Recent News

Nov 21, 2014

Volunteers needed for Board of Building Codes

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners soon will be considering four appointments to the Board of Building Codes. These vacancies include an architectural representative, a commercial building representative, an engineering representative, and a state- or city-certified gas/mechanical contractor. Applicants must be City residents.
This board is responsible for hearing and deciding appeals and variances to the Johnson City Building Code. The board also decides questions of code interpretation and recommends any code changes to the Board of Commissioners. Each term is three years. The board meets on an as-needed basis on the first Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m.
Any citizen who is interested in serving as a member of the Board of Building Codes may submit an application online at www.johnsoncitytn.org or may obtain one by calling the Community Relations Department at (423)434-6021. For more information regarding this board, please call the Codes Enforcement Office at (423)434-6048. Applications will be accepted through Thursday, Dec. 4.

CONTACT:
Becky Buchanan, director
Community Relations
(423)434-6021

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Nov 20, 2014

Water, sewer work to cause Indian Ridge closure Monday

Indian Ridge Road – between High Street, Miller Street and Sells Avenue – will be closed from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday (Nov. 24) for replacement of a sewer manhole and water line modifications. This work zone will be impassable to all traffic including emergency vehicles.

CONTACT:
Jim Sipe, project manager
Water and Sewer Services
(423)483-5969

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Nov 20, 2014

HZC November meeting canceled

This month’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Johnson City Historic Zoning Commission (set for Tuesday, Nov. 25) has been canceled. The next meeting will take place Dec. 23 at noon in the Administrative Conference Room of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St.

CONTACT:
Matthew Young, planner
Development Services
(423)434-6073 

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Nov 19, 2014

MPCC offering Parent’s Night Out

Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., is offering parents a night out without the kids. On Friday, Dec. 12, from 5:30-9 p.m., children ages 3-12 will enjoy pizza, swimming, games, movies, and crafts.
Children will be split into age groups, and all participants must be potty trained. Cost is $15 for the first child; $10 for each additional child in a family. Snacks will be available for purchase. Pre-registration is required and will be open online at www.myjcparks.org through Thursday, Dec. 11. Call MPCC at 434-5749 for more information.

CONTACT:
Sarah Jennings, program coordinator
Memorial Park Community Center
(423)434-5749

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Nov 19, 2014

BOC to meet Monday

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will meet in the Administrative Conference Room of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St., on Monday (Nov. 24) at 5:30 p.m. for a presentation regarding the ETSU Performing Arts Center.

CONTACT:
Beth Greene, executive assistant
Administration
(423)434-6002
 

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Nov 19, 2014

Community Development, ASP to dedicate new home Sunday

The City of Johnson City, in partnership with Appalachia Service Project Inc., will hold a dedication of a new single-family home at 308 Bettie St. at 3 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 23).
This home is the first in a partnership between the City’s Community Development Program and the Appalachia Service Projects ASP Tri-Cities Program. The covenant church for this project was Central Baptist Church in Johnson City, with local contractor Tom DeBoard overseeing construction.
“I thank God every day for what he has done for me and want to thank the City, ASP and all the volunteers that were involved in building this new house for me and my family to live in,” said new homeowner James Hammett.
Community Development Director Steve Baldwin said ASP is a perfect partner for the Community Development program.
“It is wonderful to see the first re-construction here in Johnson City under this new partnership with ASP. Hopefully this will be the first of many more,” he said.
ASP President and CEO Walter Crouch is also thrilled with the success of the collaboration thus far.
“Our partnership with Johnson City allows ASP to leverage limited housing funds for the greatest return possible – a brand new home for a family in need. The results of this partnership show the potential of public and private cooperation,” Crouch said.
While the Appalachia Service Project is based in Johnson City, it also operates in four surrounding states and is active in over 30 communities. ASP’s vision is that substandard housing in Central Appalachia will be eradicated and that everyone who comes into contact with this ministry will be transformed.
For information about ASP’s Tri-Cities Program, contact the ASP Tri-Cities Supervisor Will Crumley at WCrumley@asphome.org . For all other inquiries, contact Tim Norton at TNorton@asphome.org, call (423) 854-8800, or visit the website at ASPHome.org.

CONTACT:
Steve Baldwin, Community Development director
Development Services
(423)434-6291

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Nov 18, 2014

JCFD offers safe heating tips

The Johnson City Fire Department is asking the public to practice safe heating behaviors and check or replace smoke detectors during the peak months for home heating fires - November through March.

It is easy to place items in front of wall heaters during the warmer months and forget about the consequences when the colder months arrive. Fire codes require that no combustibles be closer than 3 feet to a heater of any type. While only 32 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, they are involved in 79 percent of home heating fire deaths, according to the report “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment” released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Heating equipment continues to be the second leading cause of home fires behind cooking and the second leading cause of home fire deaths behind smoking.

In the past year, the Johnson City Fire Department has responded to seven structure fires that were the result of combustibles being too close to a heating source. And in 2012, the department responded to 21 fires determined to have started by failure of or misuse of heating equipment. The leading factor contributing to space heater fires in general was heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding. Other leading factors contributing to home space heater fires were failure to clean, which is principally related to creosote build-up in chimneys, and leaving an operating space heater unattended.

Please remember that wall heaters may still operate and turn on even if the thermostat is in the off position. This feature creates issues when combustibles like clothing, linens, or towels are placed too close to the wall heater.

Safety tips
• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
• Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
• Never use your oven to heat your home.
• Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
• Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
• Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
• Test smoke alarms monthly.

Johnson City Fire Chief Mark Scott reminds us that “no matter how careful you are with home heating, you and your family should be prepared in case fire strikes. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area, test your smoke detectors regularly and replace dead batteries immediately. Also, make and practice a home safety plan. We want everyone living and working in our community to be fire safe.”

