Oneonta continues adding employees

The Oneonta City Council has added one firefighter and agreed to advertise for still another.

Councilman Hal Buckelew read at last week’s meeting from fire chief David Osborne’s letter recommending hiring Joshua Lozinski as the city’s newest fulltime firefighter. Buckelew explained that Osborne and assistant chief Brandon Horton chose Lozinski from the 18 candidates interviewed. Following Lozinski’s hiring, the council voted to advertise for a part-time firefighter as well.

Police chief James Chapman noted the presence of most of the 18 members of the first Citizens Academy. The academy program seeks to acquaint participants with the role of police and explain more of city government operations. Chapman explained they would attend other council meetings and have their official graduation before the council.

The council approved the Blount County Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan. Mayor Darryl Ray indicated the city had helped prepare the plan, required by homeland security for municipalities to file for grants.

In a related matter, city manager Ed Lowe announced virtual completion of the city’s downtown grant project. He explained the city had received notice it cannot apply for another grant for 2012 since that program has fallen under the federal budget ax.

Councilors reappointed Chris Harvey to the city’s utility board. Harvey had received appointment to completion of a term and now has won appointment to a full term on his own.

The remaining council members (Mark Gargus, Tim McNair, Ross Norris, and Danny Robinson) joined Ray and Buckelew for the June 28 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in city hall at 5:30 p.m.