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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cocke County Senior Center
About forty Cocke County seniors gathered Thursday for a brainstorming session on a Senior Center. Tentative plans call for a Senior Center/Office on Aging on the second floor of the soon to be refurbished Tanner building, and with the first floor occupied by the Cocke County Partnership and it's entities; Economic Development, Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce. Keep Cocke County Beautiful may also be located at that site. The building will be equipped with an elevator and there will be a second-floor entrance from parking at Prospect Avenue. Newport City Planner Gary Carver said $1 million in grants have been pledged to the upgrade. But he is working to collect additional funding for needed equipment and furnishings. " I'll be more comfortable with $1.1 (million) because you always run into things you aren't anticipating when you are doing a construction project so $1.1 makes me feel alot better," he told the group.Carver said there is a real need for a senior activities. The site likely will be used as a tourist information center, but Carver said that will require a restroom that will be open 24 hours, to accommodate tourists. The building is expected to be equipped with a kitchen as well as a community room. "We hope to accommodate diverse groups and maybe rebuild the gymnasium in the future," he told the group That upgrade, with additional traffic at the site likely will require that the local farmer's market be moved to another location. A target date of late Spring or early Summer, 2018, is anticipated for making the upgrades. Carver said the proposed contract calls for the project to be completed in 100 days. But any final decision on the project will come from the Newport City Council because the building is owned by the city. Senior Citizens Director, Carlene Robinson told the group that area senior citizens are facing other issues including available transportation and additional housing. Currently a total of 7,532 seniors live in Cocke County, but that number is expected to jump to 11,600 by 2030. Of the current population, 11 percent have no car. A total of 985 low-income county seniors 65 or older, have qualified for the property tax relief program. The members of the Tanner Cultural Alliance presented Carver with a drawn and numbered rendition of the building by Parrottsville artist Joan Beaver, in appreciation for his work on the project.


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Friday, July 20, 2018

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    Monday, July 16, 2018

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