradley County and $1.3 million for broadband extensions by the Volunteer Energy Cooperative in McMinn County.

"We're committed to helping rural Tennessee," Rolfe said.