Johnson City News

April 09, 2020

Johnson City Transit to temporarily close for in-depth cleaning

April 9, 2020 
For immediate release

 Johnson City Transit to temporarily close for in-depth cleaning

Johnson City Transit will temporarily suspend all operations for two days beginning Friday, April 10 to facilitate a deep clean of the Transit building and all buses. The suspension in services impacts fixed routes as well as paratransit and job access services. All Transit services will resume normal operations Monday, April 13.

Johnson City Transit offers a mobile text alert system that allows riders to keep up with schedule changes, holiday service, free ride weeks and other announcements. To sign up for the service visit www.johnsoncitytransit.org/alerts.

For more information, call 423-929-7119.

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April 09, 2020

Youth soccer, girls softball, girls T-ball seasons canceled

 April 9, 2020
For immediate release

Youth soccer, girls softball, girls T-ball seasons canceled 

Due to COVID-19 and in keeping with social distancing requirements, this year's Johnson City Parks and Recreation youth soccer, girls softball and girls T-ball seasons are canceled. Staff will begin processing refunds the week of April 13. Refunds will be in the form of a check payable to the person who paid fees at the time of registration. All refunds will be mailed.

For more information, call 423-283-5822.

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April 07, 2020

Volunteers needed for Health and Educational Facilities Board

 

 

April 7, 2020
For immediate release 

Volunteers needed for Health and Educational Facilities Board

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will consider three appointments to the Johnson City Health and Educational Facilities Board. Each appointment will be for a term of six years.

The Health and Educational Facilities Board meets on an as-needed basis and aids medical and educational facilities in obtaining tax-free loans as allowed by a combination federal and state statutes.

Any citizen interested in serving must be a resident of Johnson City and may submit an application online at www.johnsoncitytn.org/boards. The deadline for applications is May 8.

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April 02, 2020

City encourages customers to enroll in free autodraft service

April 2, 2020
For immediate release 

City encourages customers to enroll in free autodraft service

The City of Johnson City is encouraging customers to enroll in its free autodraft service to pay their utility bills. Enrollment can be completed online via a short form at www.johnsoncitytn.org/autodraft. Customers must upload a copy of a voided check to complete enrollment.

With the closure of City Hall, customers are reminded of the multiple ways in which they can pay bills. In addition to the free autodraft option, credit card payments are accepted online and via phone. Tax and utility payments are accepted at a temporary window at City Hall and a drive-thru window has also been opened at 106 Gray Commons Circle in Gray. Collections clerks are available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays to accept tax and utility payments and applications for business licenses. The night depository located at City Hall also remains available.

Ways to pay

Enroll in autodraftwww.johnsoncitytn.org/autodraft

Pay onlinewww.johnsoncitytn.org/payments

Pay utility bills by phone: 877-768-5046

Pay property taxes by phone: 877-768-5048

Sign up for new water/sewer service: 423-461-1640 

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March 31, 2020

Johnson City offers FAQs, email resources for Safer at Home   

March 31, 2020
For immediate release

 Johnson City offers FAQs, email resources for Safer at Home    

Following yesterday’s Declaration of Local Emergency and Proclamation of Civil Emergency, the City of Johnson City has added a list of frequently asked questions to its website at www.johnsoncitytn.org/SaferAtHome. An email address, SaferAtHome@johnsoncitytn.org, has also been created to serve as a hotline in addressing citizen and business questions. 

Johnson City's complete Safer at Home Order, effective until April 6 with the potential to be extended as needed, is also available on the website. The action was taken upon guidance from local health officials, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with growing numbers attributed to community spread.

“The Safer at Home Order is the most responsible action we can take to limit the spread of this virus,” said City Manager Pete Peterson. “The order will only be effective if everyone does their part. The list of frequently asked questions is intended to provide additional guidance to our citizens and business owners so they know how to properly implement the requirements included in the directive.”

Individuals and business owners who continue to have questions or concerns about the proper implementation of the Safer at Home Order are encouraged to reach out to City staff by email SaferAtHome@johnsoncitytn.org.

Additional information and resources can be found at www.johnsoncitytn.org/covid-19.

The list of essential businesses was informed by the Department of Homeland Security’s memorandum on identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response. To view the memorandum, please visit https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. Gov. Lee's Executive Order 21 further addresses non-essential businesses. 

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March 30, 2020

City of Johnson City declares local emergency, issues Safer at Home Order

March 30, 2020
For immediate release

 City of Johnson City declares local emergency, issues Safer at Home Order

The City of Johnson City today issued a Declaration of Local Emergency and Proclamation of Civil Emergency, which includes a Safer at Home order that closes non-essential businesses, requires CDC social distancing guidelines, and restricts travel. The order will be effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 and will remain in effect until April 6, 2020 with the potential to extend as needed.

The action comes upon guidance from local health officials, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with growing numbers attributed to community spread.

“This is the time to act," said Mayor Jenny Brock. "Community spread means the virus can be anywhere. None of us is immune. We must limit all social interaction by staying home except for essential needs." 

The order reaffirms Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order No. 17 which includes the prohibition of all public and private gatherings of more than 10 people occurring outside a single household or living unit.  Also included in the order are social distancing requirements for individuals, activities and businesses during the duration of the order. CDC issued guidelines for COVID-19 prevention measures includes screening of employees for symptoms; excluding sick people from work; maintaining at least six feet social distancing from other individuals; washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty (20) seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer; covering coughs or sneezes into the sleeve, tissue, or elbow (not hands); avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces; and not shaking hands with others.

“We know that these restrictions may place a burden on our residents and our small business owners in particular, and we don’t make this decision lightly,” Brock said. “It is clear this is what needs to happen to keep the people of this community safe. It is the most responsible thing we can do to limit the spread of this the virus.”

The Safer at Home Directive mandates all individuals currently living within the City are required to stay at their place of residence unless engaged in essential activities, essential governmental functions or to operate essential businesses.

Essential activities include:

a. To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.

b. To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others.

c. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with the Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Order, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, dog walking, or running.

d. To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order, including Minimum Basic Operations.

e. To perform payroll and other critical administrative functions for any business, including businesses not defined as essential.

f. To care for a family member or pet in another household.

 

The pandemic has quickly spread across the world in recent months, including in Washington County, which went from two to 14 confirmed cases in just 10 days. This Safer at Home directive mirrors similar initiatives under way in Carter, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties as well as the cities of Bristol, Elizabethton, and Kingsport.

