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Archives 02-03-2010

News

Oh Snow!
West Volunteer Drive repair to begin soon
Ambulance Service receives $124,000 for equipment
Ribbon cutting held for Vol State expansion

County unemployment rate rises to 12.2% in December

 

Oh Snow!


Darren Oliver photo
Martha Clark, Eliza Clark, and Mason Walters race down the hill on their sleds after “Blizzard ‘10” hit the Overton County area with 6 to 8 inches of snow Friday night, Jan. 29 into Saturday.


At left, Seth Smith, 4, and Sara Ann Smith, 3, children of Jonathan and Wendy Smith, show off a snowman they built Sunday, Jan. 31 in this photo that was submitted to Overton County News.


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West Volunteer Drive repair to begin soon
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes and the Board of Aldermen held their regular monthly meeting Monday, Feb. 1, with all aldermen present.

Elk Mountain Construction Company’s low bid on sanitary sewer repair on Mofield Street was approved.

Engineer David Moss with Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon Inc. (BWSC) said the paperwork would take a couple of weeks to process, then the city can issue a Notice to Proceed. The project is to be completed in 30 days from the issuance of the Notice to Proceed.

The repair is funded 85.5% through TEMA and FEMA disaster money, with 12.5% required from the city.

Highway’s Incorporated’s low bid of $177,000 for repairing West Volunteer Drive was approved. The project is to be completed in 45 days from the issuance of the Notice to Proceed.

Applying for a Tennessee Housing Development Agency Home Grant was approved.

Andy Meadows, of Upper Cumberland Development District, said,
“Overton County and its municipalities are within the top three of being funded this year, as long as they apply for it.”

He said the most one county and its municipalities can receive is $750,000, and the most one municipality can apply for is $500,000. If both the city and county apply for the grant, and both are approved, the $750,000 would be split between the two.

“This is all grant money, there’s no match,” Meadows said. “It’s to rehab or replace homes for low-income families that just need a safer and more sanitary place to live.”

Second reading was approved on Ordinance 2010-1-1 concerning court costs, fines, and fees, which was needed to satisfy a recommendation by Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS).

The only bid on a patrol car, $22,000 for a Chevrolet Impala from Casey’s Frontier, was approved.

Airport Committee Chairman Johnny Halfacre presented the committee’s bylaws to the City Council for approval.

“We don’t have the power to make any decisions concerning money, the power is to advise the mayor and the City Council as to the best way to maintain, equip, operate the airport, and also development of the new projects there,” he said.

The committee is made up of 10 members – 5 appointed by the city and 5 appointed by the county.

“Now, some of the items that doesn’t involve money, we’ll go ahead and put that into operation,” Halfacre said.

The Airport Committee bylaws were approved.

Pamida Drive was renamed Roses Drive.

Payment in lieu of tax for water and sewer and for natural gas was approved.

Mayor Curtis Hayes said, “This is moving revenues from utilities into the general fund.”

Al Doeve gave an update on the Highlands regional economic development program, which includes Overton, Putnam, and White counties. The program has been operating for 4 years.

Mayor Hayes commended city employees for a job “absolutely well done” during the snow removal.

Sam Norrod addressed the Board of Aldermen to ask why the water rates were higher outside the city limits than inside.

Mayor Hayes answered, “One reason is, the property taxpayers of Livingston are responsible for the bonds.”

Mayor Hayes also cited, along with the rate increases having been set when the Butler’s Landing water project began in 2000, the costs of servicing areas outside the city limits. He also added that the number of residences receiving water from the city also affects the cost.

“The more customers we have, the lower the rate would be,” he said.

Harold Fletcher addressed the mayor, saying, “My only complaint is, why don’t you extend the city limits?”

“Well, that’s hopefully in the future,” Mayor Hayes said.

Another resident from outside the city limits asked about the rates and how they are determined.

Mayor Hayes said that he would welcome him and anyone else who wishes to see the numbers to visit his office and he would go through it with them.

The meeting adjourned.



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Ambulance Service receives $124,000 for equipment
U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program will be awarding $124,000 to Overton County Ambulance Service for upgrades to heart monitoring equipment.

U.S. Representative Bart Gordon said, “Every day, countless lives are saved by the courageous efforts and quick professionalism of Tennessee’s paramedics. Programs like the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program ensure our first responders have top-of-the-line medical equipment.”

