LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – At Tuesday afternoon’s monthly meeting of the La Follette City Council, it appeared there could be an end in sight for the ongoing saga of Postmark La Follette where the old La Follette post office building is concerned.
During last week’s workshop, Joanne Myers, a representative from Postmark La Follette, was in attendance to present a proposal for leasing the old post office which is owned by the City. Karen Cumorich, another representative from Postmark, approached the council at the March meeting about the possibility of a 24 month lease on the building for zero dollars. After a brief discussion, Councilman Mark Hoskins requested Postmark bring a proposal to the council of its best offer on the building. Hoskins requested the proposal be brought to the council in April, and the council would decide at that time.
Myers brought a proposal of $500 per month to be construed as a rent or utilities payment at the city’s preference at the March workshop. In the proposal, the city would continue its present obligations for maintaining the building and paying the utilities cost and to provide Postmark the first right of refusal in the event the city decides to sell the building. The length of the proposed agreement would be for two years with an option to renew for consecutive terms.
Yesterday, the council voted to surplus the old post office building where Postmark LaFollette is currently operating and has operated for the last several years. After the meeting ended, Cumorich requested to speak to the council. Cumorich said she had raised her hand to speak at the time of the motion to surplus the post office but was not recognized. Mayor Phillip Farmer told her she had three minutes. Cumorich questioned whether the city was going to accept their offer because they had not been contacted by the city about their offer. Farmer told Cumorich the city was not going to accept the offer. She then asked what would occur since the building was approved as surplus. The response was the building will be appraised as a next step and then sold. Cumorich shared with the council the post office is the last historic building left in La Follette.
The council voted to accept five bids for various city projects. The first bid is for $256,621 from Rogers Group Knoxville for resurfacing and striping in the back parking lot of the municipal building and the entrance street to fire station #3. Second is a bid of $2,869.15 from Archie McMillan Construction Inc. in Knoxville for sealing and striping the parking lots of all city ballfields. The third bid is for rescue equipment for the fire department from Fastenal for $34,925.31. The fourth bid is for extraction equipment for the fire department from Safe Industries for $44,031. The fifth bid is for a bucket truck for the public works department from Versa Lift Forestry in Shelby, North Carolina. Estimated delivery of the truck is three to six months.
Ordinance 2022-03 adopting and enacting supplemental and replacement pages for the Municipal Code of the City of La Follette, Tennessee had its final reading as well as Ordinance 2022-04 amending section 5-A of the Employee Personnel Policy. Ordinance 2022-06 abandoning a portion of an unopened street located within South Ninth Street in the City of La Follette was approved. Ordinance 2022-07 and Ordinance 2022-08 amending the personnel policy on recommendations from comptroller’s office had a first reading. The ordinances are in response to recommendations made in last year’s comptrollers report. In the ordinance, it defines use of municipal time, facilities, etc. The ordinance also includes a number and online contact to report suspected violations of the ordinance.
Five resolutions were approved pertaining to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Resolution 2022-09 applying for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds; Resolution 2022-10 for engineering services for Fulghum, MacIndoe and Associates and Resolution 2022-11 for administrative services. Funds received from the grant will be used for rehabbing the old jail at the municipal building, purchasing a rescue truck for the fire department and a backup system for 911. Resolution 2022-12 amending the 2021-22 budget and Resolution 2022-13 supporting restoring the historic revenue sharing relationship between the State of Tennessee and its local governments and to return the local share of the single article cap to local governments were approved.
City Administrator Stan Foust announced the LaFollette Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Fri., April 15, at 9 am. He shared with the council that Camelot will be a corporate sponsor for the event this year. The opening of the Dogwood Trail will be on Thu., April 21 at 10 am. The city has declared April as clean up fix up month.
At the monthly beer board meeting, one permit was approved to Sideline Grill at 2239 Jacksboro Pike, across from Wendy’s at Woodson Mall. Red Roof Market was represented by Attorney Steve Hurst for a third violation. Hurst requested the matter be postponed until a pending criminal case could be resolved. He reported that the issue should be resolved on April 20. The council agreed to meet on April 21 at 5:30 pm to take the issue up again. This was the third violation for the market. The violation is the result of an undercover operation where alcohol was sold to a minor without being asked for identification. Hoskins reminded the council that the law states on a third violation the license to sell beer is revoked. Last year the owner of the market appeared before the board for its second violation and paid a $3,500 fine. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/06/2022-6AM)