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Sullivan Commission meeting postponed

J. H. Osborne • Apr 14, 2020 at 7:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Commission’s monthly meeting, scheduled for Thursday at the Ron Ramsey Agricultural Center, has been postponed, Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable said on Monday.

“After conferring with our County Health Department Director Gary Mayes regarding the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus and reviewing our plans for the scheduled meeting this week I have decided to postpone the April meeting of the Sullivan County Commission,” Venable wrote in an email. “Although there is significant pressure on our health care officials to ‘open for business,’ it is my opinion that the business of the commission will not be harmed by the delay in this meeting. The highest priority at this time is to do all we can to prevent the spread of this virus, and we can do that best by protecting your health and that of your family.”

As publicized last week, the commission had planned to meet at the agricultural center in order to have enough room for the commission’s 24 members to adhere to social distancing rules. The public would have been allowed into the room with commissioners only one at a time for the purpose of making public comment and would have been required to wear a face mask, which they provided themselves.The meeting would have been available for viewing online.

Venable said his office will continue to keep in touch with Gov. Bill Lee’s office, as well as state health officials, “to determine when we can return to normal operations.”

Venable asked that all county residents continue to follow the guidelines on good hygiene and Lee’s “Safer at Home” order.

“Stay safe,” Venable concluded.

On Monday afternoon, Venable also reaffirmed the Sullivan County Declaration of Emergency he signed a couple of weeks ago, extending its effectiveness until April 20.  By law, Venable is required to extend the declaration every seven days. He first signed it two weeks ago and reaffirmed a week later. Monday makes the third time he’s extended the order.

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