Revitalization Group Hears How Bristol Made It Happen

Feb 14, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: The Greenville Sun

Sun Photo by O.J. Early Mike Sparks and Jean Burnette, of the "Believe in Bristol" campaign, detail Bristol's path to restoring the vitality of their downtown area.

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critic

Johnson City, TN

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#21
Feb 20, 2013
 
Think About It wrote:
It does not have to be the tourist trade. Silicon Valley was built on the computer age. Marshall North Carolina and down the French Broad River there is a very strong River Rafting business booming. Kentucky has a strong horse trade. It sounds like people do not want the community to change but unless it does people are going to continue to take their money out of town. You cannot force people to spend at home unless you offer them something they want. Actually if you think about it there is something in Greene County which no other county in the state has and that is an expertise in the treatment of the mentally retarded. There are if memory serves me correctly about 7000 people waiting for mental retardation care in Tennessee. A community structured to handle that many would prosper tremendously. It cannot be Greene Valley type care because that is frowned upon but if some private individuals with money were to talk to the state and ICF and work out the details then it could be extremely financially beneficial to the community as a whole. It would require some education but a lot of that work has already been done by the community homes. As in all new enterprises infrastructure would have to be built, more hospitals, Doctors, Nurses, caregivers, etc. It would also require a massive housing investment as well as improvement to all roads and utilities. A super shopping mall as well as more entertainment and cuisine choices would be required. Again it doesn't cost anything to brainstorm it. You build on what you are good at, at one time it was tobacco farming and television manufacturing, in more recent years the quality of care at Greene Valley was considered some of the best in the World and a lot of those people are still around and many of their children and grandchildren have been taught to respect and care for the mentally retarded.
Reflecting on the mind-set of many Greenevillians, does the acronym NIMBY accurately describe likely reaction to your proposition?
Think About It

Greeneville, TN

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#22
Feb 21, 2013
 

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If it means Not In My Back Yard there are obstacles in perception to be overcome. It would be a huge boom to the motel and restaurant trade. It would be a huge boom to the housing market. If planned correctly it could equalize the amount of money going into each community in Greene County. It would mean jobs for all who want to work. A downside might be more farmland going into development but I do not believe farming is an adequate staple for Greene County now. It could bring huge amounts of development dollars. It would get the Feds off the state's back. A lot of wins and not many losses. Worth thinking about.
Think About It

Greeneville, TN

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#23
Feb 21, 2013
 

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Basically you are talking about 1750 small work places employing from 15 to 20 people placed all over the county. It could revitalize and bring huge expansion to Greene Valley as it would be a center offering rehab and specialty training rather than dormitory living quarters. A sort of hub of care. The city of Greeneville would have large amounts of money pouring in without extreme space limitations as the enterprises are all over the county. There would be money to develop downtown as well as the by-pass and possibly a need to build a by-pass for the by-pass in order to get through traffic around Greeneville without slowing them down to 45. All kinds of possibilities for people willing to put their minds together to work together rather than fighting all the time.
Bill H

Greeneville, TN

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#24
Feb 21, 2013
 

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I can see it now. Come visit Greeneville, the home of mental retardation.
critic

Johnson City, TN

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#25
Feb 21, 2013
 
Bill H wrote:
I can see it now. Come visit Greeneville, the home of mental retardation.
As I wrote before, the mindset of the average native Greeneville resident!
Think About It

Greeneville, TN

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#26
Feb 21, 2013
 

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Bill H wrote:
I can see it now. Come visit Greeneville, the home of mental retardation.
I have no problem with that. I was proud when Greeneville was the home of tobacco even though I detest smoking. I was proud when Greeneville was putting out quality televisions although I think books are a far superior form of entertainment. If there are people in this town who think the mentally retarded are inferior to tobacco and tvs they need to talk to some of the grandparents, parents and children who have worked at Greene Valley and are very proud of what they did and their sense of accomplishment, no less so than the people who raised tobacco and made televisions. There is no shame to being mentally retarded, you are one stroke or one bad accident away.
kant follow

