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Washington County commissioners asked to support Second Amendment

Robert Houk • Jan 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Washington County commissioners face a packed agenda Monday that includes everything from voting on a resolution in support of the Second Amendment to authorizing county schools to buy five propane-fueled school buses.

Commissioners will also be asked to appoint nine members to a task force studying the county’s infrastructure needs to supply public water. That task force will be headed by Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy.

The resolution calls on the water task force to “determine what is possible and capable of occurring, to identify how best to move forward and to establish how best to fund any water project(s) that might be brought forward.”

Washington County’s officials will take up a Second Amendment resolution that affirms the Constitutional right to own a gun.

The Washington County resolution reads: “Whereas, legislation infringing upon the constitutional rights of Washington County citizens has been, and may continue to be, proposed in the United States Congress and the Tennessee General Assembly; and whereas, after much consideration and deliberation, this legislative body has determined that it is in the best interest of Washington County to publicly proclaim its support of a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, and request that the duly elected representatives of federal and state government continue to adhere to their respective promissory duties to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Commissioners are also set to vote on a resolution to spend $464,560 from capital funds to buy propane-fueled school buses, with the understanding the county will receive a share of a $102,500 grant from the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition.

That money would go to Washington County — which had already agreed to fund replacement school buses for the school system from its capital reserves — to help offset the cost to buy the propane-powered vehicles. The grant also requires that five diesel buses are permanently decommissioned by the county.

The school system is asking that $31,745 from the environmental grant go directly to Washington County’s coffers. That amount represents the difference in the cost of propane over diesel vehicles.

The remaining amount would go to the school system to help it buy vans for athletic teams at the county’s two high schools.

Other items on Monday’s agenda include:

• A new process to speed up the reimbursement of court-ordered cleanups of private property. Commissioners will consider a resolution to recoup those costs by the county trustee attaching a lien for the cleanup work to the property owner’s annual tax bill.

• A resolution giving the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia the county’s blessings to its work to have the vacant Ashe Street courthouse placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Heritage Alliance officials said the designation will allow the county to qualify for key grants to refurbish and protect the building that opened as a post office in 1910. 

• A request from the Washington County Election Commission to lease the former Ace hardware store at 220 N. 2nd Ave., Jonesborough, as a voting site. Election officials are asking for $77,500 to cover the one-year lease of the 10,700 square-foot property.   

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