Tag Archives: incentive

State to Pay $13 Million to Keep ‘Nashville’ Filming in Nashville

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has approved a grant of up to $12.5 million to support the local production of ABC’s Nashville, reports The City Paper.
Mayor Karl Dean has also agreed, on behalf of Metro, to provide a $500,000 cash grant for the production of the show, something that Dean’s office has previously referred to as advertising the city can’t buy.
There had been speculation about the possibility of the show leaving Nashville for its second season, but ABC confirmed last week that the show would remain in its title city.
“Nashville offers a valuable international platform to showcase our state’s dynamic entertainment industry, while providing a confluence of film and music that is unique only to Tennessee,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said in a release from the department. “Promoting and assisting this thriving business sector is an integral part of our state’s economic development efforts. From our rich musical heritage to our talented artists and crew, Tennessee’s entertainment industry is second to none. I am pleased Nashville producers recognize the value of filming in Music City, and I look forward to another great season.”
ECD noted that the grant will be based on “qualified expenditures,” defined as “those incurred in the state for goods or services purchased from a Tennessee vendor or paid to a Tennessee resident in connection with the production.”
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. and the Event Marketing Fund will each contribute a cash grant of $125,000. The production is expected to generate more than $40 million in local spending, according to ECD.
“Small and large Nashville businesses have benefited greatly from the local filming of Nashville, not only from the direct spending related to the show but also from the worldwide attention this show has generated for our city and our state. With beautiful scenic shots of our landscape and the portrayal of our unique music scene, more people, without a doubt, are visiting our city and spending their money here because they’ve seen this hour-long commercial for Music City that airs every week during primetime,” said Dean, in a prepared statement. “The city’s investment in Nashville this season is a recognition that this show benefits our local economy and is opening doors to further grow the film and television industry here.”

Duncan III, Employees to Refund $40,000 in Bonuses

Knox County Trustee John Duncan III and a half dozen of his employees have agreed to pay back more than $40,000 in incentive payments for participating in a government-related program that they never completed, reports Mike Donila.
Duncan told the News Sentinel on Monday he hasn’t resolved all the details, but some of his workers will ma one-time payments for as much as $6,000 and others “may need extra time to make monthly installments.”
“I believe returning the payments will erase any concerns some may have about our intentions to serve the peop of Knox County with the utmost integrity and respect for their hard-earned tax dollars,” he said in a released statement.
The announcement came late Monday, several hours after he met with Commissioner R. Larry Smith who had asked Knox County Commission last week to look into the bonuses.
“I was real pleased,” said Smith. “I still want to talk about some of the other issues that are out there, and I think there are things that the taxpayers need to know, like who gets to take the class and how they’re paid. But the discussion (at next Tuesday’s commission meeting) isn’t going to be nearly as long.”
The trustee first gave himself and six other employees each a $3,000 education bonus — most of it tied to the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Services, or CTAS, program — in December 2010, three months after taking office. None of the employees were certified.

Commission Eyes Duncan’s Incentive Payments

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Knox County Commission is looking into incentive payments Trustee John Duncan III gave himself and some of his employees over the last two years for participating in a program most have yet to complete.
Duncan, son of U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., says problems with the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Services’ computer system are the reason for the problems. But some commissioners wonder why the members of the trustee’s office failed to finish the certified public administrator courses they were taking after Duncan and the employees received a combined $57,000 in bonuses.
Duncan’s explanation to the Knoxville News Sentinel has changed over time (http://bit.ly/xhhEYG). But he contends computer issues at UT were the main culprit, a statement UT and some commissioners contend isn’t true.
State law says bonuses should only go to those who attain certified public administrator designation.
“It’s really infuriated a lot of people,” Commissioner R. Larry Smith said. “There are people who want questions answered, and the taxpayers are pretty upset.”
Smith said this week he got “pressure” some elected officials who work in the City County Building to take the item off the commission’s agenda. He wouldn’t say where that pressure came from, but noted: “That’s not going to happen.”
Duncan paid the bonuses in 2010 and 2011. He sent a letter to the News Sentinel this week. In it, he said the 2010 incentive payments were made “under the assumption (that the employees) would be certified public administrators by the end of the fiscal year.”
“This proved to be impossible, as the program’s web courses were made unavailable for months due to UT computer system upgrades,” Duncan wrote. “The inability to complete the work was at no fault of the course participants, so a one-time payment was made to those who pursued the program with reasonable diligence.”
Duncan repeated the explanation in an interview Friday, but CTAS Executive Director Mike Garland said the website was disabled July through August — after the fiscal year ended.
Garland also said that to complete the program in 2011, officials needed to attend a three-day seminar, offered in April and May. No one in the Trustee’s Office attended it.