Bennettsville, SC

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#27
Feb 21, 2013
 
Think About It wrote:
Basically you are talking about 1750 small work places employing from 15 to 20 people placed all over the county. It could revitalize and bring huge expansion to Greene Valley as it would be a center offering rehab and specialty training rather than dormitory living quarters. A sort of hub of care. The city of Greeneville would have large amounts of money pouring in without extreme space limitations as the enterprises are all over the county. There would be money to develop downtown as well as the by-pass and possibly a need to build a by-pass for the by-pass in order to get through traffic around Greeneville without slowing them down to 45. All kinds of possibilities for people willing to put their minds together to work together rather than fighting all the time.
Kan't follow your plan's arithmetic at all. Sounds a lot like exploitation of the intellectually disabled to me. Therefore, the current health care industry and its best buddy, insurance, might be interested. How on earth would it be funded? Federal tax dollars?...better health care for all, yes....how to pay for it....a mystery....how about better treatment for the many addicts and substance abusers of Greene County? Can you see a half way house for them on Depot or Main? How to pay for....another mystery.
Bill H

Greeneville, TN

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#28
Feb 21, 2013
 
critic wrote:
<quoted text>As I wrote before, the mindset of the average native Greeneville resident!
I see nothing inherently shameful with Greeneville possibly being the cynosure of mental retardation issues. It would be quite a crowning achievement for our area.
Sewing Room Ghost

Greeneville, TN

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#29
Feb 21, 2013
 

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kant follow wrote:
<quoted text>
Kan't follow your plan's arithmetic at all. Sounds a lot like exploitation of the intellectually disabled to me. Therefore, the current health care industry and its best buddy, insurance, might be interested. How on earth would it be funded? Federal tax dollars?...better health care for all, yes....how to pay for it....a mystery....how about better treatment for the many addicts and substance abusers of Greene County? Can you see a half way house for them on Depot or Main? How to pay for....another mystery.
The ICF houses usually hold 4 people. The last account I had which was several years ago there was a 7000 person waiting list to receive mental retardation services. That is the equivalent of about 1750 houses. Where are these people now, mostly at home receiving minimal care I would assume. You do not want to know what minimal care is. I will not argue the right and wrong of taking care of the mentally retarded. I will not argue where the money is going to come from, mostly medicare or in Tennessee Tenncare. The point is these houses are going to be built and these people are going to go into those houses. My point is Greeneville has more qualified people to handle these houses than any other place in the state. The right proposal could bring all or most of these houses here. There are some issues, the people across the state would prefer their kin remain close to home. You would have to convince them they would recieve better care in Greene County. Greene County has a reputation of treating the mentally retarded well which would go a long way in convincing people.
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La Follette, TN

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#30
Feb 22, 2013
 
Sewing Room Ghost wrote:
<quoted text>The ICF houses usually hold 4 people. The last account I had which was several years ago there was a 7000 person waiting list to receive mental retardation services. That is the equivalent of about 1750 houses. Where are these people now, mostly at home receiving minimal care I would assume. You do not want to know what minimal care is. I will not argue the right and wrong of taking care of the mentally retarded. I will not argue where the money is going to come from, mostly medicare or in Tennessee Tenncare. The point is these houses are going to be built and these people are going to go into those houses. My point is Greeneville has more qualified people to handle these houses than any other place in the state. The right proposal could bring all or most of these houses here. There are some issues, the people across the state would prefer their kin remain close to home. You would have to convince them they would recieve better care in Greene County. Greene County has a reputation of treating the mentally retarded well which would go a long way in convincing people.
In 2011 the Sun reported that 16 community homes were planned for Greene County. The state waiting list for services may be long but it does not translate into the great number of homes you envision.

[from the Sun]:
"Each home will house four individuals with developmental disabilities and up to 16 staff members.

A total of 242 staff members will be working in the homes, all of whom formerly worked at the GVDC campus, Henry said.

Of the 16 planned homes, five have been completed and are occupied, and eight are being built, Henry said.

Construction of those eight is scheduled to be complete by September, Henry said.

The three remaining homes have been scaled down to reduce the cost of the projects, he said.

They will be 3,000 square-feet, compared to the other 13 homes built at 4,000 square-feet.

The three homes still to be built will house the same number of people as the first homes, he said. The cost of those three homes will be reduced from $850,000 apiece to $550,000, Henry said.

