Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Unicoi BMA passes budget, firearms ordinance

Zoning laws for retail stores regarding the sale of firearms and the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget both made it through final readings and were unanimously passed by the town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday, June 15.
During the final reading for retail firearm stores, Town Recorder Larry Rea shared the two revisions made by the BMA during their previous meeting.
“Based on discussion from the last meeting, the definition of day care center was pulled from the general zoning ordinance, verbatim,” Rea said.
To leave day care as its own separate definition came from Alderwoman Kathy Bullen during May’s meeting
The other revision was excluding “or proof of application.” BMA members agreed to just allow stories to be built on the grounds that owners have a firearms license.
• • •
The budget for 2015-2016 went through the final reading without a hitch and will be adopted as the upcoming fiscal year budget. The budget is balanced with $2,753,747.35 coming in projected revenue while the town is projected to have $2,635,009.23 in expenditures.
The bulk of revenue projected is expected to come from grant revenue provided by the state for construction of the Mountain Harvest Kitchen.
Rea said Monday that the $120,000 bid from Goins Rash Cain, Inc., of Kingsport has since decreased approximately $29,000 for construction of phase one of the kitchen.
The kitchen also received a bevy of notice during the town’s trip to the recent Tennessee Municipal League (TML) Conference in Nashville.
When discussing the TML later in the meeting, Mayor Johnny Lynch publicly commended the work of Jennifer Gryder, the town’s community development director, for her work at the conference.
• • •
In old business, officials continued discussion on the large truck ordinance in the town and have discussed allowing drivers who make regular deliveries inside the city limits exempted from potential fines.
“We were looking for more information on basically what should be done,” Town Attorney Louis Shults-Davis said.
Shults-Davis added that discussions with law enforcement brought forth a suggestion that drivers that make regular deliveries, including stops at Unicoi Elementary where there is an elevated railroad crossing to reach the destination, can register with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department.
The town currently has signs in place that asks drivers to make calls to the sheriff’s department to receive an escort. The ordinance in place states that drivers who disregard the notice could face fines. Difficulty in enforcing the law brought the discussion in front of the BMA, but Shults-Davis added that some trucks that are making their way to locations, including Wal-Mart, are taking other routes and have caused the problem to taper off.
“I think it’s the driver, not really the truck,” Bullen said. “I think it is a driver we need to keep track of not so much as the truck,” and added that permitted track crossing makes common sense.
• • •
In new business, the board unanimously passed a resolution to sanction the upcoming Freedom Fest celebration on July 4 at Unicoi Elementary.
“It seems like we get bigger and better every year,” Vice-Mayor Doug Hopson said of the celebration.
• • •
At the beginning of Monday’s meeting, Patsy Ledford with the 911 board addressed the board asking for a $7,500 contribution from the town for 911 operational costs.
The town of Unicoi has previously assisted with the organization, but Lynch stated that the $25,000 ceiling set by the town to provide funds to such groups has almost been spent.
The 911 board has funds but is not allowed to use any money saved to go on the budget, Ledford added, in order to stay in compliance with the state 911 board regulations.
“We certainly appreciate what the board does,” Lynch said.
Lynch added the town will see what they can do moving forward.
“We try to be friendly,” the mayor added. “We’ve been told by the board that we had to give the county money and it got to the point I had to bring my attorney to the meeting.”
• • •
The town also received a letter from each member of the community of Fox Gate regarding being recognized as members in the town of Unicoi. The Fox Gate community is currently registered as part of Erwin. Lynch added that the motion will be passed over to the state planner for further discussion.