Sevier Supports UT Public Service (315)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Local governments in Sevier County are giving $45,000 to the University of Tennessee’s 21st Century Campaign.

 Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville combined in pledging $25,000 to UT’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service. Sevier County’s $20,000 gift will go to the County Technical Assistance Service.

 The presentation to UT officials will be made Thursday at a meeting of city and county leaders.

 UT President Joe Johnson said the university and local governments have worked closely together for nearly 50 years, when the Municipal Technical Advisory Service was established.

 “The support to our campaign from Tennessee’s cities and counties is outstanding,” Johnson said. “This is confirmation of the value mayors, council members, county executives and other local government officials have in the Institute for Public Service.

 “This relationship is one of our strongest and most important to UT.”

 The cities’ funds go to MTAS’ Herbert J. Bingham Visiting Consultantship, which will provide short-term expertise to Tennessee municipalities in a variety of technical areas, said Sammie Lynn Puett, UT vice president for public service. The fund honors the long-time director of the Tennessee Municipal League.

 Sevier County’s gift to CTAS goes to support consultants that work with county governments, she said.

 “I am grateful that our elected officials approved this gift,” Cindy Ogle, Gatlinburg city manager, said. “It recognizes the good service we have received from MTAS over the years.”

 Larry Waters, Sevier County executive, said the Institute for Public Service’s technical assistance and leadership programs are valuable to local officials.

 “There are many areas where we call on CTAS and the institute for help,” Waters said. “This saves taxpayer dollars because you don’t have to buy these services on a one-time basis. I see this gift as a good investment for Sevier County.”

 UT’s five-year 21st Century Campaign seeks to raise $308 million for the statewide university system. To date, approximately $280 million has been pledged.

 —

 Contact: Sammie Lynn Puett (423-974-1542)