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Carter County Commission approves lease agreement between Carter County EMA and 911 Board

John Thompson • Updated Jan 22, 2019 at 9:59 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Emergency Management Agency should soon be leaving the second-floor offices it has held in the Carter County Courthouse since the days of the Doe River flood 20 years ago.

The change was made possible by a vote of the Carter County Commission on Tuesday night to approve a lease agreement between the emergency management agency and the Carter County Emergency Communication District.

The lease would permit EMA to move into the unused half of the building at 525 S. Sycamore St. The space to be rented is 2,107 square feet. That space is deemed adequate to build an emergency operations center in the room. It would provide a single working space for all emergency responders to operate in close contact in an emergency such as the 1998 flood.

The commission voted to make the length of the lease 25 years. There was a concern the Carter County EMA might spend a lot of money building an emergency operations center and then have the lease terminated. After a month, County Attorney Josh Hardin said the lease could be terminated if both sides were mutually agreeable or if one party failed to fulfill its obligation. Hardin said the county’s only obligation was to pay rent, and the rent was $1 per year.

The commissioners also approved the county’s application for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant that will extend public waterlines from the First Utility District to the residents of the Dry Hollow community.

The commissioners also demonstrated support for legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly to repeal a reduction of commissions from the register of deeds of various counties that had been enacted several years ago.

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