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Dandridge, Tennessee

April 25, 2011

"Jefferson City Is Open For Business"
The Historic Mossy Creek District is not a name most Jefferson County residents are familiar with, but Jefferson City Mayor, Mark Potts, plans to change that. The Historic Mossy Creek District is the proposed name of the old downtown area of Jefferson City. The Tennessee Board of Downtowns for Jefferson City has been meeting for over a year with four distinct objectives: Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Restructuring of the downtown area in Jefferson City. The Tennessee Downtowns program is a grant program that is designed to help communities revitalize their downtown area. Mayor Potts is excited to get the program off and running in Jefferson City. Addressing the state of the downtown area was one of Mayor Pott’s goals when he took office as mayor four months ago. Although he has only been mayor of Jefferson City for a short time, Potts is no stranger to the workings of the city. He is a former City Council member and is Deputy Director of Jefferson County EMS.
Mayor Potts says that he knows that the downtown area is a deterrent for economic development in Jefferson City. It was even listed as such in the “Building a Better Future for Jefferson County” plan that was developed in conjunction with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Potts is very concerned about the citizens of Jefferson City. He wants the citizens to be able to make a livable wage. The Mayor says that times are tough in all of Jefferson County. Good paying jobs, with decent heath insurance, are hard to come by, and he wants the best for the citizens of Jefferson City. 
Mayor Potts is looking for economic development. Jefferson City is currently the retail center of Jefferson County. The Mayor would like to expand the retail base in the area. Mayor Potts wants good growth. He is adamant that the direction Jefferson City grows should add to the quality of life of her residents. It is important to be environmentally aware, however, Potts would welcome industry growth. He would like to look at the Growth Boundaries for Jefferson City, and feels that it is time for Jefferson City to “clean up their lines”. Potts would also welcome a business park to the city. Jefferson City is in the running-with White pine and New Market- for a county business park. Mayor Potts says that any industrial growth that will bring better paying jobs and increase the quality of life for the residents will have his full support.

As Mayor, Potts is acutely aware that a lot of the residents of Jefferson City are having a tough time making ends meet financially. He regrets that the city had to increase water and sewer rate for the residents. Potts stated that he knows a lot of people will feel the impact of the increase.

Mayor Potts would like to see the library relocated to the new city complex, but he knows that the move may take awhile. He says it is part of his vision for Jefferson City. The mayor, along with the city council and citizens, is working on a plan for Jefferson City. The Historic Mossy Creek District is a good place to start. Carson Newman is committed to opening The Creek Coffee and Creamery, in the downtown area. This business will be run by Carson Newman students as a Business Department project. It will be open to the public, and hopes to help jump start the downtown revitalization. Some established businesses are already in the downtown area and Potts hopes that they can reap the rewards of new businesses coming to the area. The Mayor stated that the single most important facet to downtown revitalization is the citizens of Jefferson City. It is necessary for them to participate by shopping and eating in the downtown area. Carson Newman is a great asset to Jefferson City, but the entire city must support the downtown project.

Mayor Potts says that he has no desire to turn Jefferson City into Knoxville. If people wanted to live in Knoxville, then they would. Jefferson City is a great place to live, Potts stated. It is a great place to raise children. Potts wants to see it be a great place to work and a great place to shop, dine and be entertained. Mayor Potts considers it his job to be Jefferson City’s greatest promoter.
May 24, Jefferson City will host a kick off for the downtown project. The mayor hopes that the residents of Jefferson City and Jefferson County will come out and support The Historic Mossy Creek District. He wants to spread the word that Jefferson City is open for business.

Jefferson County Bidding Process Under Fire
Issues Addressed at Commission Workshop & Budget Committee
The Jefferson County Bid Process has come under fire during the last County Commission Workshop. It was addressed again during the previous Budget Committee meeting. Jefferson County does have a Bid and Quotation policy that is reviewed annually. The current policy has a inception date of January 15,2008. 
Any purchase of supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services that are in excess of $10,000 must be based on competitive bids. Bid solicitation must be advertised in a local newspaper, by the purchasing agent. In case of emergency, the notification can be waived.
Any bid must be sealed and addressed to the Jefferson County Finance Department. The county requires that the name of the bid and the time of the bid opening be on the envelope. At the specified opening time, the bids will be opened. The opening of the bid is a public act and is open to the public.
The policy states that the lowest bid will be accepted, unless the purchasing agent finds that another bid is better for reasons other than amount of the bid. A bid may be withdrawn before the bids are opened, however, late bids will not be considered. No purchase can be split for the purpose of by passing the bidding process.
When the bid is awarded, a contract may be necessary between the winning bidder and Jefferson County. 
Landfill Site Unfit for E911 & EMS
Due to Hazardous Chemical - Naphthalene
Long before Mercy Hospital offered to donate land for a E-911, EMS and EMA combination center, the Jefferson County Commission had plans to build a stand alone E-911 center on the abandon Landfill site.
During the preparation process, it was found that the site contained Naphthalene, a chemical that is considered hazardous. The Jefferson County government stopped the preparation process and hired an environmental firm to help deal with the hazardous chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency was also contacted and has guided the county in the handling of the chemical.
Naphthalene is most commonly found in moth balls, though is also found in other materials. Short term exposure to Naphthalene can cause vision problem, as well as a variety of negative health issues. Naphthalene has been linked to liver problems and a serious anemia condition. As with many hazardous chemicals, the longer term the exposure, the more serious the level of risk.
The county has met, and continues to meet, the conditions of the Environmental Protection Agency. The abandon Landfill property does not currently pose a risk to any citizen of Jefferson County, however the property in question is not suitable to build a permanent structure on, and any use of the land will be accessed by the EPA. Jefferson County is presently in compliance with the EPA. 

If a supplier is interested , they can have their names added to a mailing list and will be notified when a bid is being held and the specifications of the bid. 
Jefferson County does not bid out contracts for professional services, such as attorneys, financial advisors, engineers and architects. The county ,according to policy, will take into account the cost of the services before awarding a professional services contract.
According to the Mayor of Jefferson County and the County Attorney, bid openings fall under the “Sunshine Law”.

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