Macon County Chronicle

Congresswoman Black Visits Lafayette

Congressman Diane Black recently visited Lafayette and as an advocate of small town businesses, she toured the new NCTC Data Center, Tri County Electric, met with John Cook, Greg Gattin, and Trip Hereford for an update on the call center project, then concluded her visit at County Mayor Shelvy Linville’s office.

Discussing the call center project with Congressman Black, Cook reported that the representative that had been working with him from the U.S. Department of Commerce had been very professional, helpful and prompt. “We also discussed the Economic Impact Study about the Call Center,” Cook said, “that we are in the process of starting with the College of Business Administration of Tennessee Tech University. Diane is very sincere and wants to help create jobs anyway she can.”

While in town, Black met with Nancy White, of North Central Telephone Cooperative and Jonathan West, who is with the Twin Lakes Telephone Cooperative. They briefed her on the issues in Washington and with the FCC that will affect rural communications cooperatives’ ability to serve customers in the area. The congressman also took time to tour the new Data Center on Locust Street, just off the public square.

“We spent our time talking about the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency and Dept. of Energy’s new regulations,” said Paul Thompson, Tri County Electric Executive Vice President and General Manager, “that would increase the cost of electricity. We asked the Congressman for her support in protecting rural electric cooperative members/owners and to help us keep our rates as low as possible.”

In conclusion, Mayor Linville expressed his concern to Congressman Black about the reduced funding the Community Block Development Grants is imposing and of course the need for jobs in our area.