Upon recommendation of fire chief David Osborne, Oneonta councilman Hal Buckelew moved the town elevate part-time firefighter Dalton Teal to full-time status. The council had previously advertised the position within house and to the public. The council endorsed the recommendation unanimously. In additional fire business, members added Christopher Edwards to its volunteer roster.
City manager Ed Lowe reported the recent snow delayed scheduled work on the renewed downtown revitalization project. He said that grant project will begin any day. He offered he will likely be notified the morning construction begins.
Donnie Ray officially introduced himself to the council as new director of the Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce, thanked officials for their support of the chamber, and pledged to do all he can to help the city. Councilors made similar pledges to the chamber and praised Ray’s qualifications and willingness to accept the position. Ray replaces former director Charles Carr, who died suddenly in November.
Mayor Darryl Ray, father to the director, noted the decision to require attendees to pass through a scanner before each council session. He bemoaned the requirement but indicated present conditions appear to demand such precaution.
Library director Gail Sheldon expressed her appreciation for the continued willingness of the public works department to assist her at the library as requested. She also thanked the council for the new sidewalk connecting the library and the senior citizens center.
Mark Gargus, Tim McNair, Ross Norris, and Danny Robinson joined Buckelew and Ray for the Jan. 25 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.