Overton County Ambulance Service will use the funds to purchase new 12-Lead heart monitors, which work with cell phones to transmit patients’ real-time heart monitor data to hospitals while ambulances are en route, according to Overton County Ambulance Service Director Jim Morgan.

“These new monitors will enhance our response to cardiac emergencies by giving emergency room staff access to the same information as the paramedics on the scene” Morgan explained. “In rural areas where ambulance trips may be longer, it’s especially important to get doctors as much information as possible before the patient arrives.”

In November, Gordon used his chairmanship of the House Science and Technology to help pass the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act, strengthening the AFG program and making it more accessible to stations and departments suffering economic hardship.


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Ribbon cutting held for Vol State expansion


A ribbon cutting marked the completion of the four and a half-year expansion project at Vol State in Livingston. On hand are, front row from left, Greg McDonald, Livingston-Overton Chamber of Commerce director of Business Development, State Senator Diane Black, Rita Reagan, Chamber of Commerce director of Marketing and Tourism, Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes, Warren Nichols, president of Volunteer State Community College, major donors J.J. Oakley, Julia Bishop and Budd Bishop, back row, David Gregory, Tennessee Board of Regents vice-chancellor of Administration and Facilities Development, Overton County Mayor Kenneth Copeland, Regent Steve Copeland, and Michael Powell, director of Vol State at Livingston.

The Vol State at Livingston expansion project is complete, and more than a hundred people turned out Thursday, Jan. 28 for an open house and ribbon cutting to celebrate the occasion.

The college facility is a partnership between Volunteer State Community College, City of Livingston, Overton County, and donors who realized the importance of expanding student facilities and opportunities in the Upper Cumberland area.

Vol State at Livingston is a degree granting center, offering a variety of classes and degree concentrations. Donors, civic leaders, educators, and the public had the opportunity to view the new facility, which in total includes 15 classrooms with the latest teaching technology, ITV interactive television classroom, science-biology lab, NewSkills computer lab, library, 18 faculty offices, administration offices, outdoor and indoor study areas, and a new parking lot. Several of the classrooms are prepared for Allied Health classes.

Vol State classes started in Livingston in 1991. By 1994, increasing enrollment led to discussions about a new facility. Tennessee Board of Regents approved the plan in 2004. Construction began in July 2005. The $5 million project was finished this year. It was funded by donations to Livingston Campus Campaign, and those donations were matched by Tennessee Board of Regents. The total amount raised by the community was $2,286,516.

Vol State offers day, evening, video, online. and hybrid classes in Livingston. More than 50 courses are scheduled this spring.

 



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County unemployment rate rises to 12.2% in December
Tennessee’s unemployment rate for December was 10.9%, up 0.7 percentage point from the revised November rate of 10.2%. The United States’ unemployment rate for the month of December was unchanged at 10%.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for December 2009 show that the rate increased in 91 counties, decreased in 1, and remained the same in
3 counties.

Scott County had the state’s 3rd highest unemployment rate at 18.8%, up from 17.7 in November. And Pickett County’s unemployment rate was the state’s 8th highest at 17.4%, up from 15.4% in November. Pickett had 300 unemployed of a workforce of 1,720.

Overton County’s unemployment rate was 12.2% for December, up from 11.5% in November. Overton had 1,180 unemployed of a workforce of 9,640.

Overton County is included in the Cookeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, along with Putnam County and Jackson County. Unemployment in the Cookeville MSA went up from 10.1% to 10.9% in December, with 5,250 unemployed of a workforce of 48,360.

Jackson County’s unemployment rate went up from 12.4% in November to 13.1% in December. Jackson had 630 unemployed of a workforce of 4,790.

Putnam County’s unemployment rate rose from 9.4% in November to 10.1% in December. Putnam had 3,440 unemployed of a workforce of 33,920.

Clay County’s unemployment rate went up from 13.8% in November to 14.1% in December. Clay had 450 unemployed of a labor force of 3,210.

Fentress County’s unemployment rate went up from 12.7% to 13.9% in December. Fentress had 1,040 unemployed of a workforce of 7,510.

Unemployment information is available online at http://www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/december2009county.pdf.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
info@overtoncountynews.com

 
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