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Archives 05-19-2010


News

Fire destroys Walnut Grove home Thursday
Residents resist proposed Livingston annexation plan
School Board Tenure granted to 19 teachers
Ohio man hospitalized after boating crash

Fire destroys Walnut Grove home Thursday


Betty Aronson photos

Six Overton County fire departments fought a fire at the Walnut Grove Road residence of Lewis Webb on Thursday, May 13.

Fairgrounds Volunteer Fire Department were first called to the scene, but fire departments from Hilham, Rickman, Hardys Chapel, Timothy, and Livingston were needed to battle the blaze.

Firefighters fought to extinguish the fire from around 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., then Fairgrounds personnel were called back to put out embers around 8 p.m. and stayed around an hour more to thoroughly douse any remaining hot spots.

 



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Residents resist proposed Livingston annexation plan
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

A public hearing was held Monday, May 17 for residents to voice their thoughts on the proposed annexation of an area south and west of the current Livingston city boundary, and Mayor Curtis Hayes and the Livingston Board of Aldermen heard many opinions expressed, and every spoken opinion was a plea to just don’t do it.

Residents filled the Thurman Langford Conference Room at City Hall for the hearing, and were welcomed by Mayor Hayes, who would field most of their questions.

Fifth District Overton County Commissioner Gregg Nivens addressed the Board with concerns from his constituents affected by the annexation plan.

“The main thing I listened to when they were talking about it, it all came back to their freedoms,” he said. “They felt like their freedoms were being challenged. Their main concern is, they felt like they’re being infringed on.
They’re being placed in this city limits without any regard to anybody.

Nobody’s asked them if they want to be put in the city limits.”

He also mentioned restrictions and loss of privileges.

“There was talk about taxation without representation,” he said. “You folks, they didn’t vote for you’all, not the first one of you’ns.”

Nivens also mentioned that annexation would cause the Election Commission to have to reapportion the voting districts.

Mayor Hayes offered the positive side of annexation.

“We think we have some pretty good benefits in the city,” he said. “One is a reduction in the water rate.”

He then listed fire protection, police protection, curbside garbage collection, brush collection and chipping, and bushhogging. Mayor Hayes also said sewer would be available to about 99% of those being annexed in, though some areas do not have gravity flow available and would cost the resident about $2,500 to receive the service.

Mayor Hayes also informed the residents that a study has been conducted to show the reduction in water service cost and the property tax that would be levied on each parcel in the area. This information is available for each affected property owner to see.

A fire substation, manned with three or four employees to run the station, will likely be required, at a cost of approximately $50,000 plus the salaries of around $20,000 per employee, according to Mayor Hayes.

Later in the meeting, a member of the audience asked how much tax revenue the property to be annexed would bring in, Mayor Hayes said it would be just over $50,000 per year.

Tony Cannon addressed the Board wanting to be shown how the benefits outweigh the taxes.

Mayor Hayes added that the city’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating of 4 may reduce insurance costs for some property owners, and that emergency services would be better than what the affected residents currently have.

“Our average call in the need of police is about 3 minutes,” he said. “You pick up the phone and you dial 911 or you dial the police department number, 4 minutes.”

On the fire response, he used the example of a recent fire call on Jennifer Street, where it was unclear whether Livingston Fire Department or Fairgrounds Volunteer Fire Department had jurisdiction and both responded.

“We responded to that call in 5 minutes from the fire hall,” he said.

Fairgrounds took about 17 minutes to arrive, according to Mayor Hayes.
Cannon said his insurance provider informed him that his insurance premium will not change if his property is annexed.

Mayor Hayes gave examples of three different types of property and prices given to him from three local companies, and the minimum savings was $200 with those companies.

Fifth District County Commissioner Ben Danner also addressed the Board and asked if everything required in the last annexation’s plan of services has been met, stating that a new annexation cannot be undertaken by a municipality if the plan of services has not been performed for the previous
expansion.

“If you’re not, it says that you cannot annex new territory until you comply with the plan of services for the last annexation,” Danner said.

Mayor Hayes answered, “The only issue that’s ever been brought up that we’ve always kind of struggled with has been providing sewer, and that has been corrected.”

Donna Holt addressed the Board about her family’s farm being annexed.
“You tell me one farmer that’s ever benefited from having their taxes raised on the land that is their livelihood,” she said.

