In order to insure safety, we asked David Martin, a Structural Engineer, and Architect Allen Hill to examine the old jail prior to demolition. Upon close examination, we were advised to postpone the project until drilling and stress tests could be performed on the reinforced concrete t-beams that run the entire length of the building. It was estimated that an 8-10 foot section of each beam could weigh in excess of 3,000 pounds. The old jail has approximately 35-40 of these beams and several load bearing walls that must be dealt with during the demolition process. Hopefully, we will be able to complete this project

In the last County Commission Meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to require all drivers of county insured vehicles to have a copy of a valid Tennessee Driver’s License on file in the Fentress County Finance Department. The purpose of the resolution is to insure compliance with state regulations, insure safety and to establish insurance liability and coverage. Those involved include Volunteer Fire Department personnel, Rescue Squad members, Emergency Management, Sherriff’s Department and Ambulance Squad. These licenses will be updated every six months.

As we continue with the design and development of a new county website, Progressive Technologies and our Website Committee are hoping to be operational by early spring. We recently had a photo shoot for elected officials and department heads. Focal points of the new website include: ease of use, demographical information, county education statistics, tourism initiative information, links to our Chamber of Commerce resources and webpages, county history, and general Fentress County Government contacts and

As we welcome the New Year, we want to focus on optimism and determination. Recently, we placed an erasable white board on our office wall. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks updates the board weekly to reflect where we are on several long and short range goals or projects. Some of the topics listed include job and industry recruitment, the Highway 127 Project, our new Tourism Initiative, upgrades on the courthouse (lighting, roof replacement and the old jail), website design, budgetary issues, the Justice Center and compliance issues. We want to focus on the process of progress, not just the objective. Currently TDOT is funding the construction of the Industrial Access Road into the Clarkrange Regional Business Park. Continuing to upgrade our infrastructure increases our chances of securing a commitment for the park.

We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at ten.s1527141595ekalw1527141595t@skc1527141595ihadn1527141595ama1527141595. The Fentress County Commission meets very third Monday at 6:00 p.m. following a 5:00 o’clock work session. All meetings are open to the public.