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Immediately after calling the Cumberland County Commission meeting to order, County Mayor Allen Foster requested for a moment of silence for Deputy Scott Iles, flown to U.T. Medical Center for treatment of injuries after being struck by a car earlier in the afternoon.

In all, the Commission voted on ten resolutions.

The first was to approve Mayor Foster’s appointment of Brooke Shaffer to the position of Human Resources Director for Cumberland County. Shaffer is expected to begin her new duties February 13.

The Commission then approved a resolution to apply to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for Community Development Block Grants.  The County may apply for one grant per year, and cannot apply for another until any previous grants have been completed. The county is eligible for a maximum grant of $525,000 for water line extension to unserved parts of the southern part of the county – near the Bledsoe County line, in the vicinity of Old Highway 28 and East Valley Road. South Cumberland Utility District has agreed to pay for the matching funds in an amount to match the grant amount received plus an additional $350,000 needed to meet the total project cost. This project would provide safe, clean drinking water for the community. This is a resubmission, as the grant didn’t score quite high enough to be awarded by the state previously.

The Commission approved the sale of five parcels of delinquent-tax property in the county to three separate buyers.

Next they approved a resolution authorizing the receipt of proceeds from property forfeited through seizure during the investigation of criminal activity, and designating the allocation of those proceeds to the Drug Fund. It allowed the county to received forfeiture proceeds acquired and accumulated as a result of criminal offenses. This included the sale of real property sold at public auction as well as currency. The specific funds in question, acquired during the course of the drug arrest, investigation and conviction of Carl Thomas Duer, Jr. and Vicki Roesann Duer, amount to $9,028.

Because the final four resolutions were budget amendments, Foster explained, they required a roll-call vote, not simply a voice vote, as was the case with the previous resolutions. All four previously received unanimous approval from the Budget Committee.

The first of the four resolutions involved donations in the amount of $400 to the Sheriff’s Office for the annual Christmas program, to be used for drug treatment/education.

The second budget amendment was $20,000 to the County Commission. The county Clerks of Court collect fees for Recovery Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court programs. These fees are remitted to the 13th Judicial District Recovery Drug Court Program, as Cumberland County does not currently operate a drug court. This budget amendment provides for the money to be remitted to that drug court.

The third budget amendment was $138,970 to cover replacement of a totaled ambulance for the Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services. The county is being reimbursed $92,259 for the cost of the ambulance. The resolution added $46,711 to that amount, to allow for the purchase of a new ambulance using the insurance-settlement money. The ambulance was added to an existing order for this fiscal year, to help minimize costs.

The final budget amendment was for $62,873 from within the Sanitation Fund and the Sanitation Fund Balance to cover post-closure repairs and maintenance costs for defunct landfills. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation inspected Cumberland County’s closed landfills and found issues that need to be addressed.

Everyone on the Commission was present, except for Third District Commissioner Rebecca Stone.

All ten resolutions passed unanimously.


Finance Director’s Report
Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock presented financial reports for several funds at last night’s County Commission meeting.

Sales-tax collection figures as of January 21 stand at $779,663, representing a 1.45 percent increase over the budgeted amount of $768,530. For the first six months of the fiscal year, collections stand at $4,857,401 against a budgeted amount of $9,366,621.

Cumberland County EMS collections stand at $248,882 for January. Fiscal year to date, collections amount to $1,755,266 of a budgeted $4 million. This is $244,732 below the year-to-date budget projections.

Fiscal year to date property-tax collections are at 50.5%, down one percentage point from this time last year.

The Hotel/Motel tax figures show a decrease from last year, at $407,995 of a budgeted $885,000. Collections thus far stand at 46.1 percent of budgeted amounts.

Prisoner boarding income for the fiscal year, representing four months of revenue, stands at $210,795 of a budgeted $620,000, or 34 percent. That’s down somewhat from $229,671 of $525,000 budgeted for Fiscal Year 2017-18.


Attorney’s Report
Among the items Cumberland County Attorney Philip Burnett presented to the Cumberland County Commission at tonight’s meeting was a statement regarding the Spirit Broadband settlement.

He said in his opinion, Spirit Broadband never intended to fulfill its financial obligations laid out in the recent settlement with Cumberland County. The company entered into an agreement with the county last May, and all of Spirit Broadband’s bank accounts in town were closed approximately two weeks later.

Burnett said a closed session to discuss the matter would be appropriate.

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