Kingston greenway project honored

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By Mike Gibson

As Kingston’s Ladd Landing Greenway enters the next phase of its development — including exercise stations and bird-watching kiosks — it is already being recognized for excellence.

Kingston City Council members learned at May council sessions that the greenway has been selected as a recipient of the John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award from the Tennessee Development District Association.

The TDDA is an association of the state’s nine development districts — organizations that oversee regional planning and economic development issues. It represents all of the state’s 95 counties and 340 municipalities, providing help such as planning services, development loans and grants, and administrative consultations.

The awards are intended to recognize the best in local government infrastructure projects and services — usually large-scale projects that would probably not be accomplished without government initiative.

Kingston Mayor Troy Beets, who is vice-chairman of the East Tennessee Development District, said he received word that Kingston had been nominated for an award during a recent Nashville trip.

“Sure enough, the next morning we got it,” he said.

“They look all over the district for projects that fit their criteria. And out of East Tennessee, our greenway was the one that was selected.”
Beets said the award was particularly gratifying, given that Kingston almost lost funding for the greenway in 2005.

“We almost lost the money, then we resurrected it,” he said. “Now the greenway is here, and it’s a big deal, recognized by people across the state. It means a great deal for me personally, but it’s an honor for the whole city.”