Tag Archives: Niota

Niota Loses Insurance, Shuts Down Most Operations

NIOTA, Tenn. (AP) — The city of Niota is again without insurance and has shut down most city services.
According to The Daily Post-Athenian, only a skeleton staff remains in the city of about 800 residents.
Coverage through the Tennessee Municipal League lapsed at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Athens Insurance owner Allen Carter said he received a letter from TML stating that the city did not meet the “long term results needed” for coverage to continue.
Carter had negotiated 60-day temporary coverage for the city through TML.
“Niota just needs to handle their affairs and their business correctly,” said Carter. “But right now, there’s just not that option.”
Carter said a lawsuit against the police department was a factor in TML’s decision, but noted the major issue was errors and omissions by public officials.
The insurance pool indicated in April that it wouldn’t renew the city’s insurance because Commissioners Richard Rutledge and Leesa Corum refused to participate in an investigation. A former city worker had accused both of harassment.
Rutledge said on Tuesday that the loss of insurance is not only because of the actions of him and Corum.
“If I felt in any way that it was my problem, I would step down,” Rutledge said.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported six employees were laid off Tuesday. The police department is closed, the volunteer fire department is shut down as are the library and the parks.
Mayor Lois Preece said the sewer department had been contracted out to avoid steep environmental fines from the state if it ceased working. Preece said garbage collection might go to a contractor as well.
Preece said the layoffs were not a surprise to those now without jobs.
“They knew it was coming,” she said. “I try to be very upfront with my employees.”

Small Town Street Commissioner Job ‘Nothing But Trouble’

NIOTA, Tenn. (AP) — Niota’s street commissioner has quit, saying in a letter he’s been threatened in response to commission actions and it’s been “nothing but trouble” from some of his detractors for two years.
The Daily Post-Athenian in Athens reports that the 800-resident East Tennessee town’s mayor read the resignation letter from Donald Youngs at a Monday night meeting (http://bit.ly/p9JsTb).
The letter said Youngs has also had his vehicle vandalized in response to commission actions.
Youngs was appointed to a vacancy in 2009.
Youngs did not return a telephone message seeking comment Tuesday.
The town is now seeking resumes to pick a successor.