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Carter County receives ARC funding to support high school CTE programs

Carter County will be receiving $250,000 in grant funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission to help purchase new and updated equipment for the career technical education (CTE) programs in Carter County Schools.
“I am thrilled that Carter County was selected to receive this grant,” Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby said. “We are working hard to address the skills gap in our local workforce while also providing our students with the education and the skills they need to earn a decent wage after they graduate high school. The Appalachian Regional Commission recognized that need and the work we are putting in to help our community.”
According to Woodby, this grant was part of the overall project to develop a centralized CTE campus for the county schools and dual enrollment opportunities for students pursuing the technical college pathway. The goal for the overall project is to allow students to graduate high school with either an associate degree or a career certification.
“This project has been very dear to my heart when we first began discussing it just over a year ago,” Woodby said. “I think this project has the potential to change the lives of some of our students and prepare them for a successful future.”
The funding from the grant will be used to purchase new equipment for Carter County high school CTE programs such as welding, criminal justice, nursing, automotive collision repair, and business management. The Carter County Commission voted in March 2022 to provide the necessary $114,102 in matching funds for the project to update the equipment if the grant was awarded. The total budget for this grant project is $364,102.
“With technology advancements being made all the time, it is often difficult for local school systems to bear the cost of frequently replacing equipment for the CTE programs, which can be quite expensive,” Woodby said. “This grant will allow our county schools to purchase new up-to-date equipment so our students are learning their trades on the same modern equipment they will encounter when they join the workforce.”
This grant application was a cooperative effort between the Carter County Mayor’s Office, the Carter County School System, and the First Tennessee Development District, Woodby said.
“We will be working in the coming weeks with Carter County Director of Schools Dr. Brandon Carpenter and his staff to identify the best usage of these grant funds for the CTE Equipment,” Woodby said.

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TBR announces no tuition increase for students, capital improvements for Carter County Higher Education Center

COLUMBIA, TN (June 17, 2022) – Students will not face a tuition or fee increase at Tennessee’s public community and technical colleges for the upcoming academic year after the Tennessee Board of Regents voted Friday to keep rates stable for the second time in three years.

In addition, the Board suspended campus-specific online course fees for the second consecutive year, saving students about $2.6 million collectively in the upcoming year and removing a financial barrier for students taking online courses through their colleges. The Board of Regents, which governs the state’s public community colleges and colleges of applied technology, held its June quarterly meeting Thursday and Friday, hosted by Columbia State Community College.

TBR staff said that the major increase in state funding for public higher education approved this year, extended federal pandemic funding for another year, and savings and efficiencies achieved by the colleges enabled the Board to keep tuition and fees stable for another year despite rising inflation.

“We’re grateful to Governor Lee and members of the Tennessee General Assembly for supporting Tennessee students and their families with a historic increase in state funding for higher education. The Board’s approval today to keep tuition and fees unchanged for another year is a direct result of that, the continued federal assistance, and the hard work by our colleges to hold costs down,” said Chancellor Flora W. Tydings.

Two years ago, the Board of Regents also voted no increase in tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year in recognition of the challenges facing students during the pandemic, which kept rates stable from July 2019 through June 2021. Last year, the Board approved the smallest tuition increase, 1.83 percent, in 30 years at the community colleges for the 2021-22 academic year now ending – but did not raise any other mandatory fees and suspended the campus-specific online course fee for the year. It extended that suspension through June 2023.

With Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other state and federal financial aid programs, eligible students may attend the state’s public community and technical colleges free of tuition and mandatory fees. Tennessee Promise is for new high school graduates; Reconnect is for adults 23 and up who have not already earned college degrees or other college-level credentials.

In other action, the Board of Regents approved the system’s capital outlay budget request for fiscal year 2023-24 – three projects totaling $124 million that will now be forwarded to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) for the next phase in the budget process. Projects are not finally approved until they are considered and funded by the state legislature.

All three projects are proposed to help the colleges meet increased workforce development needs in their regions. They are:

• A new Carter County Higher Education Center, for joint use by Northeast State Community College and Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Elizabethton to expand career and technical education programs. The current proposal is for extensive renovation of two existing buildings that Northeast has been leasing and are now being donated to the school by Carter County. Projected cost is $40 million.

• A new Workforce Development Center at Jackson State Community College that will also house classes by TCAT Jackson. New construction totaling $34.6 million.

• A new Henry County Higher Education Center for TCAT Paris. New construction totaling $49.8 million.

