Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team

Committee Reports - March 16, 2017


Education and Workforce Development Committee

·        Chromebooks – Grant proposals are being finalized with Golden Leaf Foundation for purchase of Chromebooks at Robbinsville Elementary and Robbinsville Middle Schools.

·        Science Night – Hundreds of people enjoyed dozens of science exhibits by students and agencies on March 02 at RHS

·        RHS Carpentry Program – Work on house #3 is progressing. A new partnership with Oconaluftee Job Corp enabled the electrical work to be completed by participants in this program.

·        SVC Afterschool Program – Children in the afterschool program will be presenting ‘Mixed Up Fairytales’ – The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and Dom DeLouise’s Hansel and Gretel on May 04 at 5:15 pm.

·        Dolly Parton Imagination Library –

o       208 currently registered

o       546 graduated

o       869 served

GREAT Health and Social Committee Report

·        Community Health and Wellness Fair – The Health Department is planning to hold a Health and Wellness Fair again this year on June 23rd at Robbinsville High School. The Fair last year was successful and plans are to make the 2017 fair to be even bigger with more vendors, demonstrations, and activities.

·        Graham County STEP UP Diabetes Coalition – Plans are being made to revive the Coalition by having meetings each quarter with the first being in June 2017.

·        Diabetes Prevention Program - Our current Diabetes Prevention Program will complete their year-long classes in December. We are also working with the Senior Center to teach the Diabetes Prevention and a Diabetes Education class.

·        Senior Center - We have been working with the Senior Center to help reduce the impact of accidents and falls on our senior citizens by offering the program A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls are held at the Senior Center and Robins Park Apartments.


Tourism and Mountain Culture Committee

·        Committee Meeting - The GREAT Tourism Committee met Feb. 9th. Discussion was held concerning the strategies, objectives, and goals for the year.

·        Graham County Map Asset Project – Work is completed on the Asset Map Project with map being submitted for printed.  Anticipated delivery date is the week of March 13. 

·        Emerging Opportunities Grant – The Destination Branding Identity project funded by the Appalachian Region Commission has been completed with the final presentation of branding system presented by Arnett Muldrow Associates on January 5, 2017. The project has been well received by the community and presentations have been made to Graham County T & T, Fontana and Robbinsville TDAs and the County Commissioners. Identity resources are available for use by appropriate agencies in their marketing strategies.

·        Solar Eclipse Event - Support and promote the upcoming solar eclipse event on August 21 at Stecoah Valley Center. Discussion was had on ways to promote tourism in the county for the event with possible educational speakers and events at various places around the county leading up to the eclipse. An eclipse committee was formed that will help where needed to pull together events and promote the county for this event.

·        Local Artist Creations – Discussion about having a scavenger hunt for local artist creations placed around the county to get visitors to visit the various areas and assets. Once found the visitor would register and receive a card of authenticity telling about the artist and where located in the county.

·        Proctor Revival Project – Discussion was held on the how to help promote the Proctor Revival project.

·        Lighted Boat Parade - A Lighted Boat Parade was also discussed. They are very popular in other areas of the country and might be a way to bring tourism dollars into the county during off season months.

Natural Resources, Recreation and Water Quality Committee


·        NRRWQ Meeting – the committee met on March 8, 2017 with nine present. Discussion was held concerning the strategies, objectives, and goals for the year.

·        Accomplishments and 2017 Projects – many accomplishments were noted and plans were made for 2017 projects.

o       CCC Trail – many of objectives for the trail were met last fall. Work will resume in late April through the summer with more tread clearing, some pavement patching and signage. Plan to partner with USFS on NC Recreation Trails program grant proposal to get ¼ mile trail re-paved.

o       Most overlooks appear to be in fairly good condition and additional clearing work will not resume until next fall.

o       Some work has progressed at Maple Springs Overlook clearing and partnering with the Partners of JK and Benton-MacKaye Trail Assoc. on damage assessments from the recent fall wildfires.

o       Plans were made to schedule the spring Clean Sweep work. Exact dates will be announced soon.

o       A tentative date for a Lake Santeetlah shore trash clean-up has been scheduled for Friday, March 31.

o       The clearing/maintenance on the Santeetlah Bike Trail will resume in May/June.

o       Partners of Joyce Kilmer workday is planned for April 4th and everyone is encouraged to volunteer.

o       Committee members will continue to support the RHS Campus improvements with invasive plant removal and native plant plantings.

·        Southern Blue Ridge Bike Plan – Review of draft routes and recommendations for the plan will be held in Robbinsville on March 20. See handout.

·        Partner Updates – Updates were received from Graham County RecreationDirector Ronnie Williams, USFS, Brookfield, and Partners of Joyce Kilmer.

·        NRRWQ Committee Meeting - Next committee meeting scheduled for May 10 at 10 am at the Cheoah Ranger District Office.

Revitalization and Infrastructure Committee

·        Internet Access Project – Deployment of fiber by BalsamWest has been completed. The Graham County Internet Access project is funded by the Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) for increased internet access to serve the Tapoco/Meadow Branch area of the county. Next steps include identifying an Internet Service Provider to access fiber in order provide access to families in this section of the county.

·        Region A Broadband Initiative – The Southwestern Commission is coordinating an effort to conduct a regional analysis of broadband needs. Southwestern Commission staff and consultants will work with each county's broadband committee to conduct the assessments.


L   Leadership and Government Committee