A motion to accept a separation agreement with Erwin City Recorder Travis Bishop died during Monday night’s town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting due to a lack of a second.

“I don’t really have anything to say right now,” said Bishop. “The only thing I can say is it’s a pleasure to serve the residents of this town.”

The motion to accept the separation agreement was made by alderman Michael Baker.

“The fact that we all received the agreement signed by Mr. Bishop in my mind says he is agreeable to it,” said Baker.

Also during the meeting, the board voted to approve an ordinance to no longer provide trash pickup to local businesses.

“Historically we paid about $75,000 to service these commercial dumpsters,” said Bishop. “Beginning July 1, 2021, it was roughly increased to $200,000 a year to provide the same service.”

A resolution to provide a one-time increase of 10 additional sick days for town employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic was also approved by the board during the meeting.

“I would like to also say that this may have to be upped,” said Vice Mayor Mark Lafever, “from a board standpoint, as we approach these festivals and things that we’re demanding our employees work at. Once again, we had this discussion two weeks ago. I feel like if we’re going to ask our employees to be in harm’s way, then we need to be providing them additional sick days.”

The board also approved the placement of a flag drop-off box on Main Street outside the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce. The drop-off box was created by the Boy Scouts as a place for members of the community to drop off retired American flags.

“When the United States flag, Old Glory, becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, it is time to replace it with a new flag,” said Alystaire Higgins, an 11-year-old Unicoi County resident and Boy Scout. “The old flag should be retired with dignity and respect benefiting our nation’s flag.”

The flag drop-off box will be unveiled on Oct. 24, and Main Street will be closed for the event from 2:45 p.m. until 4 p.m.

The board also approved the closure of Main Street on Oct. 16 from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. for the 2021 Autorama event, the closure of Gay Street on Sept. 25 from 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Oct. 23 from 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m. and Nov. 6 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. for several different events at the Bramble.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the board approved the purchase of three 2021 Ford F150 trucks and upfitting for use in the police department for $155,797.86 and a dump bed trailer for public works in the amount of $10,519.81. The board also approved a proposal from Tysinger, Hampton and Partners, Inc. for surveying and engineering services to improve drainage in the Gathering Place for the amount of $7,900.

The next Erwin BMA meeting is scheduled for Sept. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the Erwin Town Hall.

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