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Maymead wins bid for airport repaving project

Sheriff Mike Reece requested authority to get bids on several pieces of equipment at Thursday’s commission meeting in order to replace aging and outdated equipment that the department is currently using. The list of items included new radios to function with recent changes in the county’s frequencies and new vests to protect the officers. There is also a need to replace an outdated control panel at the county jail. The commission moved to grant the purchasing director authority to begin the bidding process without issue.
County Mayor Larry Potter announced that bids on the airport runway-repaving project had been reviewed and the low bid went to Maymead. Last year the county received a 1.4 million dollar grant for the purpose of rehabilitating the cracked and damaged runway at the county airport. As a part of the terms for receiving the grant, the county would be responsible for ten percent of the money used, and under Maymead’s low bid it brings the actual total to $128,000. Potter went on to explain that these figures were for the total repaving of the runway rather than just a patching job, which would have been only marginally less in price. Commissioner Bill Adams also noted that repaving should last upwards of 20 years, whereas a patching job must typically be redone every eight or nine years.
Giving a report on the county waste transfer station in Doe Valley, Commissioner Jack Proffit informed the commission that workers at the station would greatly benefit from small improvements at the facility. Proffit discussed the possible purchase of automatic gates and an intercom system, which would help day-to-day operation. Other improvements discussed were concerning smaller maintenance issues and the possible purchase of tools for use on the transfer station’s equipment. Most of these items are already provided for in the county budget.
Proffit went on to inform the commission that work is underway on the Furnace Creek bank stabilization project. As part of a grant received by the Town of Mountain City, the banks of Furnace creek beginning near Circle Drive in town and running most of its length will see considerable work to help with flooding and debris. Because the project requires a great deal of stone work and large equipment the city contracted with the county to do the job. The commission gave permission for the road department to do so when time and manpower could be spared. In addition to reimbursing the county for the work the city also purchases much of the stone from the county quarry. Work on the bank stabilization is expected to last two years, but should help keep the creek in its banks in times of high water.
Commissioner Dean Stout gave an excellent report on the Mountain Youth Academy, which occupies the old county hospital building in Cold Springs. Stout stated that the Academy now has 50 children in their program, with 23 of them being from Tennessee. He went on to praise the academy’s continuing improvements on the building and the growing success of their program.
The commission also accepted a letter of resignation from Jack Greer, a member of the 911 board and in turn also accepted the board’s suggestion of appointing Chris Pierce to his position. Pierce will finish the remainder of Greer’s term. Other personnel changes included the introduction of Sally Tugman as Mayor Potter’s new executive assistant. Tugman worked for almost 10 years in the county extension office until recent economic hardships cut her position. Citing Tugman’s excellent qualifications and experience, Potter stated that he felt she would be a valuable asset to the county.
The last issue of the night was to discuss continuing action of a proposal that Chairman Freddy Phipps made at last month’s meeting. In light of the nation’s current economic troubles, Phipps felt that it might be a good idea to look into asking the various county departments to switch to American made products when possible. Phipps felt that this might set an example for surrounding counties, businesses, and organizations that could have a positive effect. Supporting this idea, Mayor Potter sent letters to the department heads asking them to consider going with American made products when possible. Although no feedback was expressed at this meeting, Phipps is hopeful that in coming months the county might successfully make the change.
With no further discussion commissioner Stout made the motion to adjourn.