CC Notes – April 20th 2015
All members were present for the April 2015 meeting of the full Cumberland County Commission except Tim Claflin and Rebecca Stone. During the Special Recognitions portion of the meeting, the Mayor presented plaques with certificates of appreciation to VEC, the Fairfield Glade Fire Department, Fairfield Glade Public Safety, Tansi Security, E911 Dispatch, the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency, EMS, the Sheriff’s Department, the Rescue Squad, and the Cumberland County Fire Department. All of these agencies worked tirelessly during the recent ice storm to ensure the health and safety of those in Cumberland County. The Cumberland County Highway Department was not mentioned during the presentation, but at the end of the meeting I recognized Road Superintendent Scott Blaylock and his entire department for all they did in getting our roads cleared and passable. Many across the county, too numerous to mention, came together during a difficult time. As I have said previously, my family and I believe there is no better place to live than right here in Cumberland County. The response to the recent ice and snow storms has once again proven this true.
The first resolution of the evening concerned the possibility of moving building code inspections in house. Currently, the City of Crossville’s codes department handles all inspections for our county. Recent discussions with the City have led the County to consider performing these inspections. The belief is that the county can better control what is being inspected while keeping costs reasonable. I voted against the motion when it was brought to the Environmental Services Committee as there were no details related to how the transition would occur, and no budget had been presented. This information was needed to determine if taking over the inspections is a viable option. Commissioners were given a proposed budget outline for the department in our meeting materials. The budget for year one is not to exceed $115,000, including start up costs. If this estimate holds, and I believe it should, it demonstrates that the department can be adequately funded on inspection fees alone. A proposed transition with the City was also discussed in which the current agreement with the City would continue until October 1, 2015 (if agreeable by the City). The resolution passed in a 12-3-1 vote. Commissioners Jeff Dyer, Sonya Rimmer, and Roy Turner voted against the motion, and Commissioner Terry Carter passed.
Karen Cole, Bobby Randolph, and Joe Salvatto were unanimously appointed as members of the Industrial Development Corporation Board of Cumberland County-Crossville for six year terms that expire April 30, 2021. A new Investment Policy Statement was unanimously approved. Cumberland County Trustee, Kim Wyatt, presented the Investment Committee with a new policy statement that will allow the County Trustee to invest money in financial tools other than CDs in order to get a higher return. The Investment Committee approved the policy on March 25, 2015, and it has been reviewed by the County Attorney. Securities approved for purchase include debt obligations of the U.S. Treasury, government agency notes and bonds including floating-rate securities, U.S. Agency mortgage-backed securities, government money market funds, and any fixed-income securities guaranteed by the U.S. Government or any U.S. Government Agency.
Unanimous approval was granted for several budget amendments. The School Nutrition budget moved $19,750 between various line items to help with unemployment compensation, equipment and machine parts, and tools for repair to refrigeration equipment. The School’s CTE department requested the transfer of $57,000 to budget travel for State and National competitions and meetings. The BOE has determined this to be a budget need, and the resolution was passed with all in agreement and Commissioner Elbert Farley passing. Commissioner Hyder noted her conflict of interest as she works for the department.
The weather this winter has caused overtime in many departments throughout the county. The Emergency Management operations requested $3,000 to be moved from part-time personnel to overtime pay to help offset some of the expense. The motion passed 16-0. The Sheriff’s Department was permitted to move $3,481 from the SRO Vehicle line to the Vehicle Maintenance line and to move $14,625 from Jail Food Supplies to Vehicle Maintenance & Repairs. The Sheriff’s Department also requested to move $8,000 from Part-time Personnel to the Transport line. All three of the budget amendments for the Sheriff’s department passed 16-0, with Commissioner David Gibson noting his conflict of interest as he works for the Sheriff’s Department. The animal shelter was granted unanimous approval to accept $3,852 in donations.
The current Cumberland County Medical Examiner has resigned effective April 30, 2015. A resolution was unanimously approved appointing James Wojcik, M.D., to the position.
Sales tax collections for March were very strong, coming in $48,325 higher than projections at $559,257. To date, we are $110,996 ahead of budget projections in this income category. Property tax collections continue to be strong coming in at 98.4 percent of budget. This time last year, collections were at 99.1 percent. Hotel/Motel tax collections for the year are $474,015.89 compared to $465,102 at this point last year. That is 64.5% of the $734,738 annual budget. February Ambulance receipts were $171,954 for a year to date total of $1,865,548. The annual budgeted amount is $3,000,000 this year, so this represents a total of 62.2 percent collected. Prisoner boarding collections are at 45.3 percent of the $1,224,885 annual budget. To date we have collected $554,445. At this point last year we had collected $712,361. The reasons for the decrease in collections have been noted in prior editions of this newsletter that can be found on my website, http://allenfoster.net.
I want to take a minute to note the current GoFundMe campaign that was started for local meteorologist, Steve Norris. For as long as I can remember, Steve has been the voice of the weather here in Cumberland County. Although Steve was born with MD, he has never let it stop him from working or pursuing his life goals. He currently finds himself in need of a mobility van. We can make this happen. To find out more about the campaign and to contribute, follow this link: http://www.gofundme.com/s2c57fk.
Thank you for allowing me to serve the 4th District and Cumberland County. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at any time.
Board of Commissioners
4th District Representative