Commissioners vote to support removal of downtown canopies

Published 8:06 pm Friday, May 5, 2017

The Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission reportedly are saying no to the future development of canopies in Historic Downtown Elizabethton.
Several readers of the Elizabethton Star called in Friday in regards to the fact that commissioners voted for removing canopies and pillars downtown during Thursday’s Regional Planning Commission meeting in City Hall.
Canopies were not originally part of the agenda, according to City Planning and Development Director Jon Hartman who added that commissioners found issues with Capital Improvements Plan for the next five years.
Following discussion about the plan, the Director added the Commission voted 4-0, with one official abstaining, to remove the canopies.
“The motion was made to cease funding for the repairs for the canopies,” Hartman said. “The consensus by commissioners was getting rid of the canopies would give downtown more of a traditional feel compared with other cities.”
Hartman said the recommendation for the plan is now being passed on to the City Manager’s office for further deliberation about the canopies.
If by chance the removal project was to take place, the item would go against the currently proposed 2017-18 budget which includes roughly $140,000 for portions of canopy replacement. City officials will go over the first reading of the budget during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting set for Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m. in City Hall.
Until then, Hartman added that any residents looking to make their voices heard can email comments, questions or responses about the commissioners’ decision can email
“Anybody wanting to make their voices heard can definitely email,” he said. “Email is the best method. It’ll be easier to provide commissioners with a printed copy of comments by the public that want to give their input on the decision.
The public can also visit for contact information for Planning Commission members.

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