DeKalb County has been awarded $50,000 through Tennessee’s ThreeStar program to improve the county’s agriculture building.
Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Suzanne Williams said the exterior of the building is complete, with work left to be done inside. Williams said the plan is to add a large commercial kitchen and meeting spaces.
“We just hope this will benefit especially, Alexandria and then other businesses in DeKalb County,” Williams said. “We look to be reaching people from at least 50 miles away.”
Williams said the agriculture building will facilitate regional agriculture auctions, education classes and community events. Williams said the building was identified as an economic driver that could benefit the entire county if money is invested into expanding what can be offered as a host site.
“It’s going to be used in so many ways,” Williams said. “We’re looking at the DeKalb County Cattle Association events. Equipment Auctions, school functions, concerts, all kinds of entertainment type events. We want to have culinary classes there, our 4-H development programs, cattle and horse sales.”
Williams said that when these ideas were put forward to the Tennessee ThreeStar Director, they liked what they heard and were on board with the plan. She said the same goes for discussions with city and county leaders.
“We’re looking to bring in people from all the surrounding counties and maybe a little further,” Williams said. “We know that when all these visitors come in, they don’t only spend their money there at the ag building but you have to buy food and gas.”
The DeKalb County Agriculture building is located at the county fairgrounds in Alexandria. Three Star is a strategic community development program developed to assist communities in preparing for tourism, workforce development and more.