HUNTSVILLE — Scott County is one of eight counties across the state selected by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development to participate in the Select Tennessee Property Evaluation Program spring round, the Industrial Development Board of Scott County announced Monday afternoon.

Launched in 2015, the purpose of PEP is to improve the inventory of industrial sites and buildings in Tennessee by evaluating potential properties, advising counties on where investment may be most beneficial and what is needed to address issues.

TNECD unveiled the eight counties that it selected to participate in the program Monday afternoon.

“I am so happy for Scott County because this will allow us to determine which is the most viable industrial site to pursue for the county,” said Stacey Kidd, executive director of the ID Board. “Through the financial support of the state and the direction from Austin Consulting, we will now have a clear direction in which property to invest in to help attract new industry to this amazing county.”

The ID Board has been pursuing property to develop for industrial purposes. The ID Board recently worked with the Winfield Industrial Development Board as the town acquired the former ABC building on U.S. Hwy. 27 for use as a spec building in its efforts to recruit new industry. Kidd said identifying which properties will best serve the county’s industrial recruitment efforts is vital as the county attempts to put its best foot forward.

TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said that the PEP will help in that regard.

“By assisting counties across the state in evaluating and improving their sites, we can make sure these communities will be better equipped to attract potential new business and create future economic growth,” Boyd said.

Other counties selected for the spring round of the program were Fayette, Humphreys, Lawrence, Maury, Unicoi, Van Buren and White.

“This program will provide eight counties with the tools they need to make themselves more marketable to potential new business,” said TNECD site development director Leanne Cox. “I look forward to working with all of the counties who have been selected to participate in the program, and I am excited to see them enhance our state’s efforts in recruiting and expanding businesses in Tennessee.”

The program includes an educational webinar on the site selection process, an on-site visit by Austin Consulting and a comprehensive assessment addressing each property’s strengths, weaknesses and recommended next steps to improve marketability.

Selected for the highly competitive grant was based on demonstrated local need for industrial properties and also on the county’s ability to assemble viable properties with market potential.