The Board also approved a $48.7 million capital maintenance funding request, which also now goes to THEC for its review in the next step of the budget process. The request would fund 49 major maintenance projects across the system.

The Board re-elected Regent Emily J. Reynolds to another one-year term as the Board’s vice chair, its presiding officer. She has served as a Board member since 2010.

The Board also approved systemwide proposed operating budgets for fiscal year 2022-23 totaling $1.3 billion, and the final estimated budgets for fiscal year 2021-22 totaling $1.43 billion.

Board members and staff also observed the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Board of Regents and its system of colleges in 1972.

Governor Bill Lee, who could not attend, thanked the Board via a pre-recorded video for 50 years of service to Tennesseans. “The Tennessee Board of Regents plays an important role in equipping a highly skilled workforce and preparing students for life beyond the classroom… It’s an honor to join you in celebrating this important milestone in our state’s history, and I appreciate your continued partnership to ensure Tennessee students have opportunities to thrive,” the governor said.

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Mayor Woodby appointed to state planning committee by Gov. Bill Lee

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has appointed Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby to serve on the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee.
“In the thorough, aggressive search for candidates, your individual characteristics and professional qualifications were exceptional among the number of nominees who expressed interest,” Governor Lee stated in his letter of appointment to Mayor Woodby. “I consider it very important to ensure that Tennessee’s boards and commissions are filled with the most dedicated and qualified citizens. I believe that your participation is certain to leave a positive impact on this board and the work it does.”
The Local Government Planning Advisory Committee is a state-wide committee composed of seven officers of local governments from across the state. All the members are appointed by the Governor. This committee advises the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development on local planning and development issues, including the administration of the local planning assistance program.
“It is a tremendous honor to be appointed by Governor Lee to serve on the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee,” Mayor Woodby said. “Carter County is leading the region in developing new and innovative ways to improve the skills of our workforce to support our existing industries and to recruit new businesses to Carter County. I am thankful for Governor Lee’s support for our efforts. I truly appreciate the Governor’s confidence in me and my abilities in appointing me to serve on this committee and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish for the betterment of our region.”
Mayor Woodby’s term on the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee begins effective immediately and will continue through June 30, 2025.

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New THDA Mortgage Relief Program Information

The Tennessee Homeowners Assistance Fund (TNHAF) program launched January 10th to assist homeowners who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This assistance can be used for mortgage payments and other housing related costs for homeowners. Households may apply for assistance up to $40K. To learn more and apply, homeowners should access the HAF Application Portal at:

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Contract signed for Dry Hollow water project, construction slated to begin in December

Local officials gathered Tuesday afternoon to sign the contract for a project years in the making to get water to an underserved area in Carter County.
“I want to thank everyone for working together to make this happen,” said Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby. “This project really pulled on my heart strings. I grew up in Little Milligan, so I know what it’s like to go without water.”
The project will provide clean water to residents in the Dry Hollow community in Stoney Creek. The residents in the area previously used a private water system which became contaminated and State officials ordered the system to cease operation.
The First Utility District, which serves Stoney Creek, was willing to take the residents onto their system, but the construction costs were going to be more than the utility could afford on its own. Carter County applied for and received a Community Development Block Grant which covered nearly half the total cost of the project. The estimated total cost for the project is $647,000. Of that amount, $363,750 will be covered by the CDBG grant, leaving the local share of the cost at $283,250. The local share was funded using money received by Carter County as part of the American Rescue Plan federal funds designated for utilities and infrastructure.
“It has been a blessing for everyone to come together and make this happen so we didn’t have to pass the costs of this on to the customers,” said David Bowers, Chairman of the Board for First Utility District.
State Senator Rusty Crowe praised the teamwork in Carter County that helped make the project a reality.
“I want to thank Mayor Woodby and the Commission for making this happen,” Senator Crowe said. “I have to say Mayor Woodby has really pushed us hard to make this happen.”
“This is a great opportunity for us with this federal funding,” Senator Crowe added. “We will never have this kind of money to use again, and I cannot think of a better use than waterlines. Even with all the technology available in this day an age, we still have people without clean water.”
Both Mayor Woodby and Senator Crowe spoke regarding previous community leaders who have worked over the years to help get clean water to residents in this community.
The project began under the previous Carter County Mayor, the late Rusty Barnett.
“This was something he was very passionate about,” Mayor Woodby said. “I am proud to have been able to see this through.”
Getting reliable, clean drinking water for residents in the Dry Hollow area was something that former State Representative the late Ralph Cole hoped to achieve, according to Senator Crowe.
“Ralph really wanted this to happen,” Senator Crowe said. “He would be here today hugging everyone.”
The contract for construction of the new water lines was awarded to Hayes Contracting. Jimmy Hayes told those in attendance at the contract signing that they hope to begin construction in mid-December and the estimated construction time for the project is 150 days.

