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Dandridge, Tennessee

April 30, 2012

Leads to manhunt and lockdown of nearby elementary school
Staff Photo / Scene at First Tennessee Bank Robbery in Dandridge

IDB Industrial Development Board

County Unanimously Votes To Pass on Land Locked Property - No Pursuit on Right of Refusal

The Jefferson County Industrial Board held their Regular Meeting on Friday, April 27, 2012 at the Jefferson County Health Department.  Absent from Roll Call was Board Member Masters.  The Meeting was Called to Order by Acting Chairman Duignan.  Upon a Motion from Board Member Jenkins and a 2nd from Board Member Cason the Minutes were Approved.

EDOC Director Brad Maul presented the Financial Report and informed the Board that a previous error of $200 had been corrected. The Ending Balance on the Year to Date report stands at $148,951 and 37 cents. The report was Approved after a Motion from Cason and 2nd from Board Member Hodge.

Jefferson County Attorneys Churchwell and Drinnon addressed the Board regarding a Right of Refusal of property currently owned by Walker’s Truck Contractor, Inc in the Strawberry Plains area of Hwy 11E. The property is located near Young Mines and was previously a part of ASARCO. Attorney Churchwell stated that it was a long shot but it was conceivable for the IDB to have retained the Right of Refusal, as well as East Tennessee Zinc. The County was contacted about the sale of the property by the title company in an effort to clear up the issue of refusal rights. An offer has been made on the property of $10,000 by Norfolk Southern Railway. The Board was informed that the County would need to match the $10,000 offer to purchase the property.  During discussion the Board determined that the property in question was currently land locked. The Board unanimously decided to let any purchase option that the IDB might have had to pass and not pursue the Right of Refusal.

The Board placed new officers to fill the vacancies left by exiting Board members.  Upon a Motion from Jenkins and 2nd from Board Member Keck, Acting Chairman Duignan was elected as the Chairman. Cason nominated Board Member Hodge for the Vice Chairman seat and was 2nd by Board Member Huff.  Hodge was unanimously elected.  Masters will retain the position of Secretary and Jenkins, per a motion from Hodge and 2nd from Board Member Miller, will serve as Treasurer.

The Board will bring back ideas for nominations for a sub committee of 8-10 people to act as a steering committee for a Business or Industrial Park. Maul stated that he would like to investigate participation from the local municipalities in the process, to determine if the individual areas are interested in partnering with the County. 

In an update regarding economic development in the County, Maul stated that the Sport Sack Building has been acquired by a small manufacturing company and should employ 12-15 people to start. He said that the BAE has all but shut down and the facility is on the market. The retail market is more active, according to Maul, though a lack of appropriate space and deals on lease rates is confining to growth.

IDB Board Member and Chamber of Commerce Director Cason stated that University of Tennessee presented a presentation on the impact of tourism.  They define tourism as money coming from outside of a 50 mile radius.  During the presentation, information was provided that tourist dollars provide Jefferson County residents with a positive $528 impact per household. Cason also reminded the Board that the Bass Masters Elite is coming the first week in May.  The Meeting was Adjourned.

First Tennessee Bank Robbery in Dandridge Friday

Suspect Still At Large

Staff Photo
The First Tennessee Bank in Dandridge was robbed on Friday April 27, 2012. The robbery occurred around 3 pm and a man hunt for the suspect continued into the early evening hours.  Police from Dandridge City, Jefferson County and the Tennessee State Troopers were all on site, as well as aerial assistance from Knox County and assistance from Sevier County canine unit.  The suspect fled on foot and it was believed that he was still likely to be in the vicinity.  The Knox County canine unit responded and brought in one of their most successful tracking dogs to assist with the hunt. Even with the strong police presence and the assistance of  canine officers, the suspect was not apprehended.  According to information in a press release from the FBI, the suspect entered the bank and presented a note demanding money.  Police sources state that the suspect may have been carrying a folder and presented it to bank employees.  The suspect, who is described as a black male of light complexion, thin and standing around six feet tall and wearing jeans, a white shirt with blue stripes, latex gloves and a snowflake toboggan,  fled on foot.  Sources state that the dye pack did explode and possibly covered the suspect. Initially, police focused their ground search in the area surrounding the First Tennessee Bank, which is backed by woods. Around 4:30 pm the search area expanded to include the streets and wooded areas across Hwy 92, with police cautioning residents to remain in their homes if they lived in that area. Dandridge Elementary School was also placed on lockdown and the children waiting on buses were taken inside as a precaution.  As of the writing of this article, the suspect is still at large and the Dandridge Police Department and the FBI are requesting assistance from citizens in locating the suspect.  Anyone with information should contact Police Chief Williams of the Dandridge Police Department @ 475-3482.

