Lafever to serve as Erwin Vice Mayor

Sue Guinn Legg • Jan 14, 2019 at 11:01 PM

ERWIN — The town of Erwin has a new vice mayor.

In its first meeting of 2019, the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday elected Alderman Mark Lafever to the vice mayor position previously held by Alderman Gary Edwards.

Alderman Rachelle Shurtz made the motion for Lafever’s election and Alderman Michael Baker seconded the motion. Lafever was then elected by a voice vote of the board with none opposed.

Shurtz was appointed to replace former alderman Virgil Moore as the board’s representative on the town’s Design Review Commission.

Moore was re-appointed to the commission to replace Ed Garland, an at-large commission member who stepped down because scheduling conflicts made it difficult for him to attend meetings.

Shurtz and Moore were both was nominated for the commission by Mayor Doris Hensley and approved by the board in voice votes with none opposed.

In other business on Monday, the board was presented with the recently updated Unicoi County Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Ed Herndon, county emergency management director, presented the plan to the board per mandates by state and federal emergency management agencies.

Last updated in 2017, the plan includes mitigation goals, strategies and projects to minimize losses resulting from natural and man-made disasters including flooding, tornadoes, severe storms, wildfires, sinkholes and earthquakes.

Herndon said Monday’s presentation was one of several mandatory hearings and no board vote will be needed until the after the plan is approved by FEMA.

In an update on the town’s first New Year’s Eve fireworks display, Hensley said the show went very well, drawing a good turnout and only positive comments.

Baker, who is an owner of Erwin’s new Union Street Taproom, said he believed the show had had a good economic impact, packing the downtown area with spectators and causing the food truck set for the event to sell out before the fireworks began.

Hensley said the show would be repeated and hopefully expanded in its second year.

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