The declaration also requires "non-essential" businesses with a facility in the City to cease all activities at facilities located within the City except for minimum basic operations. Businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residence. All essential businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open. The order defines essential businesses as:

a. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure as defined in this Order.

b. Grocery and beverage stores, certified farmers’ market, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, catering, and other similar establishments.  This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.

c. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing.

d. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for the economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.

e. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.

f. Gas stations and auto supply, auto repair, and related facilities.

g. Banks and related financial institutions.

h. Hardware stores, home and business repair, construction (commercial and residential), and facilities design businesses.

i. Insurance businesses and services.

j. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning, janitorial, property management, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Business.

k. Businesses providing mailing, shipping and logistic services, including post office boxes.

l. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers.

m. Electronic, cell phone, and internet retail businesses.

n. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out.  Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only.  Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site.

o. Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing, storing, shipping, and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, medical supplies, shipping and paper supplies, chemicals and sanitization, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, mining, construction, national defense, communications, as well as products used by other Essential Businesses.

p. Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate or facilitate individuals to work from home, such as office supplies.

q. Businesses that provide goods or services exclusively through curbside pick-up, drive-thru, shipment, or delivery.  This shall include any business that did not previously provide goods or services in this manner, but develops a procedure to provide its goods and services in this manner or are temporarily permitted to do so through a regulation of the City.

r. Transportation services including buses, airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers (such as Uber and Lyft) providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order.

s. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children, people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substances use disorders, and/or mental illnesses.

t. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, children, people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness.

u. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.

v. Childcare and daycare facilities, prioritizing services to employees of businesses exempted in this Order to work as permitted.  Daycare and childcare facilities must use Social Distancing and COVID-19 risk mitigation practices in their operations, and have no more than ten (10) people in a room.

w. Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services.

x. Funeral homes, crematoriums, mortuaries, and burial services.

y. Private waste removal and recycling services.

z. Blood donor operations.

aa. All other critical infrastructure businesses not otherwise listed but identified in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Memorandum of Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers during COVID-19 Response issued on March 19, 2020.

bb. Any other business or service that the City Manager determines is essential for the safety and public health of the City.

The list of essential businesses was informed by the Department of Homeland Security’s memorandum on identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response. To view the memorandum, please visit https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce.

“The safety and health of our community and employees are the top priority and the Board of Commissioners appreciates everyone’s patience during this time," Brock said. “Please do your part by staying apart.”

For questions regarding business, please call the Northeast Tennessee Regional Partnership at 423.202.3510.

For more information, please visit www.johnsoncitytn.org/covid-19. 

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March 30, 2020

City Commission to hold special called meeting tonight

March 30, 2020
For immediate release

 City Commission to hold special called meeting tonight

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting at 6 p.m. tonight (Monday, March 30) to consider approval of temporary modifications to Chapter 8 Alcoholic Beverages of the City Code and to discuss a Safer at Home Order: Declaration of Local Emergency and Proclamation of Civil Emergency. This meeting will be held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled agenda review. The meeting will take place electronically, per Gov. Bill Lee's Executive Order 16. There will not be a physical location in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare. Citizens may access this meeting through the same means as regular meeting, via the City’s website at www.johnsoncitytn.org/streaming.



March 30, 2020

City Commission to hold regularly scheduled meeting electronically

 March 30, 2020
For immediate release

City Commission to hold regularly scheduled meeting electronically

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday (April 2) at 6 p.m. This meeting will take place electronically, pursuant to Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order No. 16, issued on March 20, 2020. There will not be a physical location in order to protect public health, safety and welfare. An agenda for this meeting will be available at www.johnsoncitytn.org/citycommisionagendas and citizens may access this meeting via the City’s website at www.johnsoncitytn.org/streaming.

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March 27, 2020

2020 Census under way, City Commissioners emphasize importance of participation

 

 

March 27, 2020
For immediate release

 2020 Census under way, City Commissioners emphasize importance of participation

Once a decade the federal government requires a census be conducted to obtain a complete count of every person living in the United States. The 2020 Census is now under way and has both national and local implications.

The census count provides the basis for determining the number of representatives each state has in Congress and informs the redrawing of congressional district boundaries. In addition, the count also influences the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to states, counties, and communities to support resources such as schools, hospitals, and fire departments.

“The Board of Commissioners is encouraging the participation of all residents, including renters and property owners,” said Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock. “Each year the Tennessee Department of Revenue shares certain state taxes with the City of Johnson City based on population. This means the higher the population count for the City of Johnson City, the more money the City receives.”

While Johnson City’s current self-response rate of 26.9 percent is in line with the national average, the Johnson City Board of Commissioners is encouraging all residents to answer the short questionnaire available at www.my2020census.gov. The census can also be completed by phone or by mail.

“It will take less than 10 minutes,” Brock said.  “I encourage everyone, as they are responding to our call to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to log in, call in or mail in your survey. Please, BE COUNTED and ensure Johnson City receives its appropriate share of federal funds and congressional and state representation.”

In the 2010 Census, 82 percent of City residents participated and were counted.

“The census bureau estimates that for every person who does not get counted in the census that the City of Johnson City loses at least $1,100 each year,” Brock said. “When you do the math on the 18 percent who weren’t counted last time around you see just how important an accurate count is. That would be more than $13 million lost each year from this census.”

More information about the 2020 Census and why an accurate count is important to the City of Johnson City is available at www.johnsoncitynt.org/census2020.

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March 25, 2020

Langston Centre to start Ralph E. Davis Leadership Academy

March 25, 2020
For immediate release


Langston Centre to start Ralph E. Davis Leadership Academy

The Langston Centre, 315 Elm St., in partnership with East Tennessee State University, is currently accepting applications for the Ralph E. Davis Academy, which will launch in September. The academy is designed for youth ages 15-17, who will receive weekly training in community engagement and leadership.

ETSU’s Clemmer College will guide the workshop curriculum, and ETSU students will serve as mentors. Participants will have an opportunity to apply their training at local nonprofits. The academy will culminate with all participants presenting about their experiences at a February symposium held at the Langston Centre.

The academy was named for Ralph E. Davis, a longtime community leader and president of the Johnson City/Washington County NAACP, who passed away in July. Davis earned a degree in Political Science and History from ETSU and was very active in the community, dedicating himself to civil rights and social justice. Appointed by then-Gov. Phil Bredeson as a representative to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Davis served in that capacity for seven years. He was also a member of the Johnson City Black and White Dialogue and the Johnson City Community Roundtable.

There is no cost associated with either the application or participation in the Ralph E. Davis Academy. For more information or to apply, contact the Langston Centre at 423-434-5785.

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March 25, 2020

March 25 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update

March 25, 2020
For immediate release

 March 25 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update:

As the impact of the coronavirus evolves, the Johnson City Board of Commissioners and City staff continue to work closely with state officials, the Tennessee Department of Health, and strategic partners to keep our community safe. With confirmed COVID-19 cases in our area largely attributed to travel, the Commission asks all citizens to reschedule nonessential travel outside the area.

“While most of the cases in our region are travel related, experts believe we soon will see community spread. The best prevention is to stay at home,” said Mayor Jenny Brock. “Do not travel outside the area if you can help it, and if you must, you should plan to isolate yourself for 14 days when you return to ensure you do not have the virus.”

Although there has been no mandate from state or public officials to remain at home, staying at home continues to be one of the most effective ways of limiting transmission of the virus.

“You are certainly safer at home,” Brock said. “Together, we can slow the spread of this virus, which is a critical step in helping our healthcare system be able to manage the number of patients it’s treating.”

The Commission thanks those businesses and organizations that have prioritized the health of our community as they’ve made the difficult decisions to modify business models, suspend operations or close indefinitely.

In addition to the closure of City-owned facilities and schools, these include:

  • East Tennessee State University, which has suspended in-person classes and moved instruction to online formats.
  • Churches that have replaced traditional services with digital or drive-in options.
  • Several large manufacturers that have adjusted shifts to continue operations while keeping employees socially distanced.
  • Movie theaters, the mall, and numerous retailers that have closed until further notice or implemented delivery/pickup services.

Gov. Lee’s Executive Order 17 mandates the closure of dining rooms as well as gyms and similar facilities. It limits nursing home/assisted living visitors to those providing essential care. It also prohibits gatherings of 10 or more, and calls for special shopping times for vulnerable populations.

