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Linville tagged for Unicoi County EMS board

Sue Guinn Legg • Feb 18, 2020 at 9:37 PM

UNICOI — Unicoi Alderman Jeff Linville will join Mayor Johnny Lynch as the town’s representatives on the new Unicoi County EMS control board.

Lynch announced the appointment at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Linville’s appointment leaves one seat on the nine-member board yet to be filled — an at-large member to be appointed by Unicoi County Mayor Garland “Bubba” Evely.

The other members include Evely and Unicoi County Commissioner John Mosley, Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley and Alderwoman Rachelle Shurtz, Unicoi County Hospital Administrator Eric Carroll and the medical director for the new ambulance service.

The County Commission’s Ambulance Committee, which is leading the work to establish the new EMS in partnership with the two towns, is set to meet on Feb. 25. County Attorney Doug Shults has advised the committee the next steps will be the signing of a formal agreement to incorporate the new service, followed by online filing for incorporation and an organizational meeting to be held within five days of the filing.

Dan Wheely, director of Washington County/Johnson City EMS that is currently providing service to Unicoi County and assisting in the establishment of the new EMS, said the first orders of business for the new control board will be to establish bylaws and policies for the service and to select its medical director.

Wheely has requested the Ambulance Committee continue its monthly meetings with WCJC/EMS until the one-year temporary service agreement expires and the new service goes into operation in July.

Commission Chairman Loren Thomas has requested the committee and the new board meet jointly until the July transition.

In other business on Tuesday, the Unicoi board gave final reading approval to an ordinance establishing property maintenance regulations and penalties for failure to comply.

Drafted with assistance from a community planner with the First Tennessee Development District, the new regulations will be enforced by Unicoi Police Chief Andy Slagle.

While Slagle has indicated he will be working with town residents to bring their properties into compliance, failure to comply with the new ordinance will result in misdemeanor citations with fines and court costs.

In a couple of special recognitions for service to the town, Lynch presented Slagle with a proclamation expressing appreciation for his and other local first responders and town and maintenance and highway department workers for their response to last week’s “dangerous and frustrating” flooding issues in Unicoi.

Lynch said similar proclamations will be presented to the town’s maintenance department, Unaka Search and Rescue, Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department, Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and Unicoi County Highway Department.

Jean Mull was named Unicoi’s Volunteer of the Year in recognition of her service to the town in number of capacities, including her annual portrayal of Mrs. Santa Claus during the town’s Christmas festivities.

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