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Tennessee Department of Health offering booster dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

CDC Approved Booster Dose Recommendations for Certain Populations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health will begin offering booster doses of
COVID vaccine to certain populations, beginning Friday, September 24.
A single dose booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can be administered for individuals
who met these criteria:
• People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster
shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech
primary series,
• People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot
of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary
• People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of
Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary
series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
• People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission
because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of PfizerBioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
based on their individual benefits and risks.
More information on the CDC’s recommendation for a booster dose is available online HERE.
Local health departments across the state will be administering the booster dose. Information on
appointment availability can be found at
Appointments are not required. The Federal Pharmacy Partnership (FPP) for Long-Term Care (LTC)
Program is facilitating on-site vaccination for residents in long-term care facilities. Additional
vaccine providers offering the Pfizer vaccine can be found by visiting
Patients do not need to prove their diagnosis or health condition to be eligible for the booster dose.

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Local officials meet with Governor on education, workforce development project

ELIZABETHTON – Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby and other local officials met with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to share plans for an education and workforce development project in the works for Carter County students.
The proposal is a collaboration between Carter County government, the Carter County School System, Northeast State Community College, and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton. On Thursday, representatives from all four partner agencies met with Gov. Lee to share their ideas and seek support from the state to see them implemented. Those attending the meeting included Mayor Woodby, Commissioner Daniel McInturff, Carter County Director of Schools Dr. Tracy McAbee, TCAT Elizabethton President Dean Blevins, TCAT Elizabethton Vice President Danny O’Quinn, Northeast State Community College Dean of Science Chris Hitechew, and Northeast State Community College Professor Nathanial Weber.
“We are very excited about the opportunities this project will create for our students in Carter County, and we are thrilled that Governor Lee is supportive of our goals,” Mayor Woodby said. “This is a chance for us to invest in our students and give them a first chance at success instead of waiting until something unfortunate happens and they end up in trouble and needing a second chance.”
The proposal has three components which will work hand-in-hand to improve educational and workforce development initiatives for Carter County.
The first component is the development of a centralized Career and Technical Education (CTE) campus for Carter County High Schools at the Workforce Development Complex. This will allow students access to any of the CTE programs, not just specific ones at their school or part of the transport offerings. It will also help decrease program duplication by not having to offer the same program at four different sites. By cutting back on program duplication, that will free up resources to begin offering new CTE programs.
The second component is the newly developed Summit Project in the Carter County School System through a partnership with Northeast State Community College. Through this project, students can access special dual enrollment opportunities which will allow them to earn an Associate’s Degree at the same time they earn their high school diploma.
The third component is the development of a true dual enrollment program between Carter County Schools and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton which will allow high school students to participate in dual enrollment with TCAT and earn their career certification while earning their high school diploma.
“Governor Lee was very supportive of our plan and said he was impressed by the cooperative effort by everyone involved to make this happen for our students,” Mayor Woodby said. “This project has the potential to have not only a local impact, but a regional and state impacts as well.”
During the meeting on Thursday, State Senator Rusty Crowe, State Senator Jon Lundberg, State Rep. Scotty Campbell, and State Rep. John Holsclaw Jr. were in attendance as well and voiced their support for the project, including their intention to draft legislation to create a Pilot Program for dual enrollment opportunities at TCAT.
“I am very proud of Mayor Woodby, our Director of Schools Dr. Tracy McAbee, our TCAT, and Northeast State Community College for coming together and making this project possible for our students,” Sen. Crowe said. “I think we had a very productive meeting with Governor Lee, and this project goes right along with his plans for CTE programs for our students.
“This is very exciting to me as our students that are graduating from high school will actually be able to graduate with college level skills and training because they worked hard using the dual enrollment process,” he added.
Senator Lundberg also expressed his support of the initiative.
“I am very proud of the strong regional cooperation that’s taking plans and turning those plans into action,” Sen. Lundberg said.
The project is also getting support from the other side of the State Legislature.
“This has clear potential to help students and build a stronger workforce for Northeast Tennessee,” said Rep. Campbell. “I hope the State can partner with Carter County to make this a reality.”
Rep. Holsclaw also offered praise for the project.
“Leaders from our community have really developed a great idea by thinking outside of the box to create a middle college idea that would greatly benefit our youth as well as businesses across all of East Tennessee,” Holsclaw said.
Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy and Washington County Director of Schools Jerry Boyd also attended the meeting to lend their support for the project which they believe has the potential to impact the region as well.
“Any time you can get 45 minutes with the Governor it is a big deal. The mayors in our region are focused on presenting a regional face any time we deal with the folks in Nashville,” Mayor Grandy said. “I’m supporting this project for two reasons. First, what benefits one county in the first development district impacts all counties in the first district. Both directors of schools from Washington and Carter counties were at the meeting along with representatives from Northeast State and the Elizabethton TCAT. Many legislators from our region were in the room as well.”
“We make a bigger impact when we all work together as a region,” Grandy added. “Second, improving workforce development is a strategic goal for Washington County. This project presents a significant opportunity to enhance the workforce not only in Carter County but the region.”

