Friday, August 14, 2020, Update from Roane County Executive Ron Woody

Today is Friday, August 14th and this is a non Covid update of county operations. What’s going on in county government?

Although it appears that Covid-19 has taken up all of our time of government operations, it has not. Part of government service may have slowed a little, but it has not come to a close or stop.

The need and planning for a jail has changed as the inmate count has gone from well over 300 to under 100 several weeks ago. However, as the courts have reopened, the facility with a capacity of 176 is now at 149.

Solid Waste management has seen a large increase in volume as individuals have cleared out and purged collected items over the years, along with the purchase of supplies and materials for home projects, while creating waste in packaging materials. Online shopping has created more packaging material.

Ambulance Service operations continue to operate under trying situations and environments. Convalescent runs slowed as facilities went into lockdown and certain medical procedures were postponed. But, precautions that had to be instituted by our paramedics and EMT transports, had to be treated as if a Covid patient was being cared for.

Highway Department operations continued somewhat normal after several weeks of slow down. A number of county roads have recently been paved by the county paving contractors. State highway work also continued. Stay tuned for the paving of Highway 58 from the 72 junction to I-40 through Kingston and North 58 from Highway 70 to I-40 on Gallaher.

In the middle of Covid-19, the County Assessor’s Office completed the five (5) year Reappraisal Program. The County Commission adopted the 2021 County Budget without a tax increase. One’s tax liability could change due to the reappraisal as during reappraisal, tax burdens often shift from one property to another as values with communities, cities, and areas change. But again, there was not a tax increase and the 2021 Budget was adopted.
Work continues on the Industrial Development front with the plans of an Industrial Development Board ownership of a building to be used as an Enhanced Training Facility on previous Atomic Energy Commission DOE property.

Recreation investments are still being planned and certain projects undertaken.

A contract for the bridge replacement has been awarded allowing 60 acres of an Old Caney Creek Campground to be redeveloped. One should see working off Highway 70 near Roane State. This has been a long, awaited project that still has some opposition within the community. The full end use of the property is still being considered.

Do you want hiking trails, horse trails, or an additional camping development? It will continue to be discussed.

The Scarborough Trail in the Roane County Park has been reopened. Go for a short walk in the woods at the Roane County Park, stop by and walk the expanded area.

The county and cities continue working with the University of Tennessee for the development of a water trail system on the Tennessee River. TNRiverline 652 and Rivertowns is in initial deployment. Roane County is planning its 3rd Kayak/Canoe trip coming up this Fall. Stay tuned.

Covid has slowed some of the planning and deploy of plans, but our focus continues to be improving lives in Roane County.

God bless Roane County, our State, and our Nation.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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