Jefferson County E-911 EMS/EMA Center Closer to Completion

On Budget and On Time for Fall

Staff Photo / Kevin Bryant, David Longmire, Chuck McSpadden

The new Jefferson County E-911 Combination Emergency Center is under roof and progressing steadily toward completion.  The Center will house Jefferson County’s E-911, EMS/EMA and the ambulance substation that is currently in New Market. A decade long growth boom which resulted in increased service need and inadequate facilities were two of the issues that prompted the need for the new Center.  The County had intended to build a stand alone E-911 several years ago, however the building site was deemed inhospitable due to environmental concerns from the State.  In an effort to provide maximum space at minimum cost the County Commission, at the recommendation of Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri, approved a plan to build a combination center to house the operation base of all the County’s emergency services, as well as address the needs at the New Market ambulance substation.  The Commission also accepted property adjacent to Jefferson Memorial Hospital that was gifted, by Mercy, to the County for the purpose of building the facility. During a tour of the facility Friday, Jefferson County Facilities Director David Longmire stated that land gift has been a great benefit to the County.  Both Longmire and Kevin Bryant, Project Manager for McSpadden Construction, agree that the site is a good fit for the type of facility that is being built.  The structure is actually three buildings in one, with each branch of the County’s emergency services occupying its own space. Bryant stated that interior framing is underway and that weather should not be as great a deterrent now that the building is under roof.  A wet February and March slowed progress, however recent fair weather conditions have allowed the project to pick up speed.  Director Longmire

Staff Photos

stated that McSpadden has been diligent in moving the project along and keeping to their budget.  In the interest of keeping a clean work site, McSpadden has already put in the first base coat of asphalt.  Chuck McSpadden stated that bricking will start on Monday and the building will aesthetically be complementary to the hospital building. In the interior, a reception area will break off into the separate functions of the emergency services.  Safety is an issue and, per governmental standards, the E-911 portion of the building will be storm safe.

Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri stated that Jefferson County Emergency Services operations have been functioning in far less than adequate facilities for a long time. He said that the new E-911, EMS, EMA and Ambulance Substation will help provide not only every resident of Jefferson County with better service but also anyone traveling through our County that may need emergency service or assistance. Mayor Palmieri stated that every resident benefits from these services and it is important to provide our community with the best care for their personal wellbeing and property.  The Mayor said that he is impressed and proud of the way our local Construction Manager, McSpadden, is managing this project and the work of the subcontractors. 

The Jefferson County EMS/EMA go on nearly 1,000 ambulance calls per month and employ approximately 45 full time employees, with the majority of them being EMT or Paramedics. They also have part time employees and permanent office staff.  The E-911 has 16-20 employees, with the majority of them being dispatchers.  They answer around 60,000 calls per year.

Longmire sated that this is his first full building project and that McSpadden has been of great assistance in the process. Jefferson City has also partnered in the project to share sewer line cost with the County. He said he is very pleased and satisfied with the work that has been done and looks forward to the finished facility. Longmire added that it is always nice when the County can keep its business local, as was the case with McSpadden, and stimulate the local economy. The new Emergency Combination Center is expected to be completed in early Fall of 2012.

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April 30, 2012 Go To Page

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