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Carter County Building and Grounds Committee meet… Service animals, guttering, and archives discussed during meeting

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Carter County Commissioners who are members of the Building and Grounds Committee met inside the courtroom at the Carter County Courthouse on Tuesday evening as another set of meetings were conducted during the early first week of August.

One of the first things addressed by the committee was the meeting minutes or the lack thereof as minutes from the July meeting weren’t available to be reviewed and approved by the committee prior to moving forward.

Commissioner Brad Johnson shared that as commissioners, the privilege of reviewing what other committees are doing helps to keep the focus on the issues that have come to the floor.

“I will say as chairman of this committee that it is probably my fault because I should have reminded Isaiah (Grindstaff) to get those out there,” said Commissioner Daniel McInturff. “But with that being said we have to figure this out to make sure it’s documented for ourselves and the community. I don’t know if there is any action to be taken.”

“If we will let the procedure do it like it is supposed to be done, it’s already written down,” Johnson responded. “It doesn’t need to be recreated.

“We furnished extra budget for the County Court Clerk to provide a secretary or recording services from her department which is her responsibility – end of the story.”

In new business, the committee addressed a resolution on service animals in public buildings.

According to Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby, the resolution was going to be a part of the county’s ADA as currently there is nothing that addresses the service animals.

“I know the courts have had issues with people trying to bring service animals into the court system and the Bailiffs will not allow them to and it has turned into a situation and they have asked where the compliance is,” Mayor Woodby stated. “This is just another result of our ADA that we are trying to get into compliance with.

County Attorney Josh Hardin shared, “According to the ADA, the service animal is a dog and it has to be trained in order to perform tasks in regard to the person with a disability. It cannot be a therapy dog or emotional support dog – it has to be an actual service animal under the ADA.

“You can’t force someone to show you proof or papers or anything like that. You can essentially ask if the dog is trained to assist you with your disability and what are the tasks the dog can perform and if the person cannot answer those two questions then it is probably a therapy or emotional support dog.”

After further discussion, the resolution passed unanimously.

Mayor Woodby proceeded to inform the committee that she had gotten a basic quote on repairing the guttering on the older part of the Courthouse.

“Our gutters are really in bad shape on the older end of the building. I would also like for you to notice the gutters that run down the front of the courthouse and they look horrible because someone tried to fix them cheaply,” Mayor Woodby commented.

“I had a company come in and just give a basic estimate which will need to be bid out because the estimate they gave was $45,000 for what they wanted to do which is quite a bit of work.

“We had another company come by today that said it was in such bad shape that they wouldn’t even fool with it because he said it was going to require some construction.”

Commissioner Austin Jaynes who was filling in for Commission Isaiah Grindstaff stated that he thought that someone needed to fix the rot behind the gutters before installing new guttering which the quote was for.

Mayor Woodby also shared that she was working on getting the air conditioners out of the windows which also are going to need to be replaced.

After much discussion surrounding the best approach, the guttering issue was moved to September for Mayor Woodby to get some further information.

Another issue addressed by the committee was the pressing need of an Archives building and the current search by the Archive Committee to locate an appropriate site to locate Archives at.

Some discussion around a building currently being looked at took place as well as the committee talking about other potential sites for an Archive building.

Sheriff Dexter Lunceford who was present for the Law Committee offered up a suggestion of remodeling the upper level of the Jail Complex which is sitting empty and running down due to not being used.

Sheriff Lunceford suggested that with the need for room that he has that it would work out to remodel the unused space and allow him to move from the first floor to that floor.

He also mentioned there was a federal agency that may have an interest in renting a portion of the remodeled floor as well and then Archives could utilize the first floor that he currently is using for their space.

Mayor Woodby is to follow up and see if the sheriff’s proposal would be a working fit or not for Archives and report back in the September meeting.