LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Last night the City of LaFollette held its monthly workshop that was closed to the public due to the spike in COVID cases.

COVID was not on the agenda but ended up there. City property taxes are now payable, and there is concern how to safely manage receiving payments.  Currently the lobby is closed.  Councilman Lonnie “Hotrod” Wilson used this an opportunity to let the public know the city has extended the two percent discount until Dec. 5.  However, precautions still needed to be put in place to receive those payments. LaFollette City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries recommended the city have three individuals working the front desk area, one to check temperatures, one to receive payments and one to answer the phone.  Other precautions discussed were asking patrons about COVID exposure or COVID symptoms and putting the front office staff on a weekly rotation.

The next item affected by COVID is the annual Christmas Parade.  Kelli Jo Wright, chairman of the Christmas Parade committee, came to the meeting seeking input on how the council wants to proceed given the current situation.  “The parade committee feels like it’s for the best to not move forward,” said Wright.  The council will need to discuss the issue and vote on it before a decision is final.

Items to be voted on at next week’s council meeting are four resolutions.  Resolution 2020-18 authorizing the City of LaFollette to participate in the Public Entity Partners (Property Conservation Matching Grant Program), this is done yearly. Resolution 2020-19 amending the 2020-21 budget, $30,000 of the resolution is the addition of funds from the National Institute of Justice grant from Iowa State University.  Resolution 2020-20 allows the city to apply to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Recreation Education Services Division 2020 public parks and recreation grant cycle.  If awarded the grant, a proposed amphitheater will be built.  Resolution 2020-21 relates the multimodal access fund program which is designed to assist communities in their efforts to enhance transportation concerns.

The council will approve the advertisement of bids for paving on Cumberland Lane (the street at Charley’s Pizza), Cumberland Avenue, North Cumberland Avenue to Beech Street, South Avenue and 13th Street, a section of Eastgate Lane, Brantley Lane and an unopened street behind Thermador.  Thermador will pay half of the paving costs on the unopened street.  Turnout gear bids for the fire department will be discussed.  One bid was received that met the specs of the bids.

Johnathon Finley with EE Hill and Son Insurance spoke with the council about the city employee insurance renewal.  Finley looked at Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield insurances.  After some discussion, Finley was able to negotiate a five percent cheaper rate with Blue Cross Blue Shield and lock in the rate for dental and vision insurance for the next two years.

November’s regular monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday,  November 4, 5:30 pm, at City Hall.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/27/2020-6AM)