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It was largely business as usual at the Cumberland County Commission monthly meeting Monday evening.

The commission unanimously passed all 19 resolutions brought before it, with only brief discussion on a few items.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-1 – amending Resolution #1205-6, clarifying the definition of “structure” as it relates to regulatory standard for the county Health and Safety Standards Board in addressing vacant, dilapidated structures. County Attorney Philip Burnett clarified these would include site-built buildings as well as manufactured homes, modular homes and mobile homes or trailers on permanent foundations.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-2 – amending Resolution #1205-6, giving the Hearing Board the authority to regulate accumulation of debris, trash, litter and garbage.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-3 – to create a procedures manual for citizens of Cumberland County. This requires each Commission Committee to establish or update rules and/or procedures for its respective functions at least annually. The manual would be kept in the mayor’s office and available online on the county website.

Such a manual would “help citizens become more aware of how to approach the County Commission,” said Third District Commissioner Rebecca Stone, who added, “We want to be approachable, but it retains the flexibility of the committees to change rules as necessary.”

RESOLUTION 05-2019-4 – adoption of a new lease agreement between the county and the Cumberland County Fair Association for use of the Cumberland County Community Complex through December 7, 2022.

The resolution as adopted strikes the section regarding severe adverse weather, which, according to Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster, makes the contract easier to implement.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-5 – authorizing the mayor to contract with TDOT to proceed with a construction project on a section of U.S. Highway 127 North from near Potato Farm Road to near Hollow Lane.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-6 – designating the Bluebird as the Official Bird of Cumberland County.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-7 – reappointing Herbert L. Blevins and Danny Cantwell as judicial commissioners for additional two-year terms. The initial resolution wording had been for a term not to exceed four years, but Commissioner Stone inquired about the possibility of an abbreviated term, and asked about the difficulty of removing a commissioner, if necessary. Attorney Burnett replied that the only way to remove a judicial commissioner is through an ouster. He recommended the wording be revised from “not to exceed a four-year term” to “for a two-year term.” A motion to add a friendly amendment to that effect was passed.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-8 – to reappoint Tom Isham, and to appoint Joe Koester and Craig Clark, as member of the Cumberland County Health and Safety Standards Board for four-year-terms expiring May 15, 2023.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-9 – to appoint Kathy Ivey to the Cumberland County Library Board for a three-year term ending June 30, 2022; to reappoint R. Doug Scarlett to the Cumberland County Library Board for a three-year term ending June 30, 2022; and reappointing J.D. Atkinson to the Falling Water River Regional Library Board for a term ending June 30, 2022.

RESOLUTIONS 05-2019-10 and 05-2019-11 – to accept offers to purchase property owned by Cumberland County to return parcels to the tax rolls after their removal for several  years of nonpayment of property tax.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-12 – to accept $135 in donated funds for the Cumberland County Fire Department.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-13 – to add $876 to the County Mayor line item in the General Fund to reclassify the County Mayor’s Office Manager due to changes in responsibilities that include grant coordination, marketing and public-relations responsibilities.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-14 – to accept $1,837 in grant funds for the Election Commission.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-15 – to increase the County Building line item in the General Fund by $2,300 for an accessible door on the small stone building in front of the courthouse. This would permit Steve Norris to continue using the building as an office.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-16 – to allocate $4,000 to the County Commission line item of the General Fund for Wi-Fi access hardware for the courthouse.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-17 – to add $12,000 to the Sheriff/Jail line item in the General Fund to permit the sheriff to spend funds earned by the inmate litter-removal program. The funds will be used to construct an outbuilding at the Justice Center.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-18 – to allocate $5,000 for review of the compensation plan for county employees in the next fiscal year.

RESOLUTION 05-2019-19 – to accept a $125,000 Additional Targeted Support and Improvement grant for the General Purpose School Fund.

Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock presented his monthly financial report.

EMS collections were over budget, at $588,364; and the backlog of EMS billing has been caught up and year-to-date EMS collections exceeded budgeted projections by $107,737.

Sales-tax collections for April were $690,817, which is $24,070 over budget. Total collections for the fiscal year stand at $7,167,419 through April, which represents nearly $209,000 more than budgeted projections. Brock attributed this to the strong economy within Cumberland County.

Hotel/Motel-tax collections are lagging behind last year, at $586,351, as compared to $603,406 for last year at this time. Annual collections stand at 66.3 percent, compared with 74.5 percent last year.

Property-tax collections are at 100.5 percent, as compared with 98.3 percent this time last year.

Income for prisoner boarding, which is received sporadically from the state, stands at $478,101 over eight months. This represents 77.1 percent of an approximately $620,000 budget.

However, prisoner medicals costs still pose a concern. Costs outside the third-party contact for services are budgeted at $85,000 for the fiscal year. Current costs exceed that budget by $41,333.73 – with $17,748 in outstanding bills still to be reconciled. This overage will be addressed at the end of the fiscal year with the standard cleanup resolution.

County Attorney Burnett reported the Blackwood unlawful termination case is going to mediation and it should be resolved within 60 days. As for the EEOC/Harvel case, conciliation failed; the case is being moved to the Department of Justice and there is a good possibility of mediation with the DOJ attorneys.


There were two announcements prior to adjournment:

  • The CCHS soccer team is going to the state tournament for the first time.
  • Eighth District Commissioners Deborah Holbrook and Jim Blalock will be conducting a District Eight Town Hall June 15, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Heritage Hall on the Uplands Village campus.
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