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Jonesborough wins big

W. Kenneth Medley II • May 13, 2019 at 10:38 PM

The big news from the Jonesborough Mayor and Aldermen meeting Monday is all about a “small town with quality people in it,” says Mayor Chuck Vest after announcing the town received seven Pinnacle Awards for 2019.

The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association hands out the awards every year in different categories. The International Storytelling Center also received an award.

“Eight winners of this Pinnacle Award came out of Jonesborough,” Vest said, “very impressive.”

The town was awarded in the categories of Advertising and Promotions: Brochure or Guide; Rack Card, Jonesborough Yarn Exchange Season; Short Video, “With These Hands”; Long Video: Jonesborough Yarn Exchange Season Pass video; Best New Event: “I Am Home”; Katelyn Yarbrough, Rising Star award; and Best Marketing Campaign, Wetlands Water Park, Bring Your Own Swimsuit.

The town employee health insurance rates will increase this year by 7.45%, which is less than the quoted increase of 12% from Lyman A. Fulton & Associates. The board also approved to lower the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System contribution rate to 7% from 8.57%. This is above the bottom rate from the system of 5.99%.

A statement from the board says this has been done in the past to keep the retirement program more stable. Bob Browning, town administrator, made a statement that this is why the recommendation to not drop to the bottom rate was made again.

“With a reduction to 7%, we are saving $40,942 in the General Fund, $32,232 in Water/Sewer and $2,963 in Solid Waste,” reads an agenda presentation.

Reducing to the 5.99% rate would result in more savings. The recommendation to approve a moderate reduction is to keep the town’s participation rate mare stable, and avoid a larger increase in the future, according the agenda presentation.

A tobacco-restriction policy was approved. It is now prohibited to use tobacco, E-cigarettes or vape in Jonesborough public buildings; public playground and pavilions; Wetlands Water Park; town-owned plazas and courtyards; including Fox and Main streets; bleachers, scorer’s box and concession areas at ballparks; in town-owned vehicles and any other areas posted by the town of Jonesborough.

The revised contract with Jonesborough Civitan was approved. The contract is for a new dog park that will be developed along Little Limestone Creek. The contract includes requirements by both the town and the Jonesborough Civitan.

James Walden was awarded employee of the month. He works in the Street Department and was called a “go-to guy” buy his superiors in a statement read by Vest.