Commission names Burchett Highway Department superintendent during busy agenda

Published 12:51 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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Star Correspondent

The Carter County Commission named longtime employee Shannon Burchett as the new Highway Department superintendent on Monday.

Burchett, who has worked at the Highway Department for decades, was the sole individual nominated during the commission’s August meeting. The commission approved his appointment.

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After the commission’s vote, County Clerk Mary Gouge swore Burchett into office.

Burchett replaces Roger Colbaugh, who retired at the end of May. Colbaugh had led the department since 2014. Before his appointment Monday, Burchett had served as interim superintendent since Colbaugh left office.

Commissioners approved a motion to spend up to $222,000 for a new ambulance using American Rescue Plan funds. The county has been discussing the purchase of a new ambulance for the Carter County Rescue Squad for a couple years.

The commission also approved a Budget Committee motion to spend up to $40,000 for an expansion at the Carter County Election Commission office on Main Street. The Election Commission needs added space to house new voting machines, according to the commission.

The new addition would add about 14 feet by 18 feet of space to the building.

Commissioners also approved motions from the Budget Committee and the Buildings and Grounds Committee regarding an appraisal of the Dashiell Lodge in Elizabethton. The building could potentially be used for the county archives.

Carter County does not currently have permanent space for its archives, which would house county records.

County Historian Lisa Germaine has said the building would meet the county’s needs for archival space because it features about 10,000 square feet on one floor. Some walls may need to be added, she said.

The commission approved a lease agreement with the state regarding use of space at the Herman Robinson campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology for the county’s maintenance department.

Eventually, the county will likely consider acquiring the entire campus as TCAT moves to the new higher education center on state Route 91.