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Elizabethton City Council bids farewell to Shipley, Tester; approve final piece of Joe O.Brien renovation financing

John Thompson • Nov 8, 2018 at 9:46 PM

ELIZABETHTON —Thursday’s meeting of the Elizabethton City Council ended as a farewell to two councilmen who are ending long terms of service.

Several former mayors, city managers, council members, city officials and employees attended the meeting and joined with their current counterparts to bid farewell to Sam Shipley and Richard Tester.

Mayor Curt Alexander said Tester has served on the council for eight years, while Shipley may have set a record for longevity on the council. Shipley has served continuously on the council since 1998.

Alexander said Tester has become a close friend, not only for him but for his family. The mayor presented Tester with a plaque for his eight years of service.

The mayor said Shipley has served as mayor pro tem on three occasions and has served with 10 City Council members, several city managers and mayors.

“I can’t tell you how many boards he has served on,” Alexander said. While Shipley is retiring because of health reasons, he plans to continue serving on many of those boards, such as the Carter County Rescue Squad board of directors. Shipley has also long been the leader in maintaining and expanding the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans Walk of Honor.

In recognition of Shipley’s lengthy service, he was also presented with a plaque and also with a scrapbook of his years of service. The final award was a State of Tennessee commendation from Gov. Bill Haslam in recognition of outstanding public service.

In other matters, several citizens took the opportunity during the time for citizen comments to express opposition and support of the allowance of pubs to in downtown Elizabethton. The council had already deferred action on the matter.

The final piece of the financing for the renovation project at Joe O’Brien Field was unanimously approved on Thursday. That piece was an agreement to borrow $450,800 on a capital outlay note. The note is to be paid off in seven years from current and future appropriations. The interest rate is estimated to be between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent.

This final piece is to an obligation undertaken during the October meeting, when the City Council approved a Principles of Agreement between the Elizabethton government and the Minnesota Twins for the renovation project. Under the agreement, the city is responsible for $1,972,110.

On Oct. 23, Elizabethton had wired $1,521,310 to the escrow account for the project. The final $450,800 installment will be in the escrow account by Jan. 20.

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