County commissioners moved closer Monday night to approving a new county office building in Jellico, as the Building & Grounds Committee discussed a design for the new building that would include a single floor for the area housing clerical offices and an adjoining two-story section for the county’s ambulance service. The EMS section would house ambulances on the ground floor and living quarters for personnel upstairs, committee chairman Ralph Davis explained. Davis, who has championed the project from the beginning, also suggested that the building should have concrete floors, pointing out that polished concrete will be cheaper and easier to maintain.
The building would house satellite offices for the County Clerk, Trustee, Clerk & Master and Property Assessor and include a drive-in window to serve customers seeking vehicle tags or paying taxes. The City of Jellico has agreed to provide the property for the building at no cost or in a long-term lease for one dollar, Davis earlier explained.
A final meeting with an architect to finalize plans and get a rough idea of the potential price tag is yet to be scheduled and may determine whether other commissioners support the plan. Davis voiced his determination, telling the committee, “We need it. The building we’re in is getting old.”
New commissioner Dewayne Baird voiced some concerns about potential debt, pointing out that the county will soon be faced with the need to build a new high school.
The committee, and later the full commission, also gave unanimous approval to a plan to complete paving the parking lot on the south side of the courthouse. The commission approved paving the entire area and placing conduit beneath the asphalt in case electrical lighting is later needed.
The regular commission meeting lasted barely over one hour, as commissioners have pledged to debate most issues fully in committee meetings in order to shorten workshop and regular meetings. The commission quickly approved motions to approve a lease with Appalachian Equipment Co. for the use of a transmitter site and antenna on Massengale Mountain, elevation 3,068 feet above Caryville, to serve the county’s EMS, along with a number of budget amendments and other routine matters.
The commission also voted to re-schedule the November workshop because of the Veterans’ Day holiday. Instead of being held on the second Monday, the November workshop will be on Tuesday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the Court House. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/16/2018-6AM)