Businesses that fall outside the parameters of this order are asked to adhere to the following guidelines as they remain open:

  • Limit the number of people in the physical space at one time to less than 10.
  • Ensure social distancing among customers and employees.
  • If your business involves waiting times, have customers wait in their vehicles.
  • Provide hand sanitizing stations.
  • Wipe down door handles, counters and other public areas multiple times per day.
  • Immediately send sick personnel home.


The City of Johnson City has also taken measures to protect its employees and citizens. To date, these include:

  • Closing City Hall, all recreational and community centers, and all lobbies to the public.
  • Implementing alternative methods of conducting business such as opening a drive-thru window for payments at Fire Station 8 in Gray and creating a walk-up payment window at City Hall.
  • Canceling or postponing all sports and recreation programming, events and meetings, with the exception of City Commission, which will meet electronically.
  • Closing schools until April 27, per Gov. Bill Lee’s recommendation.
  • Encouraging employees who can work from home to do so, and isolated as many workers as possible within City buildings. Work groups have been divided and other measures taken such as alternative working hours.
  • Implementing screening measures to ensure employees who must report to a City facility are healthy.

“The City is doing its part and we ask everyone to step up and commit to stop the spread. Remember, what we do may impact others’ health, and what they do may impact ours,” Brock said. “Also, the City asks all businesses that remain open to complete a written COVID-19 Emergency Protection Plan that outlines the procedures in place to protect their employees and the public. We can dramatically reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our area if we all work together.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Department of Health remain the best resources for timely and accurate information about COVID-19. For additional information, please visit https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html. Additional resources and City information can be found at www.johnsoncitytn.org/COVID-19.

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March 24, 2020

Volunteers needed to serve on the Washington County Board of Equalization

 March 24, 2020
For immediate release

Volunteers needed to serve on the Washington County Board of Equalization

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will consider two appointments to the Washington County Board of Equalization. These appointments will serve a two-year term ending in April 2022.

This board is responsible for reviewing the tax assessment rolls and hearing complaints and appeals of taxpayers within their jurisdiction. This board meets on an as-needed basis.

Any citizen interested in serving must be a resident of Johnson City and Washington County. An application must be submitted online at www.johnsoncitytn.org/boards. The deadline for applications is April 9.

For more information about the Board of Equalization, please contact Julia Thomas at 423-434-6061 or jthomas@johnsoncitytn.org.

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March 23, 2020

March 23 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update

March 23, 2020
For immediate release

March 23 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update:

City Hall is closed to the public until further notice as of noon today (Monday, March 23). Citizens should conduct City business by phone, email or through the use of online services available on the City’s website, www.johnsoncitytn.org

Taxes and Utility Payments

Customers are encouraged to utilize online and autodraft options to make payments on property taxes and utility bills. More information about online payments can be found at www.johnsoncitytn.org/payments. Additionally, payments can be made by phone. To pay utility bills by phone, please call 877-768-5046. To pay property taxes by phone, please call 877-768-5048. 

Individuals who must make in-person tax and utility payments are encouraged to utilize the drive-thru service at 106 Gray Commons Circle in Gray (Fire Station 8). Collections clerks will be available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays to accept tax and utility payments and applications for business licenses. A temporary external window has been installed at City Hall to accept payments and the night depository located on the Main Street side of City Hall also remains available.

New Water and Sewer Services customers should call 423-461-1640 to sign up for service with a credit card.

Development Services Applications

All building, trades, sign permits and planning applications should be applied for online through the CityView Portal, https://jc-cityviewweb.johnsoncitytn.org/CityViewPortal/. Online applications are preferred but a drop box will be placed in the vestibule of the Development Services lobby for those who need to supply physical documents to employees. Individuals who need to make cash payments for permits should utilize the drive-thru service at 106 Gray Commons Circle in Gray (Fire Station 8) or the temporary external window located at the front of City Hall.

For questions related to the CityView, please contact Adrienne Brown at 423-434-5845 or abrown@johnsoncitytn.org. For the Planning Division, contact Nicole Lawrence at 423-434-6074 or nlawrence@johnsoncitytn.org.

Police Department Records

Information normally available in person at the Police Records Unit located inside City Hall can be obtained through other methods. Individuals may call 423-434-6160 and select option 2 or send an email to JCPDRecords@johnsnoncitytn.org. Documents intended for the records unit or municipal court can be photographed or scanned and attached to the email.

Fines may be paid at https://www.paymyfineonline.com/ or by mailing a check or money order to Police Records, P.O. Box 2150, Johnson City, TN 37605. Court cases are automatically being reset while the closure order is in effect. New dates will be available on the website or by calling Police Records.

Traffic crash reports are available at http://www.crashdocs.org five to seven days following the incident.

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March 20, 2020

March 20 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update

March 20, 2020
For immediate release

March 20 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update:

Effective Monday (March 23) the main and finance lobbies at City Hall will close to the public until further notice. The Police Records and Development Services entrances will remain open for now.

The Finance Department will accept tax and utility payments through a temporary window at City Hall and have opened a drive-thru service at 106 Gray Commons Circle in Gray (Fire Station 8). Collections clerks will be available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays to accept tax and utility payments and applications for business licenses. The night depository located on the Main Street side of City Hall also remains available.

Customers are encouraged to utilize the online and autodraft options to make payments on property taxes and utility bills. More information about online payments can be found at www.johnsoncitytn.org/payments. Additionally, payments can be made by phone. To pay utility bills by phone, please call 877-768-5046. To pay property taxes by phone, please call 877-768-5048. 

New water and sewer services customers should call 423-461-1640 to sign up for service with a credit card.

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March 19, 2020

Regional Joint Response to COVID-19

Citizens of Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport and all of Sullivan and Washington counties:

Our communities are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, there is only one case in our region and no evidence of community transmission—but it is crucial that our region takes definitive steps to prepare for the coming weeks.

Our highest priorities are the health and safety of our citizens as well as continuity of government and service delivery. This includes emergency services, water and utilities, and waste collection. We confer with Health Department officials, meet with our key personnel, and talk with each other on a daily basis to ensure our response is appropriate, adequate and aligned.

Mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 is critical and that is why, per the recommendation of our health departments and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we are suspending events and programs in our cities as well as closing recreation centers and other facilities that draw crowds. Other services, such as public transit, will operate as regularly as possible based upon the guidance from our public health officials.

We do not take the decision to cancel programs or close facilities lightly. Our hope is that these proactive steps will slow the spread of the virus, particularly among our most vulnerable neighbors and loved ones. Taking action now will help limit the duration of these interruptions so we can return to normal operations as soon as possible.

Our cities and counties are dedicated to maintaining healthy and safe work environments for our personnel. It is in everyone’s best interest for our employees to remain healthy and able to provide essential services. Sanitation efforts have increased significantly. First responders are taking extra precautions, and 911 dispatchers are collecting additional information to further assess the needs of callers and first responders. Should we need to deploy them, we have internal plans that will allow for modified schedules and remote work options. We have canceled all non-essential meetings and are limiting face-to-face contact. With that in mind, we strongly encourage citizens to conduct business with us online or via phone. Limiting walk-in traffic will go a long way in keeping our facilities open and safe.