Addressing a concern that farmland would not remain farmland if it were ever sold, Alderman Robert Jolley, who is a member of Livingston Planning Commission, said, “If it’s an active farm, and it sells as an active farm, it grandfathers in as an active farm.”

Codes Inspector Darius Sims added that a farm, being commercial, if it were to quit operating, would have 30 months to resume operation, per state law.

Myra West walked up to the lectern and asked Mayor Hayes if he chose to live in the city, to which he answered in the affirmative, then asked Alderman David Langford if he chose to live in the city, to which he answered in the affirmative, then asked Alderman Jolley if he chose to live in the city, to which he answered in the affirmative, then asked Vice Mayor Bill Winningham if he chose to live in the city, to which he answered in the affirmative, then asked Alderman Cindy Robbins if she chose to live in the city, to which she answered in the affirmative, then asked Alderman Lynn King if he chose to live in the city, to which he answered in the affirmative, then asked Alderman David Sadler II if he chose to live in the city, to which he answered that he had been annexed in.

She asked Sadler if he wanted to be annexed in at the time.

He answered, “At the very beginning, I didn’t like it.”

West said, “My point is, to each of you, is you made that choice. Nobody forced you to make that choice to live where you did.”

She went on to say, “I like the quality of life in the position where I am and the house that I have where it is. I want to be able to, if I want to put a cow in the back of the yard, I can do that. That’s my choice.”

She later added, “You’re forcing something on us, something we don’t want.”

The annexation would take in 92 parcels, comprised of just under 600 acres.

The second reading of the annexation ordinance will be considered in the regular monthly meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday, June 7.



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School Board Tenure granted to 19 teachers
By Julie Young,
OCN staff

Overton County School Board held the regular monthly meeting Monday, May 17, with all members present.

The School Board granted tenure to the following:

•A. H. Roberts as recommended by Bridgett Carwile, Principal - Amy Baggett, Holly Dickerson, and Ashley Fisher.

•Hilham Elementary as recommended by Vickie Eldridge, Principal - Amanda Breeding, and Kim Dial.

•Rickman Elementary as receommended by Amy Brown, Principal - Lynn Jolley, Larry Jones, Melissa Masters, Sandra Matthews, and Brandi
Richardson.

•Livingston Middle School as recommended by Doug Smith, Principal - Ladonna Jackson, Steven Mosely and Tabitha Winningham.

•Livingston Academy as recommended by Lesley Smith, Principal - Diana Buckman, Peggy Garrett, Tammy Mansell, Sue Preston, and Kim Thorpe.

•Wilson Elementary as recommended by Christy Lee, Principal - Saundra Harris and Kim Huntley.

Quarterly reports were approved.

Approved resignation letter from Patti Bunger, custodian at Livingston Middle School, effective 4/23/10.

Approved retirement letter from Gerald Maynard, instructor and assistant principal at Livingston Academy, effective 6/30/10.

Approved retirement letter from Gail McCowan, instructor at Rickman Elementary.

Approved retirement letter from Gayle Hastings, instructor at Rickman Elementary.

Consent items were approved as follows:

•Second reading to amend Policy 6.203 - School Admissions, to remove the wording
“a power of attorney or” from the current policy stating, “A child whose care, custody and support has been assigned to a resident of the district by a power of attorney or order of the court shall be enrolled in school provided appropriate documentation has been filed with the district offfice.”

•Approved Federal Projects and budgets of Title I, Title II-A, Title 11-D, and Title IV.

The meeting adjourned.


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Ohio man hospitalized after boating crash


Darren Oliver photo
Willow Grove Boat Dock and Resort recovered the boat and brought it ashore during the Friday afternoon hail storm.

According to reports, Joe Carpenter, of Marysville, OH, who has a house near Willow Grove Boat Dock, went out for a ride on his boat around 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 14 when, near the mouth of Irons Creek, he apparently blacked out while the boat was in motion.

The boat ran aground and hit a tree, with the boat going straight up the tree and the back of the boat being submerged in the water. Carpenter remained in the boat approximately 30 minutes before help arrived. Darren Shell, owner of Willow Grove Boat Dock and Resort, and Blaine Beilharz, an employee, assisted in the rescue along with Micheal Maxwell, David Dansky, and Jonathon McAllister.

Overton County Ambulance Service transported him to Livingston Regional Hospital where he was admitted with cuts and bruises. He was released on Sunday, May 16.


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Overton County News
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Livingston' Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
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