Baileyton Mayor Tommy Casteel hopes the town’s future will include additional businesses and a new town hall and fire department.
Casteel noted that a number of businesses at exit 36, including an IHOP, Papa John’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and the locally owned and operated Baileyton Drug Company, could help bring additional sales tax revenue to the town.
“We don’t know how much it’s going to increase the revenue yet,” Casteel said. “They’ve not been open long enough (to determine that).”
Casteel pointed out that half the sales tax the town receives goes to the Greene County School System, saying, “If we get a dollar, they get half of it.”
Baileyton is home to North Greene High School and Baileyton Elementary, which serve the town and surrounding northern Greene County area.
Casteel wants to continue to improve infrastructure and said he hopes a grant will help pay for a new building to house the town hall and fire department. The town provides a building for the United Volunteer Fire Department, which must provide its own vehicles, equipment and manpower.
He noted that there were a few disappointments in 2017, including having to raise sewer rates, and he expects sewer, along with paving and ditching, to remain ongoing challenges.
“Sewer is always an issue with small towns,” he said.
Frontera Mexican restaurant and Porter’s Grocery closed last year as well, another disappointment for a town trying to grow. Casteel said that the Dollar General has expanded its stock and will help make up for the loss of the Porter’s for residents, who don’t have a grocery store in their town.
Courting a national chain grocery store remains a high priority for Casteel but hasn’t been successful yet.
“We’re still trying,” he said.
While Casteel’s vision for Baileyton’s growth is a work in progress, he believes the town already has much to offer and invites the public to come out and enjoy the annual Baileyton Celebration, held the weekend after Labor Day. The event features food, entertainment, crafts and a parade.