We are often asked for guidance on what our communities could or should do. While we defer to health officials for much of that information, we can offer the following:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Wash for at least 20 seconds and with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain 6-8 feet between yourself and others. Avoid large groups or crowds.
  • Use curbside pickup and delivery options! Local businesses are modifying operations during this time. We urge everyone to “Distance Socially, Support Locally.” Visit these Facebook pages: @believeinbristol, @BristolChamber, @JCGoAllLocal, and @KPTSTRONG for information on changes to local businesses and how you can still support them.
  • Utilize online services as much as possible. Check city websites for online payment and autodraft options, permit applications, etc.
  • Stay home if you feel ill or if you are considered high risk. The CDC defines “high risk” as older adults and people with chronic medical conditions. These individuals should consider avoiding large gatherings like church services, birthday parties, or funerals.
  • Check on neighbors who are considered high risk. Pick up necessities like groceries and medications for them so they don’t have to go into public places.
  • Spend time outdoors! Enjoy city parks. Unplug. Breathe in fresh air.
  • Business owners and employees should know that we are working closely with state officials on timely assistance and relief options. We are evaluating all the ways in which we may offer support during this challenging time. Please sign up at www.RegionAhead.com to be included in a business directory that will be a great resource moving forward.

Each City is maintaining a webpage with up-to-date schedule changes and information. Please check them often:

https://www.bristoltn.org/covid19
https://www.johnsoncitytn.org/covid-19
https://www.kingsporttn.gov/covid-19-response

We are a resourceful, resilient region of citizens who care deeply about their neighbors. We will get through this challenging period together. Thank you for doing your part to keep the Tri-Cities safe. 

Bill Sorah                                                       Margaret Feierabend                           Richard Venable
City Manager, Bristol, Tenn.                         Mayor, Bristol, Tenn.                            Mayor, Sullivan Co.

Pete Peterson                                                Jenny Brock                                        Joe Grandy
City Manager, Johnson City                          Mayor, Johnson City                           Mayor, Washington Co.

Chris McCartt                                                 Pat Shull
City Manager, Kingsport                                Mayor, Kingsport

 

March 18, 2020

March 18 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update regarding Parks and Recreation:

March 18, 2020
For immediate release

March 18 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update regarding Parks and Recreation:

Effective 5 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 18), Johnson City recreation facilities will be closed until further notice with the exception of this week’s spring break camps. This includes Memorial Park Community Center/Senior Center, Carver Recreation Center, and the Langston Centre.

Spring break camps currently under way at Memorial Park and Carver will continue as scheduled through Friday. Parks and Recreation staff will contact those currently enrolled in next week’s spring break camp regarding its cancellation.

Senior Services congregate meals will remain available via curbside pickup starting Thursday. Senior Services staff will contact congregate meal participants for details regarding meal distribution.

Rentals of all facilities, including pavilions and ballfields, are suspended until further notice.

Parks, playgrounds and Pine Oaks Golf Course will remain open. The City urges citizens to participate in outdoor activities so long as they are in small groups and maintain a safe distance between one another.

Free guided nature hikes will be offered during the next several weeks. Each hike will be limited to 10 participants. To register for one of these hikes, contact Program Coordinator Connie Deegan at 423-283-5821.

Hikes at Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek, 1254-1342 King Springs Road, will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, March 24 (10-11:30 a.m.)
  • Wednesday, March 25 (1-2:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, March 26 (10-11:30 a.m.)

Hikes at Winged Deer Park, 4137 Bristol Highway, featuring bluebell wildflowers will be held on the following dates:

  • Sunday March 29 (1-2 p.m.)
  • Monday, March 30 (10:30-11:45 a.m.)
  • Thursday, April 2 (10:30-11:45 a.m.)
  • Friday, April 3, (6-7:15 p.m.)

Additional nature programming for small groups may be added in the coming weeks, and plans will be announced as soon as possible.

“As we practice social distancing and avoid being in groups indoors, it is crucial to Go. All. Outside,” said James Ellis, Parks and Recreation director. “We know families may be searching for alternative activities to enjoy together at this time, and our parks afford a multitude of opportunities. Hike, bike, walk, run ... we encourage everyone to get as much sunshine and fresh air as possible.”

For more information about our outdoor offerings, please visit www.johnsoncitytn.org/parksrec.

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March 18, 2020

March 18 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update regarding Parks and Recreation

March 18, 2020
For immediate release

March 18 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update regarding Parks and Recreation

Effective 5 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 18), Johnson City recreation facilities will be closed until further notice with the exception of this week’s spring break camps. This includes Memorial Park Community Center/Senior Center, Carver Recreation Center, and the Langston Centre.

Spring break camps currently under way at Memorial Park and Carver will continue as scheduled through Friday. Parks and Recreation staff will contact those currently enrolled in next week’s spring break camp regarding its cancellation.

Senior Services congregate meals will remain available via curbside pickup starting Thursday. Senior Services staff will contact congregate meal participants for details regarding meal distribution.

Rentals of all facilities, including pavilions and ballfields, are suspended until further notice.

Parks, playgrounds and Pine Oaks Golf Course will remain open. The City urges citizens to participate in outdoor activities so long as they are in small groups and maintain a safe distance between one another.

Free guided nature hikes will be offered during the next several weeks. Each hike will be limited to 10 participants. To register for one of these hikes, contact Program Coordinator Connie Deegan at 423-283-5821.

Hikes at Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek, 1254-1342 King Springs Road, will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, March 24 (10-11:30 a.m.)
  • Wednesday, March 25 (1-2:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, March 26 (10-11:30 a.m.)

Hikes at Winged Deer Park, 4137 Bristol Highway, featuring bluebell wildflowers will be held on the following dates:

  • Sunday March 29 (1-2 p.m.)
  • Monday, March 30 (10:30-11:45 a.m.)
  • Thursday, April 2 (10:30-11:45 a.m.)
  • Friday, April 3, (6-7:15 p.m.)

 Additional nature programming for small groups may be added in the coming weeks, and plans will be announced as soon as possible.

 “As we practice social distancing and avoid being in groups indoors, it is crucial to Go. All. Outside,” said James Ellis, Parks and Recreation director. “We know families may be searching for alternative activities to enjoy together at this time, and our parks afford a multitude of opportunities. Hike, bike, walk, run ... we encourage everyone to get as much sunshine and fresh air as possible.”

For more information about our outdoor offerings, please visit www.johnsoncitytn.org/parksrec.

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March 17, 2020

Annual spring leaf collection starts March 30

March 17, 2019
For immediate release

Annual spring leaf collection starts March 30

The City of Johnson City’s annual spring leaf collection is held the first two full weeks of April. This year’s collection period will take place from Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 10. 

Residents are asked not to bag leaves and to have leaves piled behind the curb (not in front of the curb or on the street) no later than 7 a.m. on March 30 to ensure pickup. Leaves will not be collected in alleys. All leaf piles should be free of trash, debris and limbs or they will not be collected.

As a reminder, brush collection takes place year-round but may be altered due to leaf collection. The City defines brush as: tree trimmings, shrubbery (with no roots), limbs, etc., generated by routine maintenance of a property by the homeowner. Here are some collection guidelines to help homeowners as they clear brush and prepare for spring yard work:

  • Brush piles must not exceed 10-foot lengths, must be piled straight and placed behind or on the curb for collection. Do not place brush on center medians or islands.
  • Do not place brush next to objects such as fences, guy wires, and poles or under trees. Equipment is restricted in those areas.
  • Brush may not be mixed with other debris. Brush mixed with leaves, grass, lumber, dirt, rock, concrete, building materials or other debris will not be collected until properly separated.

Anyone hired to trim or remove trees, shrubs, etc., is required to remove the resulting brush from the property. Failure to do so may result in a court citation.

