The Sparta Mayor and Board of Aldermen plan to designate the Sparta-White County YMCA as a new emergency shelter.
The board approved the purchase of a back up generator for $31,000 Thursday night. Mayor Jerry Lowery said the city has already started the process with the American Red Cross.
“This generator would provide emergency shelters if there are ice storms, tornadoes whatever needs to be done,” Lowery said. “We think that’s a good purchase for us.”
Alderman Robert Officer said the city needs the generator since it does not have a second emergency shelter. Currently, the senior center is the only other shelter in Sparta.
“I’m for it,” Officer said. “It’s a really good idea. If you think about something happening to the bridge crossing the river, you are kind of splitting the city.”
Lowery said he urged Aldermen to approve the purchase since generator orders are backed up. Lowery said the city was able to find the gear because another entity purchased an extra.
‘We had purchased a generator for the senior citizen center for $31,000,” Lowery said. “There is another entity that ordered one and does not want it, so they offered it to us at the same price.”
Lowery said TVA will cover $8,000 of the cost.
In other business, Sparta hired a new police officer and fire fighter. Police Chief Doug Goff said the officer will also bring a new K-9 unit to the city.