Four resolutions passed at last night’s (April 16, 2018) County Commission meeting. Commissioner Sonya Rimmer, Commissioner David Hassler and Dr. Kimberly Peaslee were appointed to the Cumberland County E-911 Emergency Communications District Board of Directors. The motion passed 15-0-2, with Commissioners Hassler and Rimmer abstaining.
All County Commissioners were present at the 6 p.m. meeting, except Commissioner Rebecca Stone.
The commission unanimously approved receipt of a $4,000 grant for shelving in the Cumberland County Archives & Heritage Center.
The commission also unanimously approved a resolution to contract certain human-resources services from Organizational Management Group; the contract is for $1,250, through the remainder of the fiscal year.
The final resolution was regarding approval of up to $251,887 in first-year onboarding costs for four new SROs – for which the budget committee had previously given its approval.
Commissioner Rimmer requested full commission approval of the SRO budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.
According to Sheriff Casey Cox, mandatory training of the CSOs will take place during the summer. “South [Cumberland Elementary] School’s officer started this morning,” he said.
Cox said the interviews conducted last week went well, and four SROs have been selected and are being readied to step into their new roles. “Stone [Elementary School’s SRO] should be starting next week. Pine View and Pleasant Hill will be starting soon,” he added.
County Attorney Randal Boston reported on one new county lawsuit; the EMS and Cumberland County Fire Department are being sued regarding a fire last April in which a child died; Boston said the suit alleges the county was “negligent in responding” to the blaze. Additionally, he is looking into four EEOC complaints filed on Thursday of last week with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. The final item he mentioned was the Cumberland County vs. Spirit Broadband suit is scheduled to go forward in circuit court May first at the Justice Center.
County Finance Director Nathan Brock delivered the financial report:
- Property-tax receipts stand at 97.1% of budget (up from 96.4% this time last year).
- Hotel/motel tax collections are $546,937 – or 67.5% of the budgeted $810,000 figure (up slightly from 64.6% this time last year.
- Ambulance collections are running $77,868 above projections at $402,868. YTD collections are $80,933 above projections, despite a deficit during the first five months of the fiscal year.
- Prisoner boarding for the first seven months of the fiscal year was $382,746, 72.9% of the $525,000 budget YTD. Last year at this time, we were at 109.7% of budget (with annual projected income of $300,000).
- Local option sales-tax collections exceeded projections by $8,670, with monthly collections at $643,613. YTD collections are $6,153,227 – coming in at $90,198 below projections.
Commissioner Nancy Hyder asked about the status of the railroad property. County Mayor Kenneth Carey said more time has been requested to address the issue. “They said they’d be back in touch with us within a few weeks,” the mayor added.
Three citizens briefly addressed the Commission. Linda Clark spoke on the dos and don’ts of citizen advocacy, specifically surrounding the issues of wind turbines and animal shelters. She listed name calling, lobbing of verbal grenades and one-way communication among the don’ts. Dos include listening to all sides’ positions, willingness to work with opposing sides, and tact and civility.
Next, Craig Clark thanked the commission for following through on its stance regarding the wind-turbine issue. He said Senator Paul Bailey and Representative Cameron Sexton crafted legislation on the wind turbines that empowered local residents and stayed true to their wishes. “They did exactly what y’all requested,” he said, noting the measure’s 64-23 passage in the Senate.
Jim Martin also addressed the matter of wind turbines, noting, “We have put wind energy on notice: If you want to come into Tennessee, we’ve got regulations.”
The next scheduled County Commission meeting is Monday, May 21, 2018, at 6 p.m.