Mayor Johnny Lynch recognizes Joshua Alexander Tilson during the Town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, for the poppy pins he made for local veterans. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Kendal Groner)

By Kendal Groner

In their Monday, Nov. 20, meeting the Town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen recognized two community members, as well as an organization in the town for their contributions and services.

Joshua Alexander Tilson, a young man who handmade poppy pins to hand out to veterans at the Nov. 11 Unicoi Veterans Day event was given a certificate of recognition for his kind gesture.

“We just thought that was something and that we should recognize this young man and show our appreciation because it’s really something special to see young people step up and do things like that,” said Town of Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch.

Claudia Langley was recognized with the Samuel Leedy Good Neighbor Award for her contributions to various aspects of the community, such as the History Committee projects and the Mountain Harvest Kitchen Project.

“If you’ve been to any of these various events in Unicoi you’re bound to have seen her helping out and doing things,” said Lynch.

“We must carry the determination she possesses to be a good neighbor with us, not only by celebrating her helping hands but also by recognizing others like her,” read the award.

Reverend Eddie Blazer was presented the Samuel Leedy Good Organization Award on behalf of the Unicoi Church of God. The church recently gathered 470 food boxes for families in need during the holiday season.

“The Unicoi Church of God members hold a personal commitment to helping their family, friends and neighbors, it challenges us to look within ourselves to find the strength, energy and initiative to follow their example,” read the award.

“He’s done a wonderful job at leading the folks at Unicoi Church of God,” Lynch added.

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In other business, the town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen accepted a low bid in the amount of $37,900 for a new maintenance building. There were a total of three bids submitted for the project, with the other bids in the amounts of $75,474 and $96,800, both of which exceeded the budget of $50,000.

The bid specs called for a metal building included concrete and a shell, but Lynch mentioned the possibility of reopening the bidding process for bids on a wood post construction.

“A wood post building just isn’t quite as safe as a metal building and it can burn down,” said Aldermen Roger Cooper. “I think for the long term a metal building is superior. I’m looking for something that will last the town 50 years”

Cooper said that there seemed to be confusion on part of the people submitting bids and there was no inclusion of electrical or plumbing being included. However, he noted that the bids they received were close to the bid speculations that had been given for the project.

“Is one of the current bids manageable in terms of negotiating,” asked Aldermen Kathy Bullen. “Do we really need to go through the whole bidding process again. Can’t we negotiate some of the additions or modifications?”

Acting City Recorder Larry Rhea advised that since the bids were so far apart in terms of costs, they should redo the bid specifications before bidding.

Andrew Paduch, the low bidder, informed the board that he was willing to work with the Town of Unicoi to the best of his ability on any modifications or additions that may be needed.

“A metal building is a metal building, it’s that simple,” Paduch said. “To put up a wood building, it could end up like Clarence’s. A metal building will last 10 times longer.

“One bidder charged you $5,000 extra for BDCI doors, and those are the same doors that I’m supplying in my original quote, and they’re going to charge you $5,000 extra for something I am already supplying.”

He also threw in a 100 amp service for electrical services and added that he was willing to work with the town on the electrical and plumbing, which was not included in the bid speculations. Weather permitting, he said he believes he could have it done before Christmas, but he was not willing to go through a rebidding process.

Cooper made a motion to accept the low bid, including the concrete and the shell in the amount of $37,900. The motion was seconded by Bullen and unanimously passed.   

Also, a resolution was passed to sanction the 2017 Unicoi County Christmas Parade and close Unicoi Drive and Massachusetts Drive on Saturday, Nov. 25, between 2 and 3 p.m, except for emergency traffic.