The County Commission’s County-Owned Property Committee and Election Commission will meet about the county’s needs for polling places, such as this one used in Jonesborough during last year. Robert Houk/Johnson City Press

Washington County commissioners approved funding Monday to pay for the environmental cleanups of three tracts deemed by the court as unkept or hazardous properties.

That remediation work includes:

  • Property owned by Justin Cannon, 157 Buttermilk Road, Gray. The estimated cost is $1,208.48.
  • Property owned by Charles S. Hammett Sr. and Jewell Riffle, 1728 Tenn. Highway 81 S., Jonesborough. The estimated cost is $7,292.40.
  • Property owned by Tommie Renet’ Johnson, Tenn. Highway 81 North, Jonesborough. The cost of the project is $2,716.96.

Commissioners voted in September to resume cleanups of properties that have been subject to court action.

The county had paused action on such cleanups while officials sorted out the administrative details and financial costs of the process.

As part of revamping its policy for environmental cleanups, commissioners voted in the fall to add $100,000 to the existing budgetary line item of $15,000 to pay for the work.

In other business Monday:

• Commissioners voted to ask members of the Washington County Election Commission to appear before the County-Owned Property Committee on March 4 to “collaborate” with commissioners on a plan to meet the county’s needs for polling places.

Washington County officials are reviewing their options for renewing the lease on a former Jonesborough hardware store, which was used as an early voting site last year.

County Mayor Joe Grandy told members of the Budget Committee earlier this month that the county’s one-year lease on the former Olde Towne Ace Hardware, 220 N. 2nd Ave., expired last month.

Commissioners voted in January 2020 to approve a request from the Election Commission to lease the building — located across U.S. Highway 11E from the George P. Jaynes Justice Center — at a cost of $77,500.

Grandy said the owner of the property, former Jonesborough Alderman David Sell, has “granted the county a 60-day time frame” for making a decision on the 10,700-square-foot property.

• Commissioners approved a resolution voicing Washington County’s opposition to a bill that would require local governments to pay for the right of way of roadways near new subdivisions.

Commissioners passed a measure that “strongly” urges the state General Assembly to reject House Bill 0366/Senate Bill 1604, which a fiscal note for the measure says will represent a cost to local governments across the state totaling more than $1 million.

The legislation seeks to prohibit local planners from requiring “dedications of rights of ways” as a condition of plat approval, and would instead require those local governments to purchase the right of way needed for the development.

• The commission voted 11 to 3 to adopt recent updates to the Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan for downtown Johnson City and related parcels.

The amendment reflects measures approved by the the commission, Johnson City Commission and the Johnson City Development Authority in the past year designed to bring the downtown revitalization district into uniformity with upgrades that the state General Assembly made to Tennessee’s tax increment financing law in 2012.