published Friday, June 21st, 2013

Dayton groups to form alliance to unite efforts on annual events

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    John Payne is the the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council's executive director.

DAYTON, Tenn. — Officials from all over Rhea County are planning a nonprofit alliance to unite efforts on annual events, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce's leader said.

How to merge the work of community leaders "without overlapping" was a challenge officials struggled with for the past six months, President Vaughn Berger said.

Berger announced the chamber's plans at the recent monthly board meeting of MainStreet Dayton.

"The bylaws are being finalized," he said.

County organizations included in the alliance are MainStreet Dayton, the Dayton Chamber and the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council. Individuals involved include Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen, Spring City Mayor Billy Ray Patton, Graysville Mayor Ted Doss and Rhea County Executive George Thacker.

Berger told board members that the organization tentatively is called Rhea Alliance. Rhea County Alliance was considered as the name, he said, but the acronym would have conflicted with that for Rhea County Academy.

He said the alliance's website details aren't finalized, but each entity's inclusion on the site will cost $200.

The MainStreet Dayton board approved the $200 expense.

One upcoming event that alliance members have planned is a fall fishing tournament.

John Payne, executive director of the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council, formed in 2002 to promote industry and tourism, had asked Berger if a restructuring was needed.

"I agree there's too much overlap," he said.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@

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