All eighteen members of the Cumberland County Commission were present for the December monthly meeting tonight.
Before approval of any resolutions could begin, Third District Commissioner Rebecca Stone requested that one proposed resolution for consideration be pulled for further study. She moved that the resolution to release a county-owned right-of-way to a Deep Draw Road property owner be sent back to the Environmental Committee pending a title search that could resolve some outstanding questions. Second District Commissioner Kyle Davis seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Martin Elementary School teacher Kim Nelson, representing the Student-Teacher Association, brought in cookies baked by her students, in appreciation for the service rendered to the community by the Cumberland County Commission throughout the year. The students also arranged to have cards and cookies delivered to the Crossville City Council and other municipal entities.
A resolution to appoint Conrad Welch as Cumberland County Building Maintenance Supervisor passed unanimously on voice vote.
Resolutions to accept offers by Byron C. and Jan L. Long, and Kirk and Donna Walser, respectively, to purchase properties owned by Cumberland County also passed unanimously on voice vote.
The resolution regarding a budget amendment to the veterans’ services fund in the amount of $2,221 – to allow for amending the classification of the County Veterans Services Officer position – passed unanimously on roll-call vote. Ninth District Commissioner John Patterson commented, “Bill Ward has done a commendable job as or Veterans’ Services Officer.”
County Mayor Allen Foster concurred.
A resolution to increase spending by $6,800 for maintenance and repair services in the county jail was approved unanimously on roll-call vote. The resolution, in conjunction with a grant from the State of Tennessee, will provide for installation of silent panic buttons for court security. The partially State-funded grant requires a 10% match in local funds.
The final resolution of the evening would authorize the Finance Department to prepare and issue a request for proposals for a market and financial-feasibility study for the development and operation of a multi-purpose event facility in Cumberland County. The study could be paid for in part by up to a 50 percent matching grant.
Sixth District Commissioner Wendell Wilson added a friendly amendment that would accomplish two things: allow for a rural-development grant application to be processed (which would take approximately four to six weeks); and clarify what will be included in the feasibility study.
Wilson invited Brad Allamong, president and CEO of the Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, to address the necessity of the study.
Allamong said grants would be enhanced by the size of the match, adding, “The feasibility study is vital. There’s no way around that.” He also added that doing the study cuts the county’s risk with regard to undertaking the project.
Commissioner Speich moved to accept the friendly amendment; Commissioner Stone seconded; the motion passed unanimously on a roll-call vote. Then the resolution itself, as amended to allow for potentially up to 50 percent grant funding, passed unanimously on a roll-call vote.
County Official Reports
County Finance Director Nathan Brock delivered his report, beginning with a caveat that there was no sales-tax report for December available as yet. Sales-tax collections through November stand at $3,271,072.
Property tax collections are now at 23.7 percent, slightly below last year at this time.
The Hotel/Motel tax stands at $347,889, versus $354,869 this time last year.
Prisoner boarding income is largely unchanged at $141,687 .
Sales tax, through November, stands at $787,757 of a budgeted $797,000; we’re approximately $73,514 ahead of projected revenues thus far.
EMS Services collections are down approximately $161,000 for the year, based on projections; they currently stand at $362,894.
County Attorney’s Report
County Attorney Philip Burnett reported he has transcribed the statements of four parties involved in the Board of Education allegations of misconduct. The four parties include 6th District Commissioner Michael Speich and 7th District Commissioner Jerry Cooper, along with two Board of Education members, 6th District Representative Tom Netherton and 7th District Representative Rebecca Hamby. Burnett said the “decision to move forward or stop it where it’s at” should be finalized within two weeks’ time.
Standing Committee Reports
Delinquent Tax Committee: Second District Commissioner Nancy Hyder said a 15-page document of delinquent-tax properties – mostly lots in Lake Tansi and Fairfield Glade – has been assembled. Clerk & Master Sue Tollett is slated to speak at the next meeting. Lists of the delinquent tax properties are available from the county mayor’s office.
Rules Committee: Commissioner Hyder said at the next meeting, February 6, 2019 at 4 p.m., they’ll be discussing regarding recording committee meetings; they’re also going to discuss the possibility of staggering commissioners’ terms
Building & Grounds Committee: Commissioner Wilson said the committee will meet Tuesday evening; county property signage will be the primary topic of discussion.
Statutory Committee Reports
Budget Committee: Commissioner Stone reported the committee voted unanimously to authorize the Finance Committee to move forward on required post closure correction procedures at a couple of former landfill sites. The county received eight bids, the bulk of which range from $63,000 to $80,000. Funding will come from the sanitation fund and may take the form of a line-item transfer, which may be handled by the Budget Committee. If a transfer from the sanitation fund is necessary, there are adequate funds. The current projected ending fund balance is $508,011. If the bid cannot be covered by a line-item transfer, a sanitation fund balance transfer will be brought before the full commission in January. “This is not an optional expenditure, and we were behind on the correction,” Stone said, concluding, “The County needs to get this done as expeditiously as possible.”
Election of Notaries and Adjournment
Election of two new notaries and renewal of 13 current notaries passed unanimously on voice vote.
There being nothing else to come before the board, the meeting was adjourned.