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Carter County officials announce new renewal kiosk

Carter County is excited to now offer a full-service kiosk to allow residents to conduct their business without having to visit the courthouse.
The new indoor self-service Kiosk Payment Station allows citizens to access and renew car tags, locate and pay property taxes, and pay court fines within a few simple steps.
Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby joined with County Clerk Mary Gouge, Trustee Randall Lewis and Circuit Court Clerk Johnny Blankenship to announce the new kiosk service on Friday, Jan. 22. The kiosk is located inside the Redi-Mart Supermarket, located a 5110 US-19E in Hampton. Patrons can access the kiosk any time when the store is open. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Mayor Woodby stated the county has purchased a second kiosk and will hopefully reach an agreement soon on the location for it.
Customers can renew their car tags by scanning their driver’s license or their current registration to search for their vehicle. Once selected, the customer can submit their payment via credit card. The renewal decal will print-on-demand at the end of the transaction.
Customers can locate their property taxes by searching for their bill by name, address, or bill number. Once selected, the customer can select the record and submit their payment via credit card. A receipt is printed at the end of the transaction.
Customers can input their name, case information and the amount they wish to pay, and submit their payment via credit card. A receipt is printed at the end of the transaction.
In addition, customers can still renew their tags online at, in person at the Carter County Clerk office, or by mailing them to the clerk’s office.
Property tax payments can be made in person at the Carter County Trustee’s Office, online at, by calling the automated phone system at: 877-768-5048 or by mailing them to the Trustee’s office.
Court Fees can be paid in person at the Carter County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, online at, by calling the automated phone system at: 866-658-0845 or by mailing them to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.
We are excited to offer even more options for citizens to renew in a safe, contact-free, user-friendly payment solution for Carter County citizens!

