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Present for a town hall meeting with Tennessee Representative Clay Doggett at Ardmore City Hall Tuesday, October 8, 2019 are from left, Ardmore Alderman Garon Hargrove, Rep. Doggett, City of Ardmore Mayor Mike Magnusson and Ardmore Police Chief Jimmy Kennedy. (YCS photo by Joe Stagner)
Representative Clay Doggett Holds Town Hall Meeting
by Shera Hunt
Tennessee State Representative, Clay Doggett, District 70, held a town hall meeting at Ardmore City Hall, Tuesday, October 8, at 1 p.m. Present were Mayor Magnusson, Aldermen VanManen, Hargrove, and Crabtree. Also present were Giles County Commissioners Bill Cary and Joyce Woodard. Total attendance was 30.
Representative Doggett opened the meeting by stating, "Ardmore is a special place to me, I grew up around the Hollands Gin area." His grandparents lived in Ardmore. He is hosting a series of town hall meetings and says his office is glad to be of assistance any time for any one.
Representative Doggett shared some of the State Agencies that citizens can contact with concerns. He works closely with Senator Joey Hensley. If someone has financial, health, or insurance issues let his office know and they will help. If the matter involves social security, IRS, or Veteran's Affairs, Contact Congressman Mark Green or Senator Marsha Blackburn, they help with federal matters. There is a new "Small Business Advocate" department through the comptroller's office. This department helps small businesses with services and paperwork and to meet deadlines for permits, etc. Consumer Affairs office helps with elderly scam calls telling them they have a loved one in trouble and they need to send money to help them out, or sending them a check and having them cash it and pay taxes on it and the money is theirs. The House is investigating ways to slow down these types of actions. If someone calls an elderly person asking them to switch insurance companies during Medicare open enrollment, have them talk to a doctor or pharmacist to see if they accept that particular insurance. Most are scams, and you lose your regular insurance when you switch. If someone falls victim to this contact Consumer Affairs.
Representative Doggett office sends out weekly newsletters to keep constituents up to date as to what the House is working on and what has been accomplished. If you want to be on the list send an email to Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The House has been in recess since May.
Some of the bills Representative Doggett has helped get passed is the Domestic Violence Act (Leanne Act). This bill states that if a No Contact Order has been violated the victim does not have to go to court and ask a judge to have the person arrested. The violater can be arrested immediately.
A bill passed the House and Senate unanimously giving a waiver to any family with a severely disabled child, under the age of 18, financial help with hospital bills, and will help provide care for the child, regardless of the family's income.
Representative Doggett stated, there is a $600 million surplus in the TN State Budget. Most people want to spend it immediately. Doggett feels it would be good stewardship to find out where the money is needed most and help families in the state.
He proposes that one week out of the month of November, December, January, and February, the state eliminate the grocery tax.
He wants to help Ardmore find grant money for next year. He tried budget amendments and other grants that failed to bring any money to Ardmore. There is a surplus of money on the Senate side and Senator Hensley is considering sharing with Ardmore to help the city with its serious sewer problems.
My office wants to do whatever we can to help the city, council, commissioners, and individuals.
Representative Doggett then answered questions from citizens. When asked if there is help for non-profits, he stated First Lady Maria Lee heads a program that helps non-profits. He was asked if the state legislature can do anything about censorship for TV, internet, etc. to protect children. His assistant, Noelle Norris, answered. She said there is a Center for Human Decency that is trying to pass a bill to force computer companies to put filters on all electronics. Getting a lot of push back from companies because of the cost. Doggett was asked does the federal government have a bill for robocalls. His reply, no, but he is working on a bill with Carey Roberts on financial exploitation for the elderly that will address robocalls but it costs money and so it was put behind the budget.
A business owner stated it is hard to promote businesses in Ardmore at the Tennessee and Alabama welcome centers because Alabama tourism won't allow advertising for Tennessee businesses and Tennessee won't allow for Alabama business advertising. Representative Doggett said he would contact the departments of tourism and see if he could find a solution.
He was asked if a billboard could be erected by the interstate saying come visit the Ardmore Veterans Museum. It was stated that the museum needed to be open 7 days a week for the billboard to be put up and the museum is only open on the weekends. He said he would look into the matter and see what can be done.
A citizen mentioned the interstate exit 1 needs to be lengthened and lights installed at all interstate exits.
Commissioner Bill Cary suggests working to get Hwy. 31 a four-lane highway to the AL state line due to growth and the infrastructure needed.
Representative Doggett concluded by thanking everyone for their support and said he will start the town hall meetings again in the spring. His office is happy to provide flags (limited quantity per year) and proclamations to recognize members of the community as well as give aid in dealing with state agencies. Looking forward to hearing from you. If you would like to contact his office by email Rep.email@example.com.
