Council Hears Project Updates, Hospital Options

By Jacob E. Rosenbaum

The Jamestown Board of Mayor and Aldermen met on Monday, May 11, in a session that dealt more with future actions than current ones. Mayor Baines issued a report on a number of current projects, as well as the present COVID-19 situation in Jamestown. The Council Members also heard from their Attorney, Engineer, and Building Inspector regarding options for the hospital situation, pump station project, and incoming Taco Bell respectively.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Lyndon Baines, and the roll call showed that all five Aldermen were participating in the conference call. The minutes of the Council’s previous session were read and approved, and no citizens requested the opportunity to air any grievances on the call.

Mayor Baines then reported that a number of projects were currently being conducted by the City’s work crews, namely the paving of streets near Livingston Avenue, with paving to begin on White Oak Street within the week. Also, a new fence is being constructed at the airport. Baines also explained that, per the Governor’s orders, there would be no in person public meetings until after June 30, meaning that conference call will continue to be the means by which public bodies meet until at least that date. Baines also reported that the city parks were currently open to the public.

City engineer Tom Bennett then reported that the CDBG grant project had been approved and ready to be put out for bid. Bennett said that he hoped to have a bid awarded by the next council meeting.

City Attorney Freddy Allred said that he had been assessing options for possible actions the Council might take to address the hospital situation. These options would feature later in the meeting.

Building Inspector Earl Sweat said that the old Hardee’s building had been completely demolished, and that the footer and block for the new Taco Bell had been laid over the weekend. Sweat said he had spoken with the head contractor for the Taco Bell project who had informed him that the schedule for completion was 90 days, meaning that the people of Jamestown should “be eating tacos” by the last week of July.

Under old business, Mayor Baines offered an update on the current COVID-19 situation, and said that Fentress County currently had six total cases. Baines asked citizens to continue to social distance, and to wear masks in public spaces. He also said that the drive-thru at City Hall is open for those needing to pay a bill, and that he and the City’s office staff were available by appointment, and that those wishing to meet with them should call ahead.

Read the full story in this weeks Fentress Courier.