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Extended Hours at Select Locations Bookend Tennessee’s Thanksgiving Holiday to Encourage COVID-19 Testing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Governor Bill Lee’s Unified Command Group is making more COVID-19 testing options available for Tennesseans statewide leading up to and just after Thanksgiving.
The Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee National Guard will extend operating hours at 35 county health departments, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., local time, on Mon., Nov. 23, and Mon., Nov. 30. A list of the county health departments operating with extended hours is below.
Tennessee National Guard personnel will also support testing during extended hours at health departments in the Davidson, Hamilton, and Knox counties.
COVID-19 testing at county health departments is free to those who want to receive a COVID-19 test.
A complete, statewide list of all COVID-19 testing sites is available at
All 89 rural county health departments will be open Mon., Nov. 23, through Wed., Nov. 25. County health departments will be closed and will not provide COVID-19 testing from Thurs. Nov. 26, through Sat. Nov. 28, 2020.
Participants should receive their test results within 72 hours, depending on test processing volume at laboratories. Information will be provided to participants at the testing locations on what they can expect after being tested. This information is also available at:
The U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention has a guide available with recommendations for making Thanksgiving safer to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among family and friends. The guide is available at
Governor Lee formed the UCG on March 23, 2020, bringing together the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Military, and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to streamline coordination across key Tennessee departments to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
County Health Department with Expanded Hours 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Local Time – Nov. 23 & Nov. 30, 2020
Carter – Carter County Health Department 403 G St., Elizabethton
Greene – Greene Valley Campus 4850 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy., Greeneville
Hawkins – Rogersville – Hawkins County Health Department 201 Park Blvd., Rogersville
Washington – Washington County Health Department 219 Princeton Road, Johnson City
Anderson – Anderson County Health Department 710 N. Main St., Ste. A, Clinton
Blount – Blount County Health Department 301 McGhee St., Maryville
Campbell – Campbell County Health Department 162 Sharp-Perkins Road, Jacksboro
Hamblen – Hamblen County Health Department 331 W. Main St., Morristown
Sevier – Sevier County Health Department 719 Middle Creek Road, Sevierville
Bradley – Bradley County Health Department 201 Dooley St., SE, Cleveland
Franklin – Franklin County Health Department 266 Joyce Lane, Winchester
McMinn – McMinn County Health Department 393 County Road 554, Athens
Rhea – Rhea County Health Department 344 Eagle Lane, Evensville
Upper Cumberland
Cumberland – Cumberland County Health Department 1503 S. Main St., Crossville
Dekalb – Dekalb County Health Department 254 Tiger Drive, Smithville
Macon – Macon County Fairgrounds 231 Russell Drive, Lafayette
Overton – Overton County Health Department 5880 Bradford-Hicks Drive, Livingston
Putnam – Putnam County Fairgrounds 155 Fairgound Lane, Cookeville
Warren – Warren County Health Department 1401 Sparta St., McMinnville
Cheatham – Cheatham County Health Department 162 County Services Drive, Ste. 200, Ashland City
Montgomery – Civitan Park 650 Bellamy Lane, Clarksville
Rutherford – Rutherford County Health Department 100 W. Burton St., Murfreesboro
Sumner – Gallatin – Sumner County Health Department 1005 Union School Road, Gallatin
Williamson – Williamson County Ag Expo Center 4215 Long Lane, Franklin
Wilson – Wilson County Fairgrounds 945 E. Baddour Parkway, Lebanon
South Central
Bedford – Bedford County Health Department 140 Dover St., Shelbyville
Coffee – Coffee County Fairgrounds 99 Lakeview Drive, Manchester
Lawrence – Lawrence County Health Department 2379 Buffalo Road, Lawrenceburg
Maury – Maury County Health Department 1909 Hampshire Pike, Columbia
Dyer – Dyer County Health Department 1755 Parr Ave., Dyersburg
Fayette – Fayette County Health Department 90 Yum Yum Road, Somerville
Hardin – Hardin County Health Department 1920 Pickwick St., Savannah
Haywood – Haywood County Health Department 950 E. Main St., Brownsville
Obion – Obion County Health Department 1008 Mt. Zion Road, Union City
Tipton – Tipton County Health Department 4700 Mueller Brass Road, Covington

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Change to Special Called Meeting to appoint Carter County Mayor

Special Called Meeting for Appointment of Carter County Mayor
**Changed to Electronic Meeting – No Public Location**
A special called meeting of the Board of County Commissioners for Carter County will be held on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. for the sole purpose of filling the vacancy in the office of County Mayor for Carter County. Although the meeting was originally scheduled to occur in person at the Hampton High School gymnasium, the meeting will now be conducted electronically based upon the advice of public health officials and due to concerns over the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Carter County. There will be no physical location for the meeting for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Live public access to the meeting will be available by toll-free telephone call in to 1-877-853-5257, on the internet by visiting or through the Zoom mobile app by logging into your Zoom app and entering Meeting ID 478-766-9850.
As previously advertised, individuals who would like to be considered for this position may submit a general county application and/or any other desired documentation to the Carter County Clerk’s Office at 801 E. Elk Avenue, Suite 102, Elizabethton, TN 37643. All materials received by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 will be forwarded to the Board of Commissioners for review in advance of the special called meeting at which the appointment to fill the vacancy will be made. However, any registered voter of Carter County may submit an individual’s name for consideration in writing addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and delivered to the County Clerk’s Office by the deadline referenced above, or via email to Board Chairman Travis Hill at the following address:
Nominations to fill the vacancy will be made by members of the Board of County Commissioners during the special called meeting, and any qualified candidate may be nominated without the prior submission of materials to the Clerk and regardless of their attendance electronically at the meeting. However, nominees not present electronically at the meeting must submit a written statement to the Clerk or Board Chairman in advance indicating they are willing to serve if appointed.
All nominees will be given the opportunity to address the Board of County Commissioners and may be interviewed by the Board at the discretion of the Chairman, during the special called meeting. The election to fill the vacancy will be held immediately thereafter during the special called meeting, unless it is delayed to a subsequent meeting by vote of the Board of Commissioners. The nominee receiving the majority vote of the Board of County Commissioners will be appointed as County Mayor.
For additional information contact the County Clerk’s Office at 542-1814.

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