CC Notes – September 18th 2017
All Commissioners except Terry Carter attended the regular monthly meeting of the County Commission for September. The night’s agenda began with unfinished business from the previous monthly meeting.
You may recall the resolution last month to adopt a speed limit of 35mph on Sawmill Road. When the resolution was brought up, I pointed out that speed limit changes are normally sent through the Environmental Committee, and only approved by the committee after the Sheriff, Superintendent of Roads, and large a majority of residents request and approve of the change. I felt it was important to use the committee structure of the Commission due to the controversial nature of speed limit changes. Going through Committee allows time for the public to have input on an issue before it is taken up by the full body, so during last month’s meeting I made a motion to table the resolution until the Environmental Committee could hear the issue. The motion to table passed, and the issue went before the Environmental Committee last week. Having met all criteria for a speed limit change, the committee voted to recommend the change to the full Commission. The speed limit resolution was passed by the full Commission in a 15-1-1 vote with Sonya Rimmer passing and Woody Geisler voting no.
September is the time for the annual elections of commission leaders for the year. Mayor Carey was elected Chairman, I was elected Chairman Pro-Tem, and Nancy Hyder was elected Parliamentarian. All votes were unanimous with Commissioner Hyder and me passing on our respective votes.
Tim Claflin, Rick Williams, Josh Stone, Jill Davis, and Valerie Cox were appointed to the Ethics Committee for one year terms. Joyce Rorabaugh was re-appointed as the County Archivist for a year term as well. Both appointments were approved 16-0-1 with Commissioner Claflin passing.
A resolution was approved accepting donations to the BOE General Purpose Fund in the amount of $4,000 for school supplies. A second donation for $11,962 was accepted from the Cumberland County Community Band STARTS and Fairfield Glade Ladies Club for the schools’ visual art, library and Shoe Funds. The BOE was also granted approval to move $364,320 from Debt Service – Operation of Plant, to Principal on Debt – Debt Service and Interest on Debt – Debt Service. This was purely an accounting/housekeeping move for clarity as recommended by the State of Tennessee Comptroller’s office. Both resolutions were approved unanimously.
The Art Circle Public Library received a grant from the State Department of Library and Archives for computer technology. The grant was partially funded by the state with the remainder in required local matching funds. The Art Circle Public Library Foundation agreed to donate the local match. A resolution was approved 17-0 for $7,378 to make this possible.
The Sheriff’s Department requested a budget amendment to purchase a vehicle for use in drug control and eradication. A used vehicle was identified for purchase by the Sheriff’s Department, and a resolution was unanimously approved allowing the Sheriff to use $10,000 from the Drug Enforcement Unassigned Fund Balance to make the purchase.
Currently, the land the Homestead Convenience Center is located on at Highway 127 South is leased for $5,800 per year. The county has leased this 1.6 acre property for around three decades and has made many improvements to the area including recent paving. The owner recently agreed to sell the property for $39,500. A resolution was presented to purchase this property. The resolution was tabled until next month to allow more time for surveys and other documentation.
BOE local option sales tax collections were well below projections for the first month of the new fiscal year. The projected budgeted amount was $858,054 for the month but only $801,418 was collected for -$56,636 compared to budget. Property tax collections have yet to be reported. Hotel/Motel tax collections are off to a great start at $107,414 collected for the first month compared to estimated annual revenues of $810,000. Prisoner Boarding collections were $58,578 against a $525,000 annual budget. EMS collections are $596,165 compared to an annual budget of $3,900,000. I would like to have more information based on historical monthly collections for the EMS, to see if this is normal, but with the past billing issues in the department historic data isn’t relevant at this point. Our fuel report shows that the weighted average fuel cost is $1.718 for diesel and $1.683 for gas. Our budget is based off of an estimated $2.00 per gallon for both gas and diesel. The county’s cost for fuel is lower than the public’s as the county doesn’t pay the fuel tax. With recent price increases due to the hurricanes, this is something watched carefully as fuel costs impact budget outcomes.
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