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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Milligan plans new dorm; veteran Elizabethton planner retires after 40 years

August 3rd, 2011 11:47 am by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — The Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission learned of a new apartment-style dormitory in the future at Milligan College and bid farewell to a long standing member of the panel.
Manuel Bandarra has retired after serving 40 years on the Planning Commission.
“He has been a very dedicated and hard working member,” Planning Director David Ornduff said of Bandarra. “In all of those years I think he has always made the right decisions.”
Ornduff, who will be retiring next month after nearly as long a career with the Elizabethton Planning Department, said he will miss his professional relationship with Bandarra.
“He is a good friend. He and his wife are just good people who are always a pleasure to be around,” Ornduff said.
Architect Tony Street of the Johnson City architectural firm of Beeson, Lusk and Street provided information about Milligan College’s future plans to build a 100-bed apartment-style dormitory when funds can be raised.
Street appeared before the planners to request annexation for the site where the dormitory would be built. That property is just outside the city limits on Toll Branch Road.
Ornduff said the Development Committee has approved the annexation request. He said it would not be a problem to extend city services to the location. Milligan College is served by a Johnson City sewer line.
Following the meeting Street said there are no immediate plans to build the dormitory. He said it was contingent on the raising of funds. He said the floor plan calls for groups of four bedrooms to be connected to a common area including a kitchenette.
The planners deferred a decision on another annexation request. Jason Blevins had requested the city annex his property at 509 Tenn. Highway 91 just south of the Elizabethton Airport.
Blevins’ property is not adjacent to the city limits, but he said two sides of his property are bounded by property that has been purchased by the airport. Ornduff said the staff had not been made aware of the purchases or the additional airport property would have been considered for annexation.
Ornduff said one problem with the annexation of Blevins property was that it would be 1,584 feet from the end of the city’s sewer line in the Watauga Industrial Park. He said it would not be practical to extend the line for just one property. Even though Blevins said he was not interested in obtaining sewer service, Ornduff said a purchaser of the property in the future might demand the service.
The planners voted unanimously to defer a decision until Mayor Curt Alexander can discuss the legal questions on the annexation with City Attorney Roger Day.
The planners also approved a site plan for an elevator to provide access for the disabled at the Carter County Administration Building at 305 Academy St.

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