Carter County Commission defers action on Workforce Development Complex transfer

Published 5:35 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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Star Correspondent
The Carter County Commission unanimously deferred action Tuesday regarding the transfer of the Workforce Development Complex to the state of Tennessee.
Gov. Bill Lee recently included $40 million in his proposed budget for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s Elizabethton campus. The state would transform the Workforce Development Complex, which is located along State Highway 19, into a higher education center. The center would include career and technical education for high school students, county and state officials have said.
On Tuesday, the commission considered an option agreement with the state for the purchase.
Commissioner Robert Acuff noted that the agreement, which was submitted to the county by the state, does not include language regarding the inclusion of Carter County students at the site.
“It was to include Carter County Schools,” said Acuff, noting previous discussion in 2022 regarding the facility. “It’s not in here.”
The county attorney, Josh Hardin, told Acuff that the state of Tennessee cannot control what the county school board will or will not do.
Acuff said the commission was previously informed the site would include Carter County Schools, TCAT, Northeast State Community College and other regional schools.
Hardin said a secondary agreement may be necessary to indicate more about the collaboration. He added that he was not aware of any other agreements.
Commissioner Daniel McInturff said he believed the site would be a “regional type endeavor.”
“It’s not solely for Carter County students,” McInturff said.
Mayor Patty Woodby clarified that the site will be used by Carter County Schools, TCAT and Northeast State Community College.
“That has always been the plan and will always be the plan,” Woodby said. “It will be for Carter County students.”
Woodby said the agreement sent to the county from the state is the first one since Lee’s proposed budget for the project.
There were several questions among commissioners regarding whether Carter County teachers would be teaching students from other communities, or whether Carter County students have access to the facility.
McInturff, who originally made a motion to approve the agreement, rescinded his motion.
Commissioner Brad Johnson made a motion to defer the issue in order to give the mayor and attorney more time to speak with state officials, update the agreement and perhaps check on a secondary agreement regarding the inclusion of Carter County students.
The commission unanimously approved Johnson’s motion.
Commissioners also approved a motion to enter into a contract with Revize to update and maintain the county’s website for a cost not to exceed $10,000.
Woodby said the current website,, is not user friendly, not useful on mobile devices and difficult for officials to make updates.
Revize only does government websites and uses proprietary software, according to Anthony Lawrence, who owns Doe River Technology Services and provides information technology services for Carter County.
Commissioners also approved a motion to spend $500,000 on new voting machines for the Carter County Election Office. The county is seeking a $500,000 grant from the state to cover the costs, according to Commissioner Aaron Frazier.
In addition, commissioners approved the purchase of a new vehicle for a school resource officer at a cost of $38,871.80. Funding comes from a portion of SRO reimbursement from the school system, according to the motion.
The commission also approved a motion to change the name of a portion of two county roads near Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Hunter. The change only affects one block on either side of the newly constructed facility. It affects no homes or businesses.
Hope Street will become “Lawrence Stevens Lane,” and South Street will become “Clifford Peters Way.” Both men previously served as volunteer firefighters in Stoney Creek.

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