Residents of Johnson City needing assistance in obtaining smoke detectors can contact the Johnson City Fire Department at (423)975-2840. Residents of other areas can contact their local fire departments about assistance with smoke detectors. 

Contact:
Assistant Fire Marshal Lori Ratliff
(423)483-5832 
 


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Nov 17, 2014

FYI: State issues food safety tips for healthy holiday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Special foods and favorite family recipes are a treasured part of many Thanksgiving celebrations. In addition to enjoying these foods in moderation, the Tennessee Department of Health urges all Tennesseans to practice safe food handling while preparing, transporting and storing food to protect family and friends from food-borne illness.

“The fall and winter holidays bring lots of celebrations that include wonderful foods made with loving care, but don’t let a celebration go south. Enjoy these foods in moderation and be careful to handle them properly,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “For example, cook food to a proper temperature, handle it safely by not mixing raw meat and raw vegetables on the same surfaces, be really careful if you are deep frying a turkey and stop eating when you are full. Just store food properly and enjoy it again the next day.”

Federal authorities estimate there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illnesses such as norovirus, E. coli, shigella and salmonella in the United States each year–the equivalent of sickening one in six Americans. These illnesses cause an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths nationwide every year.

Safe food handling should start long before a meal is served, beginning with bringing food home from the store and continuing in the kitchen with food storage and preparation. Follow these tips to help keep food safe.

• Wash hands and surfaces: Start with clean hands, counters, utensils and cutting boards before preparing food. Wash surfaces and utensils after each use.
• Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs securely wrapped and separate from other foods when grocery shopping and in the refrigerator at home. Use separate cutting boards and plates for these items.
• Thaw and marinate foods in the refrigerator. Never thaw or marinate food on the counter, as bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature and make the outside thawed parts dangerous even if the food item is still cold or frozen inside. If planning to use a marinade as a sauce on cooked food, reserve a portion separately before adding raw meat, poultry or seafood. Don’t reuse marinade that has been used on raw food.
• Clean all produce. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before preparing or serving, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel.
• Keep cold foods cold. Cold food should be stored at 40° Fahrenheit or below and kept at that temperature until serving time to prevent bacterial growth. When taking a chilled dish to a party, transport cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs.
• Cook food thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to be sure food is safely cooked. Steaks, roasts, pork and fish should be cooked to 145° F; ground beef and pork to 160° F; whole chicken, chicken breasts, turkey and ground chicken to 165° F.
• Keep "ready" food hot. Keep prepared hot foods in a warm oven, crock pot or chafing dish to retain proper temperatures at or above 140° F.
• Don't reuse platters or utensils. Using the same platter or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood allows bacteria from raw food juices to spread to cooked food. Use a clean platter and utensils to serve food.
• Chill perishable foods promptly. Leftovers of prepared, perishable foods should be refrigerated within two hours to prevent growth of bacteria. Chilled foods that have remained at room temperature for longer than four hours should be discarded. The refrigerator should be between 32° and 40° F, and the freezer should be at 0° F or below.

Cooks and helpers in the kitchen should wash their hands before preparing food, after handling any raw items and frequently during food prep and cooking. Everyone should wash their hands before eating.

Electric knives, turkey fryers and other cooking gadgets pose a risk of injury if used improperly. Follow all instructions for use of such items and take proper time and care when using them. Turkey fryers also pose a risk for fire, so take care not to overfill with oil and follow manufacturers’ instructions for safe use.

If there’s any question about the safety of a food item before, during or after cooking, remember this rule: “If in doubt, throw it out.”

For more tips on safe food handling and storage, visit www.foodsafety.gov/. You can also learn about the risks of food poisoning in a new web series “Recipes for Disaster,” with fun videos such as “Contaminated Carbo Load” and “Bacteria BBQ” available in both English and Spanish.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. For more information about TDH services and programs, visit http://health.state.tn.us/.

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Nov 17, 2014

MPCC offering youth camps over holiday break

Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., will host several camps next month for kids ages 6-12.
• Krazy Kamp Dayz: Dec. 22-23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $20 per child. Early drop-off (7:30 a.m.) and late pick-up (5:15 p.m.) available for an extra $10 per child. Participants will provide their own lunch and snacks.
• Half Day Sports Camp: Dec. 24, 9 a.m.-noon. Cost is $10 per child. No early drop-off or late pick-up available for this camp.
• Winter Break Camp: Dec. 29-Jan. 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $30 per child. No camp on Jan. 1. Early drop-off (7:30 a.m.) and late pick-up (5:15 p.m.) available for an extra $10 per child. Participants will provide their own lunch and snacks.
Register online at myjcparks.org or in person at MPCC starting Nov. 24. For more information, call (423)434-5749.

CONTACT:
Renee Ensor, program coordinator
Memorial Park Community Center
(423)434-5750 

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Nov 17, 2014

Applications being accepted for PBA appointment

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners soon will consider an appointment to the Public Building Authority Board of Directors. This board meets monthly and is in charge of overseeing the operation of Millennium Centre and development of Millennium Park in accordance with the adopted Millennium Park Master Plan.
Potential appointees must be residents of the city. Any citizen who is interested in serving as a member of the PBA Board may apply online at www.johnsoncitytn.org/boards; may pick up an application at the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St.; or may call 434-6002 for an application to be mailed or faxed. Application deadline is Friday, Dec. 12.
For more information regarding the Public Building Authority, please contact Rebecca Davis at 202-3510 or davis@thewcedc.com.

CONTACT:
Beth Greene, executive assistant
Administration
(423)434-6002
 

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