One patient was airlifted Tuesday after his sedan apparently rear-ended a truck near Interstate 81 Exit 23 in Mosheim.
The report went out around 5:15 p.m. to rescuers from Town of Mosheim Fire Department, Greeneville Emergency and Rescue Squad, Greene County-Greeneville EMS and Wings Air Rescue.
Mosheim Fire Chief James Foshie said Wednesday that a pickup truck traveling outbound on U.S. Highway 11E toward Hawkins County was apparently struck from the back by a black sedan.
EMS crews evaluated two people in the truck at the scene, and they did not require medical transport.
Rescue squad members and firefighters used a hydraulic spreader for a “door pop,” freeing the trapped male driver from the sedan, Foshie said. Wings Air Rescue transported him from the scene to an area hospital for treatment of suspected serious injuries.
Names of those involved and their conditions, along with other details about the crash, are unavailable pending a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Midway Volunteer Fire Department and Greene County Sheriff’s Department personnel also assisted in the emergency response.
The runway at Greeneville Municipal Airport will be closed in late September while crews construct a mid-field connector.
Work to connect the runway and taxiway is scheduled for the third week of September, the Greeneville Municipal Airport Authority learned Monday.
In a pre-construction meeting about the project, representatives from Summers-Taylor Inc. indicated that they expect to start the week of Sept. 16, Airport Authority member Jimmy Collins said.
Summers-Taylor indicated that the runway will have to be closed during the work. But plans have been made to close the runway only portions of various days to lessen the effect on those who use the airport, Collins said.
The contractor plans to close the runway for a period between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day that a closure is required, he added.
The exact start date will be determined by a subcontractor’s availability, according to Summers-Taylor.
Authority members agreed there should be a minimum of a 15-day notice of planned closures for those who rent T-hangars and others who use the airport.
The mid-field connector will be constructed with funds remaining from a state grant for runway and other improvements made last year at the airport.
It is being built halfway between the two ends of the runway after a pilot expressed safety concerns about the lack of a mid-field connection to the Federal Aviation Administration. Connectors are located at each of the end of the runway, and pilots have had to remain on the runway longer to reach those connectors.
In other business, the authority approved installation of new locks on all gates at the facility with keys provided to the fixed base operator, Greeneville Aviation Services, and for a secure box for use in emergencies by the Greeneville Fire Department.
A report was given by Authority member Paul McAfee about the progress to install a security camera system at the airport. Information technology staff from Greeneville City Schools, which provides tech service for town, have been out to the airport to map where cameras are needed and are working on an estimate of cost for the equipment, including a monitor for 911 to be able to see a fuel farm camera in real-time.
The airport has received a $100,000 grant from the state for security improvements that will provide funding for the camera installation and other security improvements, such as the new locks. That grant requires a $5,000 local match.
Roof repairs are continuing at the FBO building, McAfee also reported. The source of a major leak, an indoor air conditioning unit, has been found and fixed, he said, and a sealant has been applied to the roof. The contractor is now testing to determine where any leaks may still exist and will address those, he said.
Roof repair and other maintenance projects were approved in late spring with the expenses to be paid through an annual maintenance grant the state provides.
Other maintenance projects completed with these funds are the repair of a water line under the corporate hangar and improvements to a bathroom in that hangar.
The authority authorized Chairman Roger Gray to sign documents to accept the 2020 maintenance grant from the state. This grant totals $15,000. Gray said that the state has changed its requirements in that a local match of 5% will be required rather than a 50% match.
These funds will be used to continue planned improvement projects in the FBO building, including repairing ceiling tiles, installing new flooring and painting.
The authority also discussed scheduling a “meet and greet” event for individuals renting T-hangars at the airport and those who have interest in leasing space for airplanes.
The event, scheduled Oct. 19, would provide an opportunity for the authority to listen to concerns and ideas for improvement and growth from renters as well as for revised lease agreements to be distributed.
Raises are not forthcoming for 12 Greene County 911 employees until the county conducts a salary survey that likely won’t be complete until next year.
The Greene County 911 Board of Directors on Tuesday deadlocked 4-4 on a motion to raise the pay of dispatchers and other 911 employees 2.5%.
The vote excludes three 911 employees previously granted step pay raises.
Voting against the 2.5 percent raise were board members Teddy Lawing, Lloyd “Hoot” Bowers, Pamela Carpenter and Jeff Wilburn. Voting for the raise were board Chairman Tim Ward, Alan Shipley, John Waddle and Ray Adams.
County Attorney Roger Woolsey said the 4-4 deadlock is effectively a “no” vote.
Lawing said a discussion last month was “to hold it until central dispatch (shows) some positive signs.”
County Mayor Kevin Morrison said the Greene County Commission will do a salary survey for all county employees and include 911 employees. It will look at what 911 employees in other districts are paid “to ensure they are being fairy compensated.”
The commission recently authorized a 2.5% salary increase for most county employees. Greene County 911 is a separate entity, jointly funded by the county, Town of Greeneville and the state.
The salary survey will be discussed this week at the commission’s Personnel Policy Committee, said Lawing, who is a commissioner, along with Bowers, Carpenter and Waddle.
“We can give a raise at any meeting. I think we should wait until we get this salary survey done,” Lawing said.
CENTRAL DISPATCH UPDATEAs part of the the pay raise discussion, an update on the status of the central dispatch project was provided.
Greeneville police have been working recently with 911 dispatchers “in an advisory capacity” as part of a plan to eventually transfer police dispatch duties to 911, Ward said.
Deputies from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department will begin providing similar assistance at county 911 in January, Sheriff Wesley Holt said.
