Friday, December 2, 2022
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UCHRA Hosts County Mayor Retreat To Discuss Regional Needs

Upper Cumberland County Mayors gathered together Monday and Tuesday for an Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency retreat.

UCHRA Executive Director Mark Farley said this is something they try to host every few years. He said the goal is to get newly-elected county mayors caught up on hot topics in the region, and hear from re-elected mayors about they treat these issues in their counties.

“Every community has its own unique needs, some communities have more resources in place, others don’t have as much,” Farley said. “So each community is going to have to figure what they need to tackle that issue for their community. But still, overall, we need to figure out how to unite the different programs that are out there to make sure that they are coordinated and working together.”

Farley said one of this year’s hot topics included EMS and ambulance services. He said counties have been struggling to recruit EMTs and paramedics from the younger generation. In addition to personnel, Farley said they are also working to make competitive pay structures. Another ongoing topic includes solid waste disposal management, which Farley said is always a huge issue.

Farley said an exciting new topic was the opioid settlement funds from the nationwide lawsuit. He said the state of Tennessee and local governments are going to start receiving remediation funds.

“It has particular uses it that it can be used for and we had good discussion about what we need to do as a region to strengthen the infrastructure in dealing with substance abuse,” Farley said. “How do we get more treatment facilities, how do we make sure that all of the drug courts are in place that need to be there, our drug coalitions.”

Farley said after the November election when the final mayoral candidates are voted in, they plan on hosting a similar retreat for city mayors.

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