County Commissioners to Vote on COVID-Related Resolution | New


Washington County commissioners are expected to vote Monday night on a non-binding resolution “encouraging federal, state and local governments to refrain from taking a role in private business through COVID-related regulations.”

The resolution reads: “Washington County recognizes the challenges inherent in the tough decisions presented to our legislative delegations in Nashville and Washington DC, but calls on them to refrain from taking or supporting any executive or legislative action that would regulate private employers. regarding COVID. -19.

The measure was approved by the county health, education and welfare committee earlier this month, with committee chair Commissioner Jodi Jones voting the only ‘no’.

The Washington County resolution specifically refers to President Joe Biden’s efforts to implement new Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations requiring all companies with more than 100 workers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID or test for the virus every week.

Officials say the measure will impact about 80 million Americans.

Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy told commissioners last month that he and 55 other Tennessee County mayors wrote a letter to Governor Bill Lee and State Attorney General Herbert Slatery expressing their objections to the President’s directive on COVID vaccination.

Other issues on the agenda Monday when the commissioners meet at 6 p.m. at the George P. Jaynes Justice Center include:

• An update on the county’s efforts to shut down the operations of a bitcoin mining company in the community of Limestone.

Commissioners voted last month to ask County Attorney Allyson Wilkinson and County Planning Director Angie Charles to send a letter to Red Dog Technologies and BrightRidge, owners of the property, informing them that the Cyber-mining operation does not comply with the zoning use approved by the commissioners. for the site last year.

The commission began dealing with bitcoin mining in July after hearing from a number of residents of the Limestone community who said the noise from the computers and cooling fans used in its bitcoin operation hadn’t stopped since Red Dog started operations earlier this year. .

Wilkinson told commissioners that because bitcoin mining is not operated as a public utility, it does not comply with the zoning approved by county authorities for the site.

The commissioners are also expected to meet behind closed doors on Monday to discuss a possible dispute.

• A vote on a resolution authorizing an interlocal agreement between Washington County and the city of Johnson City regarding the preservation and redevelopment of the Ashe Street courthouse. The resolution also calls for a county commissioner to be appointed to serve as a liaison for the Ashe Street courthouse project.

Last month, commissioners voted to formally “accept” a feasibility study for the building, which was built in 1910 as a bank and federal post office.

The resolution also called on the County Commission to “approve the opportunity” to work with the city to use the $ 5 million allocated by Governor Bill Lee in the state budget for the renovation of the Ashe courthouse. Street, located at 401 Ashe Street.

Johnson’s Town Commission voted last month to begin renovations to the building that would allow it to be used both as a business incubator and as an eastern anchor for rehabilitated West Walnut Street.

The Ashe Street Courthouse, which features distinctive Beaux-Arts architecture that was a popular style for government buildings built in this country between the 1890s and 1920s, has been vacant since the Communications District of County 911 emergency relocated to Boones Creek in late 2017.

Unless county officials find a new public use for the old courthouse, its ownership reverts to the federal government.

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