Ward said that 911 dispatchers who have been working with Greeneville officers will begin dispatching law enforcement calls in September.
“The next step is handing it off to the 911 personnel,” Ward said. “It’s an evolution process. We’re going in the right direction.”
County 911 Director Jerry Bird said central dispatch “is on track and a bit ahead of schedule.”
“We’ve done testing for a few new hires. We’re just waiting to see where the funding will (come from),” Bird said.
A major component in the realization of a Greene County central dispatch system is determining how additional dispatchers will get paid. Devising a pay plan is up to the county, Town of Greeneville and the state, Ward said.
The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, which assists 911 districts across the state, met Aug. 7 and voted to increase the statewide 911 surcharge rate on landline and cellphone bills to $1.50 monthly. The increase must be ratified by a joint resolution of the General Assembly.
According to a resolution approved by the state 911 Board, the increase would restore the rate to $1.50 per line, which was authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1998 “to be a reasonable surcharge rate for life-saving 911 services.”
The current telecommunications surcharge rate is $1.16. Increased fee revenues to 911 districts across the state distributed in accordance with state law could help fund the central dispatch system in Greene County, several board members said.
The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board never approved any of the resolutions or the content of the resolutions that were adopted by emergency communications districts across the state.
Bird said the next step is for Morrison to send a letter to the General Assembly requesting the increase.
The board also discussed the new call-taking system installed last week at 911 headquarters at 111 Union St.
The CallWorks CallStation system combines call handling, mapping and reporting into a single platform.
The system is experiencing some technical difficulties, but vendor Motorola is working with 911 staff to correct the problems, Bird said.
A request to rezone property for a business use along East Andrew Johnson Highway just east of Heritage Road was denied at Tuesday’s Greene County Regional Planning Commission meeting.
A number of property owners expressed their opposition to the proposed rezoning, primarily due to its planned use for an automobile repair shop.
The matter will be considered again by the full Greene County Commission in September.
Property owner Russell Ward said at Tuesday’s meeting that he had requested the rezoning from A-1, general agriculture district, to B-2, general business district, to be able to open his own small business, an auto repair shop.
County Building Official Tim Tweed explained that the rezoning was needed because an auto repair shop is not among uses allowed in A-1 zones.
Several residents on Heritage Road attended the meeting to voice their concerns and opposition.
One resident, Bill Massey, said that he had purchased property on Heritage Road adjacent to Ward’s property to build a house because it was in a quiet residential neighborhood. “It is a nice area, and we have many children in the area,” he said.
There are deed restrictions that set criteria for the use of the land and the size of the structures allowed, and a business would lower the property values for neighboring residents, he said.
Kathy Mattison said that the neighborhood has families with several small children. “It is not a place for a working shop,” she said.
Nicole Franklin, whose property also touches Ward’s tract, said she was concerned about her young child’s safety and what other businesses could be located there if the auto repair shop was to go out of business and the lot be sold.
Jimmy Napoleon told the commission that he had operated an auto repair shop for years before his retirement, and it was difficult for a small shop to be successful in today’s economy. The question of what could go on the property in the future is his concern as well, he said.
In response to the concerns, Ward said his career has been in auto repair and looks at the shop as a long-term venture until he is ready to retire. “I can understand why people may not want a garage,” he said “This is not going to be a garage that I am starting at my house. I want to put up a legitimate business on 11E.”
The only access to the property will be from East Andrew Johnson Highway, he said, and while there will be cars outside, the property will be kept neat in appearance, because that is good business practice.
Metal buildings similar in appearance to what he is planning to build are located on nearby properties, Ward said.
County Planning Coordinator Amy Tweed told the planning commission that a similar rezoning request was denied by the commission in 2014. That rezoning request was denied because it did not conform to the 2009 Greene County County Land Use and Transportation Policy Plan in that it would be a commercially zoned property in the middle of property zoned for residential use.
That plan, which is still in use, supports a clustering of commercially zoned properties rather than a single commercial property within residential or agricultural used program, Tweed said.
Other reasons to deny the request would be the that its proposed used is contrary to the established land use and zoning; the property can be utilized as zoned; any permitted use in the B-2 zone could be placed on the property; and the precedent set by the 2014 denial, commissioners were told.
If the rezoning was approved, it would set a precedent for approving rezoning in similar situations.
A reason to approve the request would be its location on the East Andrew Johnson Highway; and the fact that, while adjoining properties are residential, the lots abut sections that are either vacant or contain garages and other non-residential structures.
The planning commission’s vote is a recommendation that will be forwarded to the Greene County Commission, which will have the final say on the request. The rezoning will be considered at its Sept. 16 meeting.
In other business, the planning commission approved a conceptual plan to extend Roaming Drive off Rheatown Road and complete Phase 3 of the adjacent Green View Estates. The conceptual plan was approved with the condition that lot sizes be adjusted where needed to meet zoning requirements.
The conceptual plan includes extending Roaming Drive, which is now a dead-end road, about 640 feet and create a cul-de-sac at its ending. The plan shows the creation of 16 building lots accessed from that cul-de-sac.
Proposed is the construction of a new type of housing that has more features of a stick-built house than a standard mobile home, such as steeper roof line and attached garages. The development contains doublewide mobile homes. Helton also said that the new homes would also have concrete driveways and the addition would have concrete sidewalks.
In other business, the planing commission approved several property divisions, including:
A request for plat approval for one lot of the Whetsel Estate on Horton Highway was denied by the planning commission as no one attended the meeting to submit the required plat documents.