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March 16, 2020

March 16 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update

March 16 City of Johnson City COVID-19 update:

  • Freedom Hall events through April have been canceled or postponed. Additional information can be found at freedomhall-tn.com.
  • All Parks and Recreation recreational sports leagues are postponed until further notice. Tournaments are canceled.
  • The Family Fun Night events scheduled for tonight and April 20 at Memorial Park Community Center are canceled.
  • The Women’s History Month performance scheduled for March 28 at Langston Centre is canceled.
  • The Senior Center remains open with a limit of 25 people per program. Events with an expected attendance of more than 25 are postponed until further notice. Please call 434-6237 in advance of any program or event if you are uncertain of its status.
  • City parks are open, and citizens are encouraged to utilize them as much as possible. Outdoor activity is good for physical and emotional health.
  • Citizens are encouraged to utilize online services (johnsoncitytn.org/services/online_payments.php) when conducting City business. Utility payments via check may also be dropped off in the drive-up depository located on the Main Street side of City Hall, across from the post office.
  • With the closures of local school systems, state, city and school officials are exploring potential child care options that could help parents continue to work.
  • Citizens are encouraged to check on neighbors who are high risk as defined by the CDC (older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions) and offer to pick up necessities so they don’t have to go into public places.
  • Continue to practice CDC recommendations on mitigating spread including prudent hand-washing and social distancing. Maintain 6-8 feet between yourself and others.
  • While the City is limiting its own events and operations based on the guidance of public health professionals, any recommendations or directives related to general public restrictions will come from the Health Department.
  • This information is fluid and subject to change based on current conditions. Please check johnsoncitytn.org/COVID-19 frequently for updates.

 

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March 16, 2020

City Commission reschedules agenda review to March 19

March 16, 2020
For immediate release

City Commission reschedules agenda review to March 19

The City of Johnson City Board of Commissioners agenda review meeting scheduled for today has been rescheduled to Thursday (March 19) at 4 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St. 

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March 13, 2020

City of Johnson City announces COVID-19 preparedness measures

March 13, 2020
For immediate release

 City of Johnson City announces COVID-19 preparedness measures

The City of Johnson City on Friday announced the following measures that have been taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus:

  • Events scheduled at Freedom Hall Civic Center through April 9 have been postponed until further notice. Information regarding ticket refunds will be posted to the Freedom Hall website, www.freedomhall-tn.com, as soon as it becomes available.
  • The Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court has suspended in-person court proceedings, except for certain types of cases, until March 31, 2020. This suspension applies to criminal, juvenile, municipal and session courts. Juvenile Court will continue to hold emergency and abuse hearings but will reschedule many other cases during the next 2.5 weeks. Notices will be sent via mail regarding these cases.
  • The Johnson City Public Library will remain open but all events and programs through April 6 have been canceled.
  • Events held on City property that were to draw attendees from outside the local area have been postponed until further notice. This includes the USA Softball Tournament scheduled to be played at Winged Deer Park this weekend.
  • The Johnson City Senior Center will remain open, however, all programs expected to have an attendance of more than 25 are postponed until further notice. Essential senior support programs, including meals, will remain available as regularly scheduled.

City Hall remains open but citizens are asked to conduct business via phone or online when possible. Permits, business licenses, tax payments and fee payments can all be accessed via our website, www.johnsoncitytn.org. For those who must conduct business in person, please utilize hand sanitizing stations, which are located throughout the building. City staff are disinfecting common spaces, counters and door handles regularly during business hours at all City facilities.

City officials are in constant contact with health and other officials and are monitoring the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Updates to City plans and schedules may be found at https://www.johnsoncitytn.org/covid-19 as well as the City’s Facebook page (@CoJCTN).

The City encourages citizens to utilize the TDH and CDC websites for current COVID-19 information and best practices.

“Our decisions are informed by the experts at the health department and the CDC, and we will continue to follow their guidance as this progresses,” said City Manager Pete Peterson. “Social distancing can go a long way in slowing the spread of COVID-19, as can basic hygiene like proper handwashing and staying home if you’re sick. We especially encourage our older population and those who are immune-compromised to limit public interaction as much as possible.”

Peterson noted the City of Johnson City has taken all the necessary and prescribed steps to ensure business continuity should we experience an outbreak here.

 “We are speaking with health and other officials and meeting as a staff on a daily basis to modify our plan as needed,” Peterson said. “City services will continue.”

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March 11, 2020

City Commission to hold special called meeting Thursday

March 11, 2020
For immediate release

 City Commission to hold special called meeting Thursday

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting on Thursday (March 12) at 4:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St. to consider approval of the following:

  1. Ordinance #4734-20: Conveyance of property located at 316 Commerce Street to Michael W. Mansy and wife, Katherine L. Mansy
  2. Interlocal Agreement with Washington County
  3. Fire Department Strategic Plan

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March 10, 2020

City Commission to hear Convention & Visitors Bureau strategic plan Thursday

March 10, 2020
For immediate release 

City Commission to hear Convention & Visitors Bureau strategic plan Thursday

The Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau will present its strategic plan to the Johnson City Board of Commissioners on Thursday (March 12) at 11 a.m. in the Administrative Conference Room of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St.

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March 09, 2020

Langston Centre offers community education courses

March 9, 2020
For immediate release

Langston Centre offers community education courses

The Langston Centre, 315 Elm St., is currently offering two community education courses to all ages.

  • Local artist and Langston Education & Arts Development Board member Debbie Gray will teach “Staying in the Lines” from 11 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of March. Participants will learn calligraphy and lettering. Cost is $10 per class.
  • East Tennessee State University History Professor Daryl Carter will teach black history courses from noon-1 p.m. on Wednesdays. “Music of the Black Experience” will be offered March 25-April 8 and “The Obama Years in America” will be offered April 22-May 6. Cost is $20 per course, which includes three sessions.

 Cash and checks made payable to the “City of Johnson City” with “Langston Centre” on the memo line will be accepted for payment.

 For more information, call 423-434-5785.

 

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March 04, 2020

City Commission to hold executive session, public comment period Thursday

March 4, 2020

City Commission to hold executive session, public comment period Thursday

Meeting agenda available here: https://www.johnsoncitytn.org/document_center/boards_committees/city_commission/2020_agendas/2020-03-05%20City%20Commission%20Agenda.pdf

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners soon will consider acceptance of an Inter-Local agreement with Washington County regarding school funding. Recognizing the desire of the Johnson City Board of Education not to accept the agreement and potentially enter into litigation, the two boards will meet with attorneys in an executive session during Thursday’s regularly scheduled Commission meeting. The executive session will be informational only; deliberations are not permitted. Also during that night’s Commission meeting, the public will be given the opportunity to offer input on the matter. Those who wish to speak must sign in and limit comments to 3 minutes. In advance of this public input session, Staff Attorney Sunny Sandos has provided the following information:

Washington County has approved a funding mechanism for a Jonesborough school that does not provide the proportionate funding for Johnson City Schools that a traditional bond model would allow. This funding mechanism is not illegal under current statutory language, as there are no state laws that force a county to borrow funds in any particular way. While this mechanism entitles the City to zero dollars, negotiations to create the Inter-Local Agreement have led to the City securing $12.5 million over 25 years.

The potential legal causes of action the City has explored include circumvention of the intent of the law. The Tennessee Appellate Court has already addressed this in City of Athens Board of Education v. McMinn County, 467 S.W.3d 458 (2014), in which the Court ruled in favor of the county. As such, the City Commission must decide if the likelihood of success in a potential lawsuit is high enough to outweigh the guaranteed funds the Inter-Local Agreement provides for the students of Johnson City.

