Johnson City Commission likely to OK FEMA grant application to help buy property for stormwater project

Gary B. Gray • Sep 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

City commissioners likely will approve a $250,000 federal grant application tonight in hopes the money would help buy the Kelly’s Foods property at the corner of Sevier Street and State of Franklin Road.

Officials want to land the competitive Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Mitigation Assistance Program grant to help with the purchase of unoccupied buildings at the site that could result in construction of a stormwater project to decrease flooding and improve water flow in Brush Creek. The project not only would help with flooding problems at that location but also to improve drainage from the Tree Streets, as well as continued flow through Founders Park.

“This money would go toward the purchase of the property, and it can only be used for flood mitigation purposes, meaning we could not use the funds for the purpose of condemnation,” said Public Works Director Phil Pindzola.

The property has been appraised at about $417,000, and the remainder of the purchase would be paid for by using money in the city’s stormwater fund.

Pindzola said he has talked with Kelly’s Foods’ owners Debra Lyons, and her brother, Robert Moore, and they both are open to the city’s quest.

Meanwhile, a new downtown event is afoot.

John Tolliver is seeking approval of an ordinance on first reading that would allow beer consumption along Tipton Street and in the public parking lot facing the street so patrons of his new “Eurofest” can consume suds from Tipton Street Pub and 112 Downtown.

Tolliver has proposed holding a car show on Tipton and in the public lot on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The consumption of beer would be allowed only from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and all beer would have to be sold within the confines of either of the two establishments. No beer could be sold on the closed street or in the city’s public parking lot.

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