Judge-Executive declares emergency after February flooding

Judge-Executive J.M. Hall issued an executive order at the February 28 Fiscal Court meeting, acknowledging a declaration of emergency in Knox County during the flooding last month. The main goal of issuing this order is for the county to receive funds to repair roadways damaged by the flooding.

“We have FEMA coming in tomorrow [March 1] on some of our roads. We’re going to do some assessments,” said Hall. “I know there’s several places that’s slipped so the county is going to take them around tomorrow.”

The county did have the State Transportation Department look at some of the main areas of concern. The report indicates that along the Cumberland River base, the flood water seeped into cracks and washed out the sand under roadways, causing them to shift and fall in places.

Hall stated the county will also apply for United States Department of Agriculture programs to secure more funding to make sure all roads are fixed.

“We’re going to try to get the money to actually fix these projects back…If we fix them now, we won’t get reimbursed,” continued Hall.

As of March 5, Hall reports that FEMA has been in Knox County to assess the road damages but they are currently not finished. Hall could not say when the assessment is expected to be finished.

Also on the agenda, the court unanimously voted to keep the name for Buddy Higgins Road. Beginning late 2017, landowners on the road came to the court to petition for a name change after a personal dispute occurred with the namesake, citing they didn’t care what the road was called, just not that name. After hearing both sides of the argument during a January hearing, the court decided the name would remain. The court did promise to install a new road sign, using an aluminum sign in place of fiberglass in hopes of deterring more sign thefts.

The following agenda items were also approved or acknowledged:

• Knox County Attorney’s January Delinquent Tax Report in the amount of $9,588.72.

  Knox County Public Library’s 2017 Annual Report.

  Knox County Detention Center’s promotion of Brandon Allen and Josh Broughton from part to full-time deputy jailers and new hire of Jeff Patterson, Jr. as a part-time deputy jailer.

  Surplus items, including multiple trucks, a chipper and tractor. The money from the surplused items will be used to purchase new equipment.