The primary changes in the design of the homes is the elimination of a large carport and an inside atrium, and reduction of the size of the inside hallway, Henry said.

This same scaled-down design will be used for the 11 community homes to be built in Middle Tennessee for residents moving out of Clover Bottom Developmental Center in Nashville, Henry noted.

Construction of the three remaining homes in Greene County will be bid next month, and the projects will be complete around July 2012, Henry said."

Main Street G'ville and the G'ville government have other things (not related to treatment of the developmentally disabled) in mind for downtown. They're big on Disneyfied appearances, cute signs, replicas and seeming to run the public space as a private club of boosters in order to project a postcard image that isn't quite there. Flags and flowers.
DATA

Greeneville, TN

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#31
Feb 22, 2013
 
DIDD Data Management Report for July 2012 shows 7139 people on Waiting List for ICF Community Home Placement. That would be 1785 Homes. Make it an economic and development plan and there is loads of money in Nashville through economic grants and Fasttrack money to do it. Takes imagination and the right people behind it.
follow up

Kingsport, TN

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#33
Feb 23, 2013
 

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DATA wrote:
DIDD Data Management Report for July 2012 shows 7139 people on Waiting List for ICF Community Home Placement. That would be 1785 Homes. Make it an economic and development plan and there is loads of money in Nashville through economic grants and Fasttrack money to do it. Takes imagination and the right people behind it.
Thanks for the data, but I promise you this will not happen, and it will not even be proposed. The developmentally disabled and the mentally ill are in the same boat when it comes to care....dumped and ignored as much as possible, medicated as much as possible. Some money spent, yes, but not enough for all those wanting or needing help. The real estate guys love building, and as much as Tenn. loves pleasing them, it won't do it to a tune of half a million muliplied by 1785. At some point, it would occur to someone in the Tenn. bureaucracy that a well run hospital/institution (GVDC) is more efficient and provides better care than 1785 scattered homes.

Back to downtown G'ville, small businesses, revitalization. What plans do they have (the improvement committees), to fill the empty spaces? What happened to Niswonger's announced and much praised plan of pouring his money into downtown revitalization? Does that mean all plans have to have his approval, in order to get his money? Don't know. Are they going for an upscale boutique look, a sort of outdoor shopping mall filled with well heeled consumers and tourists throwing money around? Don't know. Perhaps non-Niswonger property owners have plans of their own, not announced on the front page of the Sun, to bring in lease money.
DATA

Greeneville, TN

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#34
Feb 23, 2013
 
follow up wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the data, but I promise you this will not happen, and it will not even be proposed. The developmentally disabled and the mentally ill are in the same boat when it comes to care....dumped and ignored as much as possible, medicated as much as possible. Some money spent, yes, but not enough for all those wanting or needing help. The real estate guys love building, and as much as Tenn. loves pleasing them, it won't do it to a tune of half a million muliplied by 1785. At some point, it would occur to someone in the Tenn. bureaucracy that a well run hospital/institution (GVDC) is more efficient and provides better care than 1785 scattered homes.
Back to downtown G'ville, small businesses, revitalization. What plans do they have (the improvement committees), to fill the empty spaces? What happened to Niswonger's announced and much praised plan of pouring his money into downtown revitalization? Does that mean all plans have to have his approval, in order to get his money? Don't know. Are they going for an upscale boutique look, a sort of outdoor shopping mall filled with well heeled consumers and tourists throwing money around? Don't know. Perhaps non-Niswonger property owners have plans of their own, not announced on the front page of the Sun, to bring in lease money.
You miss the point entirely. These houses will be built because it is pretty much against the law to have places like Greene Valley anymore. The State of Tennessee is already in trouble for not placing these people. Just like the small school system issue which festered for years then the court forced the state to equalize funding at the order of the court. The same thing is already in process here. Why not come up with a solution when it can be managed in steps rather than have it forced on you at one time. What will happen is the court will decide and the houses will be placed in all 95 counties and the level of care will be much inferior than the houses already in Greene County. If it becomes an enterprise then there is money already available to do this. There was almost a billion dollars available for Hemlock and Volkswagon. This way there would be an efficient use of money in one area, the other way the houses will be built by state, Tenncare, ICF and whatever Obamacare gives. You keep saying the houses won't be built, that is incorrect, they will be built, there is a necessity whether we like it or not, so why not turn a negative into a positive. Downtown development has been going on for 40 years and is a joke. The real development is actually taking place down at Mosheim with the new industry there and around Greene Valley. Development goes where the money is. There is no imagination in this town that is why it is dying. Obamacare is here to stay, the Republicans lost the last election and still will not accept defeat. Health care is in and if you deny it the money goes elsewhere and when Greene Valley closes you will have only Mosheim as a center of development and I predict within 10 to 15 years Mosheim will pass Greeneville as the biggest community in Greene County. Read it and weep Greeneville you are about to become history.
follow up

