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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Newport City Council
Members of the Newport City Council met Tuesday evening and heard a presentation from Will Cline who specializes in recruiting retail establishments to communities. He said brick and mortar stores are moving out of malls. Cline's firm partners with cities to recruit national retailers, generally under a one-year contract. Cocke County Partnership President Lucas Graham said the move to bring in retail would be facilitated by the TIF(Tax Increment Financing) program which is available to finance needed infrastructure. After the council held a public hearings on two ordinances and there were no voiced concerns, the modified regulations were enacted. One of the regulations places more restrictions on political signs in the city and the other reduces the membership on the Newport Planning Commission from the current nine members, down to seven. Vice-Mayor Mike Proffitt recognized the local Parks and Recreation Department, as part of Parks and Recreation month. He applauded to local department for "keeping our town looking nice." City Manager James Finchum said there were a number of fireworks complaints during the Fourth of July holiday, and so he is looking at the regulations in place in surrounding communities with an eye to modifications. And at the request of Alderman Jeff Fancher, the city also will look at ways to remove abandoned vehicles that are parked in the city. Finchum also stressed that because of the hot weather, sanitation workers are starting to pick up garbage as early as 6 am and are working till 2:30 pm. Alderman Mike Hansel introduced Rob Watkins who announced a Flag Retirement Ceremony is planned for 9:30 am July 28 at the Cocke County Courthouse. More than 400 worn and tattered American flags will be disposed of. Those who have a flag for disposal or to volunteer should contact Watkins at 423-721-8918. A 2005 Kenworth Pierce Fire Engine will be sold to the Friendsville Volunteer Fire Department for a bid of $80,000. Stinnett Motors will provide two 2016 Jeeps for the Planning and Building Codes Department, at a cost of less than $15,000 each. Three members were re-appointed to local boards; Jimmy Lee to the Beer Board, and James Finchum and Tommy Bible to the Industrial Development Board. Citizen Joan Lambert thanked local drivers for being considerate toward other motorists, during the recent downtown piping project.


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