Weston Wamp Plans $750,000 Fund To Help Recruit Career Teachers; Adding Vacuum Truck To Combat Litter

  • Friday, March 31, 2023
Weston Wamp
Weston Wamp

County Mayor Weston Wamp, in the annual State of the County speech, said the county is planning to set up a $750,000 fund to help recruit more career technology teachers.

He said the program would include $7,000 signing bonuses as well as funds for the cost of transitioning from industry to the classroom and for gaining the necessary certification.

He announced that the old Harrison Elementary School will be converted as a senior community center and for offices for the County Veterans program.

County Mayor Wamp said students in the Soddy Daisy area have access to career training, but not so much those downtown. He also said that the downtown is known as Gig City" while some out in the county do not have adequate Internet access.

The county mayor, who was introduced by School Supt. Justin Robertson at Freighwaves downtown, also said he wants to end the long lines for those trying to get their children into magnet schools.

He said in the fall he plans to introduce a Parent Council "to help better understand the challenges parents are facing." He also said having strong families is a main goal.

County Mayor Wamp said he is working with County Commissioner Greg Beck on a black civic leaders program that should be introduced soon.

He said he plans a major investment in county parks, and he said a section of McDonald Farm at Sale Creek will be set aside as a park by this fall when the County Fair will be held there.

Another effort will be upgrades to Chester Frost Park. He said new boat ramps have been added and new docks are on the way.

The county mayor said the county should cover the utility costs for athletic associations who carry out sports programs at county parks.

County Mayor Wamp said the greatest challenge facing the county is the opioid crisis. He said nearly 200 people died of overdoses in the county in the last year and there were over, 1,500 people who overdosed.

He said the county and its partners are positioning to get in line for grants to help fight the drug problem "from every direction."

He told the group that his office gets more calls about litter than any other issue. He said the county plans to buy a truck that will vacuum up litter in ditches and roadsides. He said, after changes were made, assignment of litter pickup by local courts is up two and a half times.

County Mayor Wamp also vowed "a major shift in EMS pay so we can operate all the county's 17 ambulances."

He said he wants to include funding and new equipment for the volunteer fire departments.

Another effort will be to install reflectors on rural roads, especially in mountainous areas and improvement of heavily traveled roads like Snow Hill Road and Ooltewah-Georgetown Road.

He pledged property tax relief for senior citizens and disabled veterans and their wives, saying the county would match state relief levels.

Breaking News
Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report
  • 5/23/2024

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report. (If your case is dismissed, just email us your name and date we ran it and we will promptly take off. Email to news@chattanoogan.com ) BERNACET, ... more

Red Bank Budget Includes No Tax Increase, Projected Deficit
  • 5/22/2024

The city of Red Bank has passed the proposed fiscal year 2025 budget on the first of two readings, with no property tax increase. The rate will remain at $1.67 per every $100 of the assessed ... more

Angie Teems, Steve Wilson Win In Walker County, Hart, Wilson Win Commission Seats
  • 5/22/2024

Angie Teems defeated incumbent County Commission Chairman Shannon Whitfield in Tuesday's election in Walker County. Longtime Sheriff Steve Wilson held off a challenge from state Patrol Commander ... more