The Inter-Local Agreement includes a covenant that the City will not sue Washington County ONLY regarding this particular Jonesborough school situation for so long as the County continues to make the annual payments to the City. Any future potential litigation involving any other matter, including but not limited to school funding, is not prohibited.

“At the end of the day, the City must weigh its chances of getting nothing versus some guaranteed funding,” Sandos said. “We stand to lose far more than $12.5 million in the form of financial impact to our taxpayers if we litigate.”

 

 

March 04, 2020

City Commission to hold special called meeting Thursday

March 11, 2020
For immediate release

 City Commission to hold special called meeting Thursday

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting on Thursday (March 12) at 4:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St. to consider approval of the following:

  1. Ordinance #4734-20: Conveyance of property located at 316 Commerce Street to Michael W. Mansy and wife, Katherine L. Mansy
  2. Interlocal Agreement with Washington County
  3. Fire Department Strategic Plan

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March 04, 2020

City Commission to hold special called meeting Thursday

March 11, 2020
For immediate release

 City Commission to hold special called meeting Thursday

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting on Thursday (March 12) at 4:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St. to consider approval of the following:

  1. Ordinance #4734-20: Conveyance of property located at 316 Commerce Street to Michael W. Mansy and wife, Katherine L. Mansy
  2. Interlocal Agreement with Washington County
  3. Fire Department Strategic Plan

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March 02, 2020

Senior Center hosts coronavirus, flu update 

March 2, 2020
For immediate release

Senior Center hosts coronavirus, flu update  

Local infectious disease physician Dr. Demetrio Macariola will be at Senior Services, Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10 to update the public on the latest news about the new coronavirus, COVID-19, and the flu.

The update is free and open to those 18 and older. Find out more about the viruses and what people can do to protect themselves and others.

Please preregister by calling 423-434-6237.

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March 02, 2020

City Commission work session rescheduled

March 2, 2020
For immediate release

City Commission work session rescheduled

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners regularly scheduled work session scheduled for Monday (March 2) has been rescheduled to Thursday (March 5) at 4:30 p.m. The work session will be held in the Administrative Conference Room of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St. The City Commission meeting will convene as regularly scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday (March 5) in the Commission Chambers of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St.

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February 28, 2020

Langston Centre to host community breakfast

Feb. 28, 2020
For immediate release             

Langston Centre to host community breakfast

 The Langston Centre, 315 Elm St., will host a community breakfast from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, March 14. The breakfast meal will include biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, fried apples, bacon and sausage.

The public will learn more about the Langston Centre and what it has to offer. Attendees will also have an opportunity to provide input regarding the types of programming they would like to see held at Langston Centre.

Cost is $10 per person. Please register by Monday, March 9 by calling 423-434-5785.

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February 26, 2020

Volunteer needed for Johnson City Housing Authority Board

Feb. 26, 2020
For immediate release

Volunteer needed for Johnson City Housing Authority Board

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will consider one appointment to Johnson City Housing Authority Board. This appointment will fill an unexpired term that ends July 2022.

The Johnson City Housing Authority was established to provide rental assistance within certain limitations. This board establishes policy and procedures which govern the operation of the Housing Authority. This board meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at noon.

Any citizen interested in serving must be a resident of Johnson City and may submit an application online at www.johnsoncitytn.org/boards. The deadline for applications is March 20.

For more information about the Johnson City Housing Authority Board, please contact Richard McClain at 423-232-4784 or richardm@jchousing.org.

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February 24, 2020

Senior Services offers March health and wellness classes

Feb. 24, 2020
For immediate release

Senior Services offers March health and wellness classes

Senior Services at Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., will provide the following health and wellness classes in March:  

  • Atrial Fib Facts: 11 a.m.-noon, Monday, March 9. Get the facts about atrial fibrillation, a common irregular heart rate that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other complications. Cardiothoracic surgeon Bryan Helsel, M.D. will discuss treatment options. Free. 18 and older.
  • A Taste of the Mediterranean: 5:30-7:30 p.m., Mondays, March 9 and 23. Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean as we learn the health benefits and eating patterns of this region. Delicious recipes and food samples provided. $15 per person – cash or check to University of Tennessee on first day of class. 18 and older.
  • Free Dental Screenings: 10-11 a.m., Tuesday, March 10. Free oral health screenings offered by Smile On 60+. 60 and older.
  • Take Charge of Your Diabetes: 1-3 p.m., Tuesdays, March 10-April 14.  This six-week program is designed to help individuals with diabetes improve their health one step at a time. Attendees will gain the skills and confidence needed to manage diabetes by planning meals, making wise food choices and monitoring blood sugar to prevent complications. Free. 18 and older.
  • Better Balance – Medicine and Falls: 1-2 p.m., Thursday, March 12. A pharmacist will discuss medications that can increase the risk of falls, plus other tips for avoiding complications or drug interactions. Find out which medicines older adults should avoid and other strategies for preventing falls and fractures. Free. 50 and older.
  • Better Balance Exercises: 1-2 p.m., Thursday, March 19. Physical and occupational therapists will teach attendees simple exercises that can be done at home to improve balance and help prevent falls. Free. 50 and older.        
  • Free Balance Screenings: 1-2 p.m., Thursday, March 26. Physical and occupational therapists will assess balance and offer tips for ways attendees can improve their strength and stability. Free. 50 and older. 
  • Just a Snore or Something More? Sleep Apnea: 11 a.m.-noon, Thursday, March 26. Not everyone who snores has apnea, but it is a key symptom. Attendees will learn why sleep apnea matters and receive helpful information about testing and treatment from Jared Gullet, Sleep Lab regional manager. Free. 18 and older.
  • Instant Pot Cooking: 11 a.m.-noon, Monday, March 30. Find out why people have fallen in love with their Instant Pots, which could be the answer to healthy, fast, delicious food. Attendees will receive tips for using an Instant Pot and yummy recipes. Free. 18 and older.

Please register for all programs, and/or seek further information by calling 423-434-6237.

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February 20, 2020

Multiple railroad crossings closed for maintenance

Feb. 20, 2020
For immediate release

Multiple railroad crossings closed for maintenance

Maintenance work on all Norfolk Southern railroad crossings within Johnson City city limits is now under way and will continue until complete. Most of this work will require road closures and traffic detours. The crossings at Main and Market streets as well as University Parkway will not be closed but will have flaggers directing traffic. Drivers are asked to use extreme caution in these areas and find alternate routes when possible.

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February 20, 2020

Volunteers needed to serve on the Board of Building Codes

Feb. 20, 2020
For immediate release

Volunteers needed to serve on the Board of Building Codes

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will consider four appointments to the Johnson City Board of Building Codes, one in each of the four areas of expertise: electrical engineer, residential building representative, plumbing representative, mechanical/gas representative. Applicants must have five years of experience in such business in the city. These appointments will serve a three-year term ending in January 2023.

This board hears and decides appeals and variances to the Johnson City Building Code, addresses questions of code interpretation, oversees examinations of contractors to perform work in the community, and recommends code changes. This board meets on an as needed basis in the Commission Chambers, Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main Street

Any citizen interested in serving must be a resident of Johnson City and may submit an application online at www.johnsoncitytn.org/boards. The deadline for applications is April 3.

For more information about the Board of Building Codes, please contact Luci Tate at 423-434-6047 or ltate@johnsoncitytn.org.

