Interlocal agreement awaits Johnson City, Carter County approval

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Watauga City Commission unanimously passed the new interlocal agreement Thursday, which would establish an 11-member joint economic and community development board (JECDB) for Carter County.

The commission had previously passed the initial agreement with five members, but after discussion in the Elizabethton City Council meeting in March and April, six additional members were added. Though Watauga’s Commission had previously passed it, they had to pass it again with the amendments, and the Carter County Commission will have to do the same.

Once approval is granted in the three cities and in Carter County, the mayors will take the next steps at filling the additional seats. Johnson City Commission has yet to pass the agreement.

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Clayton Stout, Mayor of Johnson City, said they will consider the agreement once the other three parties have approved the agreement.

“The position with us has always been to let everything settle amongst folks in Carter County before we would entertain approval of that,” Stout said Tuesday.

According to Tennessee Public Chapter 1101, each county must have a JECDB with a minimum of representation from the county, each municipality and one community member owning Greenbelt property. The skeleton crew for the board, in the initial draft by Carter County Attorney Josh Hardin, included the mayors of Carter County, Elizabethton, Watauga and Johnson City, as well as a qualified landowner.

The members which have been added by request of Elizabethton City Councilmen include a representative from each of the following: Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce, Elizabethton Electric System, Carter County School System, Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton and two elected members of the private sector.

Stout said it is possible the agreement will be on the Johnson City Commission agenda for May 17. The Carter County Commission will also have to approve the amended agreement.