City Council Approves Park Improvements
by Shera Hunt
The Ardmore City Council met in regular session Thursday, October 3rd. Present were, Mayor Magnusson, Aldermen Smith, VanManen, Hargrove, Emerson, Crabtree and Sherman. Also present were Chief Kennedy, Paul Manke, Ed Burgoon, Margie Johnson and Sherry Funkhouser. Mayor Magnusson called the meeting to order and Alderman Smith led a prayer followed by Alderman Sherman leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Alderman Hargrove and second by Alderman Smith to approve the minutes of September 5th meeting, the vote was unanimous. Alderman VanManen made a motion to approve the September expenditures second by Alderman Sherman, the vote was unanimous.
Alderman Smith presented a bid of $6,300.00 for fencing around the new volleyball court from Middle TN Fence Builders of Lawrenceburg, TN. Smith said, "The price includes an eight-foot fence against Field 2 and three sides of 4 foot high fencing. The court will be totally enclosed with gates on two sides. They will also repair the fence around field four," Smith added. Alderman Smith made a motion to accept the bid, Alderman Emerson second, and the vote was unanimous.
Smith also stated the dugouts at field two need the shingles removed and replaced with pressure treated plywood and a metal roof. Cost will be approximately $300.00 each. Park Director Tim Turner can do the work. Alderman Smith made a motion to approve $600.00 the two dugout roofs. Alderman VanManen second, and the vote was unanimous.
It was also reported that there are drainage problems near the concrete bleachers and all gates need hinges, hardware, etc. replaced. Alderman Smith made a motion to get the work completed and have the street department employees assist Tim Turner with the repairs. Alderman Sherman second, and the vote was unanimous.
Mayor Magnusson stated the city will provide large trash pickup the week of Monday, October 21 through Friday, October 25.
The park committee, with the cooperation of some local businesses, will decorate the walking track at the park for Christmas.
Alderman Sherman reported on the bid for landscaping in front of the City Annex Building. Centerpoint Landscaping from Athens, AL, gave a price of $1,727.00 for a paver stone border, river rock, and several plants. Sherman then made a motion to approve the bid. Alderman Crabtree second with Aldermen Smith, Hargrove, Emerson, Crabtree and Sherman voting yes and Alderman VanManen opposed. The motion carried. A bid of $5,862.00 for landscaping at the park was tabled until a later date.
Mayor Magnusson informed the council that Mrs. King has asked the city to pay for half of a retainer wall and a survey of the drainage ditch near her business. The City's half of the costs, approximately $6,000.00. If agreed, Mrs. King will deed the drainage ditch area to the city. After much discussion no motion was made pending more research.
Alderman Crabtree made a motion to place six- or eight-inch letters on the front of the Annex Building for address identification. Alderman Hargrove second and vote was unanimous.
Resident Ed Burgoon asked if there were plans to add new playground equipment at the park and was told there were no plans at this time.
Resident Sherry Funkhouser asked about lights around the playground area and the restroom area at the park. Currently there is no light by the restrooms and only one light at the playground area. Mayor Magnusson stated he would investigate the matter and see what needs to be done.
Mayor Magnusson informed everyone that the city did not qualify for the sidewalk grant this year. The engineering study can't be done in time for the deadline. The city has a year to complete those studies and can reapply next year. Also, the city does not qualify for the sewer grant. There will be two categories, a large and small city sewer grant available next year and the city will apply for the small city grant.
Mayor Magnusson stated State Representative Clay Doggett will be at city hall, Tuesday, October 8th, at 1:00 p.m. He encouraged everyone to come out and meet him.
There being no further business, Alderman Sherman made a motion to adjourn at 7:40 p.m.
Nursing Home Owner to Build New Facility
John Sheehan of the Ocoee Foundation, Inc. announced that they will build a new facility on land located next to the current home that was purchased from Ardmore United Methodist Church.
The new facility unveiled Friday, October 4, 2019 will include 74 beds, a large common area and dining area and a physical therapy area that will open separately to the public for therapy sessions.
Sheehan said they hope to break ground as early as April 2020 with a completion date in April 2021.
Announcing plans to build a new nursing home facility on property purchased from the Ardmore United Methodist Church Friday, October 4, 2019 are Wes Jones, contractor; John Sheehan, Jr., President of the Ocoee Foundation, Inc.; Clint Davis, Twin Rivers Health & Rehabilitation CEO and Don Anderson administrator, Elk River Health & Rehabilitation. (YCS photo by Joe Stagner)
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