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February 20, 2020

Volunteers needed to serve on the Board of Building Codes

Feb. 20, 2020
For immediate release

Volunteers needed to serve on the Board of Building Codes

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will consider four appointments to the Johnson City Board of Building Codes, one in each of the four areas of expertise: electrical engineer, residential building representative, plumbing representative, mechanical/gas representative. Applicants must have five years of experience in such business in the city. These appointments will serve a three-year term ending in January 2023.

This board hears and decides appeals and variances to the Johnson City Building Code, addresses questions of code interpretation, oversees examinations of contractors to perform work in the community, and recommends code changes. This board meets on an as needed basis in the Commission Chambers, Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main Street

Any citizen interested in serving must be a resident of Johnson City and may submit an application online at www.johnsoncitytn.org/boards. The deadline for applications is April 3.

For more information about the Board of Building Codes, please contact Luci Tate at 423-434-6047 or ltate@johnsoncitytn.org.

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February 17, 2020

BOC schedules planning session for Thursday

 Feb. 17, 2020
For immediate release

BOC schedules planning session for Thursday

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will hold a planning session at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Administrative Conference Room of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St.

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February 12, 2020

Johnson City Parks and Recreation to hold job fair Feb. 25

Feb. 12, 2020
For immediate release

 Johnson City Parks and Recreation to hold job fair Feb. 25

 The Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department will hold a job fair from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St.

Available positions include:

  • Maintenance – Seasonal maintenance employees will be responsible for but not limited to: mowing, edging, ball field preparation, limited equipment operation, and event setup. Knowledge of basic work etiquette and manual labor required. Candidates must have a valid driver license to apply.
  • Golf – Two seasonal maintenance positions are available. The responsibilities of the first position include general mowing and maintenance; the second position is for a practice range attendant. A seasonal cashier also is needed in the golf shop.
  • Programming – Summer youth program assistants will supervise and facilitate activities for children ages 6-16 in a day camp setting. All applicants must be able to communicate effectively, have general knowledge of recreational activities, and be able to work uninterrupted for seven weeks.
  • Lifeguards – Lifeguards conduct safety surveillance of all pools and slides and are also responsible for upkeep of pools and slides including vacuuming, sanitizing, and general janitorial duties. Applicants who already hold a lifeguard certification from the American Red Cross are preferred. If a qualified lifeguard applicant is not certified, Parks and Recreation will certify the candidate upon completion of a proficiency swim test.
  • Athletics – Positions available include soccer referees for youth programs, umpires for youth and adult softball, softball scorekeepers and tennis instructors for youth and adult programming. General knowledge of sports rules required. Some training provided.

 All applicants must be 16 years of age or older and be able to pass a background check. Johnson City Parks and Recreation is an equal opportunity employer. For more information, call 423-283-5815.

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February 11, 2020

MPCC offers Washington County Schools spring break camp

Feb. 11, 2020
For immediate release

 MPCC offers Washington County Schools spring break camp

Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., will offer a spring break camp for Washington County Schools students ages 6-12 during the week of March 30-April 3. Camp fee is $50, and children will participate in sports, arts and crafts, swimming, movies and games.

Participants are required to bring a packed lunch and swim clothing every day. Camp will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, with early drop-off (7:30 a.m.) and late pick-up (5:15 p.m.) available for an additional $10.

Register in person at MPCC or online at myjcparks.org. Registration is limited to the first 60 participants.

For more information, call 423-434-5749.

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February 03, 2020

City Commission reschedules upcoming meeting

The regularly scheduled City of Johnson City Board of Commissioners meeting for Thursday, Feb. 6 has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St. 

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January 31, 2020

Senior Services offers Black History Month film series

Senior Services at Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., will recognize Black History Month with a film series scheduled for Tuesdays in February. All films will be shown in the MPCC dining room, and popcorn will be available. All ages are welcome. Attendees are asked to register the Monday prior to the showing of each film. For more information, call 423-434-6237. 

Films and Descriptions

“Pride” Feb. 4 at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

This 2007 feature film directed by Sunu Gonera is loosely based on the true story of James “Jim” Ellis who started a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. The PG-rated film stars actors Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac among others. 

 “Akeelah and the Bee” Feb. 11 at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m.

A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee. The 2006 film is rated PG and stars Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.

 “Gifted Hands – The Ben Carson Story” Feb. 18 at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who overcame enormous obstacles to study medicine and work at John Hopkins Hospital in this docudrama based on Carson’s memoirs. 

 “A Ballerina’s Tale” Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m. only.

This 2015 documentary focuses on the career of Misty Copeland, the first African-American principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Copeland also narrates the film.

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January 30, 2020

300 block of Colorado Street closed today

The 300 block of Colorado Street will be closed from Jay Street to Mary Key Street today (Thursday, Jan. 30) between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a sewer line repair. Emergency traffic will not be able to pass. Drivers are asked to avoid the area.

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January 30, 2020

Second public hearing for West Walnut Street Corridor Redevelopment Plan scheduled

The City of Johnson City will hold a second public hearing on the West Walnut Street preliminary design on Thursday, Feb. 13 in the City Commission Chambers at the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St. The public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. with a brief overview of the project, including responses to citizen concerns raised at the first public hearing. A primary focus of the discussion will be on minimizing the impact of the anticipated increase in traffic volume associated with redevelopment to the adjoining neighborhood. City staff and LDA Engineering will be available to receive comments and answer questions until 8:30 p.m.

Additional information about the proposed redevelopment in this area can be found on the City’s website, www.johnsoncitytn.org, using the search term “West Walnut Street Corridor Redevelopment Plan.” For more information, call 423-434-6080. 

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January 27, 2020

900 Block of West Watauga Avenue closed until Wednesday

West Watauga Avenue will be closed from West Walnut Street to West State of Franklin Road for today (Monday, Jan. 27) and tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 27) between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for a sewer line repair. Emergency traffic will not be able to pass. Drivers are asked to avoid the area.

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January 23, 2020

City of Johnson City Juvenile Court announces elected Court Clerk to appear on the Aug. 6, 2020 ballot

Qualifying petitions for the elected Juvenile Court Clerk position with the Johnson City Juvenile Court will be available for pick-up at the Washington County Election Commission beginning Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. This position is part-time and supports the City Juvenile Court with clerical and administrative duties as outlined by Tennessee Code. The compensation for the position is $12,000.00 annually. No other benefits are offered.  The position will appear on the Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020 ballot during the state/federal primary and county general elections. The successful candidate will take office on Sept. 1, 2020 and serve a four-year term. 

January 21, 2020

MPCC to host My Little Valentine Daddy Daughter Dance

The very popular My Little Valentine Daddy Daughter Dance is coming to Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., on Feb. 8 from 6-8 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale for those who want to get dressed up and dance the night away. The Daddy Daughter Dance is open to dads, grandads, guardians and daughters of all ages who will enjoy an evening of DJ music, crafts, light refreshments and a special guest.

Tickets are $10 per person through Jan. 25, and $20 per person from Jan. 26-Feb. 7. Children under 3 get in free. Tickets can be purchased online at myjcparks.org, or in person at MPCC. Tickets purchased online must be picked up before the day of the dance. Tickets will NOT be available for purchase the day of the dance.

Photo packages can be purchased for $15 online, or in person the day of the dance. The package includes four to five digital images that will be emailed to you for personal use. 

For more information, call 423-434-5749.