Henderson, NC

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#35
Feb 23, 2013
 

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DATA wrote:
<quoted text>You miss the point entirely. These houses will be built because it is pretty much against the law to have places like Greene Valley anymore. The State of Tennessee is already in trouble for not placing these people. Just like the small school system issue which festered for years then the court forced the state to equalize funding at the order of the court. The same thing is already in process here. Why not come up with a solution when it can be managed in steps rather than have it forced on you at one time. What will happen is the court will decide and the houses will be placed in all 95 counties and the level of care will be much inferior than the houses already in Greene County. If it becomes an enterprise then there is money already available to do this. There was almost a billion dollars available for Hemlock and Volkswagon. This way there would be an efficient use of money in one area, the other way the houses will be built by state, Tenncare, ICF and whatever Obamacare gives. You keep saying the houses won't be built, that is incorrect, they will be built, there is a necessity whether we like it or not, so why not turn a negative into a positive. Downtown development has been going on for 40 years and is a joke. The real development is actually taking place down at Mosheim with the new industry there and around Greene Valley. Development goes where the money is. There is no imagination in this town that is why it is dying. Obamacare is here to stay, the Republicans lost the last election and still will not accept defeat. Health care is in and if you deny it the money goes elsewhere and when Greene Valley closes you will have only Mosheim as a center of development and I predict within 10 to 15 years Mosheim will pass Greeneville as the biggest community in Greene County. Read it and weep Greeneville you are about to become history.
The community houses that have been built here and elsewhere in Tenn. are in response to the original lawsuit (brought by the Department of Justice against Arlington/DIDD in the early 90s)and the settlement that Tennessee eventually made with the DOJ. CRIPA law, civil rights etc. The settlement does not require 1700+ houses. In theory I think concentrating all the DIDD housing (if it were a large number) in one county is not a good idea. Community means community, clients need to be close to families and kin and their homes and churches, in addition to receiving humane services. Other future lawsuits may lead to other results and demands. Tennessee is traditionally indifferent to good affordable medical care and social services for those lacking the ability or wherewithal to look after their health interests (the aged, the mentally ill, the disabled, the impoverished); but, who knows, like stalled downtown development, that may change for the better.
DATA

Greeneville, TN

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#36
Feb 23, 2013
 
You are correct, there is no court ordered mandate to build the houses, however, there is a court ordered mandate to provide care for the 7000 plus on the Waiting List. That care is not being provided now and that is why the state is in trouble. Ideally as you say the houses would be built in each county to provide closeness to family but that does not translate to good care. People in mental retardation or Intellectual Disabilities if you like, know that the quality of care is far superior in Greene County than it is any place else in the state. The reason is in Memphis and Nashville state paid workers are getting bottom of the barrel wages and the state does not get good workers while in Greeneville the pay is relative good and the history is Greene Valley has got some excellent front line workers. You are correct again about bunching the houses, that is frowned upon. Originally the Community Homes were to be built on Greene Valley Grounds as a small but seperate community. ICF would not go along, they wanted real community homes that is why you see them spread out. If the 1750 homes were spread all over the city and county and perhaps into surrounding counties that would be acceptable. There are challenges and I personally don't see it happening because Tennessee never does anything it isn't forced to do. And as for Greeneville if you told the officials in Greeneville there was gold in the mountains at Camp Creek they would not put out the money or labor to dig it.

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