published Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Rhea County, Tenn., alliance plans strategy

DAYTON, Tenn. -- Better communication in a nonpolitical atmosphere will allow leaders "to work together to promote Rhea County," Rhea Alliance President Jim Reed said at the group's first executive board meeting.

Reed, a county commissioner and Spring City Chamber of Commerce president, had discussed forming the group with Vaughn Berger, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce's president, earlier this year. Each represented entity will pay a $200 fee that will help defray website maintenance and marketing costs.

Members of the group include the Dayton and Spring City Chambers of Commerce, the Rhea County executive, representatives of the Rhea County Economic and Tourism Council and the cities of Dayton, Spring City and Graysville.

Berger had told officials at a MainStreet Dayton meeting that the group planned "to merge the work of community leaders" without overlapping efforts.

At last week's meeting, Reed said members had finalized the alliance's bylaws, which stipulate the election of officers and specific duties, and had decided to meet quarterly. If the group dissolved, the bylaws specify that "all current assets shall be divided equally between the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and the Spring City Chamber of Commerce."

"Many have not been aware" of what Rhea County has to offer, Reed said. He said the group's website will host links from around the county in one location.

Reed told the executive board members that the entities involved need to maintain their individual statuses or risk losing money if they were to combine finances.

"I hope it works well," said Berger, the group's vice president.

The group appointed Randy Wells, with MainStreet Dayton, as its secretary/treasurer and named county Attorney Carol Ann Barron as legal counsel and an honorary member.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at

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