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January 20, 2020

MPCC to host My Little Valentine Daddy Daughter Dance

The very popular My Little Valentine Daddy Daughter Dance is coming to Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., on Feb. 8 from 6-8 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale for those who want to get dressed up and dance the night away. The Daddy Daughter Dance is open to dads, grandads, guardians and daughters of all ages who will enjoy an evening of DJ music, crafts, light refreshments and a special guest.

Tickets are $10 per person through Jan. 25, and $20 per person from Jan. 26-Feb. 7. Children under 3 get in free. Tickets can be purchased online at myjcparks.org, or in person at MPCC. Tickets purchased online must be picked up before the day of the dance. Tickets will NOT be available for purchase the day of the dance.

Photo packages can be purchased for $15 online, or in person the day of the dance. The package includes four to five digital images that will be emailed to you for personal use. 

For more information, call 423-434-5749.

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January 16, 2020

Johnson City to open hiring process for Police and Fire departments Tuesday

The City of Johnson City will begin the process of hiring new police officers and firefighters on Tuesday (Jan 21). Qualified applicants should demonstrate integrity, good judgement, and the willingness to make a difference in our community.

The first step in the hiring process is the Police Officer Examination or Firefighter Examination. Registrations for the upcoming test dates will be accepted Jan. 21-Feb. 28.

The Johnson City Police Department currently has multiple openings. New officers receive nine weeks of paid training at the police academy, followed by 16 weeks of on-the-job training under the guidance of experienced field training officers. New officers will start on one of five patrol units, working 12-hour shifts with an uninterrupted seven-day break each month. Starting trainee pay for police officers is $35,415.46 and moves to $37,198.14 after completion of the probationary period. 

Johnson City Police officers have the opportunity to serve on numerous specialty units such as the K-9 Unit, Criminal Investigations Division, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, Explosive Ordnance Disposal/Bomb Squad, and the School Resource Officer Program. The department also has officers who work with federal programs in the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Successful police applicants will be eligible for the following incentives:

Tennessee POST Certification                                                                          $2,100 incentive

Other state POST Certification (requires transition school)           $1,000 incentive

 Firefighter trainees receive 12 weeks of paid training through the Northeast Regional Fire Training School. New firefighters will be assigned to one of three shifts where they are on duty for 24 hours at a time, every other day, for five days after which they will be off for four days before the schedule repeats. Firefighters work an average of nine or 10 days per month. Starting trainee pay for firefighters is $33,751.66 and moves to $35,415.46 after completion of the probationary period.   

Successful firefighter applicants will be eligible for the following incentives:

Tennessee Certified Firefighter I                                                    $1,200 incentive

Tennessee EMT (Basic)                                                                        $1,350 incentive

Tennessee EMT (Advanced)                                                              $1,350 incentive

 Examination registration information and requirements are available on the City website, www.johnsoncitytn.org/hr. Registration must be completed in person at the Human Resources Department, 601 E. Main St., Johnson City, TN 37601. A $25 non-refundable examination fee is due at the time of registration.

For more information, please call 423.434.6020.

EEO/AA

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January 15, 2020

Students and old cell phones sought for Langston Centre mobile programming course

Adam Dickson, Langston Centre supervisor, and Dr. Audrey Depelteau, ETSU Innovation Lab director, have announced that Innovation Lab affiliate member John Cannon will be presenting a free course on developing mobile apps between Feb. 4 and March 31 at the Langston Centre. The course teaches high school students how to create mobile apps using technology developed by Glide, a San Francisco-based company.

“I want to develop an ecosystem in the Tri-Cities of young people who can develop mobile applications,” said Cannon, a local engineer and entrepreneur. “Many entrepreneurs are starting companies with an idea that will fit into an app. We need to prepare our students for the future.”

Students will utilize the Langston Centre’s computer center to create the applications but will require the use of cell phones to test their work. The Langston Centre is seeking donations of old cell phones. Both Apple and Android phones will be accepted and all phones will be factory reset to remove any personal information. To donate cell phones, contact the Langston Centre at 423-434-5785.

“Many members of the Innovation Lab have apps as a part of their product offering,” Depelteau said.  “We hope individuals in the community will support this effort by donating old phones to enable the students to test their designs,” she said.

The course will conclude with an app expo that will be held at 5:30 p.m. on March 31 at Langston Centre. This event will be open to local businesses and Glide will donate free professional versions of their software for students who solve a real-world problem during this training.

“We are excited to have this course as one of our first program offerings,” Dickson said. “We use smartphones in all aspects of our lives. It will be great to teach our students a skill like this.”

Glide co-founder David Siegel said the company is delighted to support the program and wants to share pictures and stories via its social media channels.

For more about the Langston Centre, call 423-434-5785.

For more about the ETSU Innovation Lab, visit https://etsu.edu/ilab/.

For more about Glide, visit https://www.glideapps.com/.  

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January 14, 2020

Johnson City's Development Services Department announces realignment

The City of Johnson City announced Monday a realignment of its Development Services Department that will strengthen customer service and make the development process smoother and more efficient. The addition and refocusing of several key positions comes as a result of a department assessment, which included numerous meetings with community and industry stakeholders, interviews with employees, and identification of areas for improvement.

“We took an in-depth look at what we were doing well and what we could do better,” said City Manager Pete Peterson. “We listened to the feedback from our stakeholders and determined that speed, consistency, efficiency and customer service were areas for improvement. After carefully assessing the strengths of our staff to determine how we could best utilize their talents and skillsets, we developed a plan that will provide an enhanced level of service moving forward.”

As a direct result of the feedback provided by members of the local building community, Dave McClelland will fill the newly created position of Development Services manager. McClelland, who previously was deputy building official, will serve in the field as an advocate for expedited project development and will oversee both the building and permitting functions to facilitate successful completion of any project from start to finish. 

Under McClelland’s leadership is another new position, permitting coordinator, which has been filled by Adrienne Brown. A former permit technician, Brown is responsible for monitoring and improving the permit process and the current utilization of the City’s development software. The existing customer service clerk positions will be elevated to permit technician positions. These employees will participate in additional professional training to obtain International Code Council permit technician certification, which will enable them to perform at a higher level of service.

The City’s chief building official will also fall under the purview of the Development Services manager. Currently vacant, this position will take the lead as chief plans examiner, chief building inspector, and property maintenance inspector. The search is under way for candidates to fill this vacancy.

The Code Enforcement Division (zoning, nuisances, and property maintenance) previously overseen by the chief building official has been relocated under the direction and leadership of Will Righter, who serves as staff liaison to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Board of Dwelling Standards and Review. A development technician position has been added within that team to assist with planning and zoning concerns. 

“I remain deeply impressed by the quality and commitment of the employees in this department,” said Development Services Director Preston Mitchell. “Johnson City is on the cusp of a vibrant period of growth and progress marked by increased economic investment and recognition of our city’s quality of place offerings. These changes will allow our staff to function at the highest levels of professional excellence by improving administrative efficiency and placing greater emphasis on meeting the needs of our stakeholders.” 

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January 14, 2020

BOC changes time of Jan. 16 work session

The Johnson City Board of Commissioners will hold a planning session at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St., in the Administrative Conference Room. The work session originally scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 has been cancelled.

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January 03, 2020

Johnson City Senior Center Foundation to meet Jan. 9

The Johnson City Senior Center Foundation Board will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at noon on Thursday, Jan. 9 at Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert. St.

For more information, contact Deb Fogle at 423-434-6231 or dfogle@johnsoncitytn.org.

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