JASPER, Tennessee (WDEF) – Residents of a small Tennessee Valley town say they just got the boost they need to start revitalizing their city.
Tennessee’s department of economic and community development chose Jasper as one of 12 communities across the state to receive a revitalization grant.
When you drive through the town of Jasper, Tennessee, you can’t help but notice the empty store fronts surrounding the historic courthouse.
But now, with the help from state funding, town officials hope the For Rent signs will become a part of Jasper’s past, not future.
Mayor Paul Evans told us “living here all my life, I remember when Jasper was a thriving business, and I would like to see more of that.”
The state of Tennessee granted 12 struggling communities 15-thousand dollars to help improve their downtown commercial districts.
“We’ve been very good at being able to live within our means and watch our money but we need more to come in here.”
The mayor would like to see the money help fill the vacant buildings and fix up the existing businesses.
“I know it’s easier with online shopping and everything but I’m going to tell you a fresh donut is a whole lot better than getting one through the mail.”
Many Jasper citizens remember a thriving downtown square and want to see their town revitalized.
Jimmy Sneed is the owner of Century 21 Cumberland Reality.
“As a child I was raised right here in town, so this was my backyard, my playground, so I’d really love to see it come back to life.”
The five-year vision is simple.
“I hope we’re going to need a lot more parking.”