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Community concerns to be addressed

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

Johnson County and Mountain City area residents have noticed the need for improvements. The concerns, when shared with others, spawn more conversation. 
Many are voicing their dismay in hopes of raising awareness. Some are approaching County Mayor Mike Taylor, who promises to pass the information along to City Mayor Jerry Jordan.   
“There are two sides to every story, and I’m willing to listen and respond in a positive matter,” said Jordan when asked about one specific issue at hand.
The first concern revolved around limited parking within the Heritage Square area. Places such as the Johnson County Senior Center, the Johnson County Center for the Arts, and the Johnson County Library only have a small amount of parking despite growth in the area’s population and organizations’ increasing popularity. 
The senior center averages approximately 100 people for events but has less than 50 parking spots. The problem is real since parking is partially shared with the Mountain City/Johnson County Community Center and Taylorsville Masonic Lodge. 
 According to Jordan, the Heritage Square parking
situation is known to the city and mentioned the increased traffic related to the new pickleball field. 
He explained that a parking garage could be a way to combat that, but he “doesn’t see this option happening” because it would require the purchase of land and building costs. Jordan did confirm that a plan is in motion to help improve Heritage Square issues.
“Amber Orlikowski with First Tennessee Development District is presenting a draft of 5 Year Master Plan for Heritage Square,” Jordan explained. “This plan must be in place to help obtain funding from numerous state and federal grants.”
Other concerns focused more on road-related issues, including sign theft, public knowledge of road or parking lot maintenance jurisdictions, and what some call “extremely dangerous” intersections. Each concern was explained in a letter addressed to both mayors and the city council. 
 According to Jordan, he has not received any prior information on these concerns but plans to bring them to the Mountain City Council during its next meeting. The city council meets on the first Tuesday of each month at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit mountaincitytn.org. 
The Tomahawk attempted to contact Mayor Taylor through several mediums but have received no response at the time of this article. The County Commission meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Johnson County Courthouse at 7 p.m. For more information about county government, visit johnsoncountytn.gov.