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Rockwood takes on new health and educational facilities board

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By Cindy Simpson

A Rockwood Health and Educational Facilities Board has been reborn to allow medical facilities such as Victorian Square to acquire bonds.

The Victorian Square building formerly housed Chamberlain Memorial Hospital and its successor, Baptist Hospital of Roane County.

Victorian Square rents the facility from the Chamberlain Board, which Mayor James Watts said approached him to re-establish the health and educational facilities board.

City attorney Greg Leffew said the board was established pursuant to a state statute for the purpose of issuing bonds for medical facilities.

“Rockwood gets no money from the bonds and has no obligation to the bonds,” Leffew explained. “It was just a conduit.”

City Recorder Becky Ruppe compared it to the bonds that industrial boards help acquire for incoming industries.

The board was re-established when it was found that members are required to live in the city limits.

Members are Becky Layne and Harold Holloway, until Oct. 1, 2018; Butch Evans from Oct. 1 until Oct. 1, 2016; Mary Ann Owings, from Nov. 19 until Oct. 1, 2016; Wilma Walker, from Nov. 19 until Oct. 1, 2014; Mark Clem from Oct. 1 until Oct. 1, 2014; and Tommy Mayes from Nov. 19 until Oct. 1, 2014.

Ron Berry was named as an adviser to the group because of his prior service on the Rockwood Health and Educational Facilities Board.

Vice Mayor Peggy Evans said she believes the group is more than qualified to handle the issues alone and doesn’t need Berry’s assistance.