County Mayor’s Notes – January 19th, 2021

Todays COVID-19 update follows the meeting details from tonight’s County Commission meeting.

Cumberland County Commission Update
The January meeting of the Cumberland County Commission was held tonight with all Commissioners present.  The meeting was held electronically with the audio livestreamed on Facebook.  If you missed it and want to listen, please check out the Listen/Watch page on the county website at https://cumberlandcountytn.gov/listen/.

The first vote of the evening was on a motion to make a determination on the record that meeting electronically is necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare in light of the coronavirus pandemic and that this motion and vote be included in the minutes of this meeting.  The motion passed unanimously.

Resolutions
The following resolutions were on the agenda (resolution sponsor in parenthesis):

RESOLUTION 01-2021-1 – TO ACCEPT THE 2021 VERSION OF THE CUMBERLAND COUNTY ROAD LIST (GIBSON).  The 2021 county road list consists of 1,752 roads that total 1,022.2 miles.  The length of Cold Springs Road was changed to 2.7 miles as per Resolution 08-2020-6.  There were no roads added or removed from the list, and there no road name changes.  The resolution was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-2 – TO APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE ADULT-ORIENTED ESTABLISHMENT BOARD (FOSTER).  Sandy Brewer, Kevin Poor, and Wanda Reid were appointed to four year terms in an 18-0 vote.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-3 – TO APPOINT A MEMBER TO THE ETHICS COMMITTEE (FOSTER).  An opening on the Ethics Committee was filled by Travis Cole, the new EMA Director, in a unanimous vote.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-4 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, SOLID WASTE/SANITATION FUND, RECYCLING $1,750.00 (HOLBROOK).  This resolution, approved 18-0, accepted a grant for promoting recycling.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-5 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, DRUG CONTROL FUND, SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, DRUG ENFORCEMENT $58,945.00 (SHERRILL).  This resolution approved the recordkeeping for the acceptance of funds from the last gun show auction.  The resolution was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-6 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, CAPITAL PROJECT FUNDS
EDUCATION CAPITAL PROJECTS   $69,681.12
GENERAL CAPITAL PROJECTS        $46,241.43
DEBT SERVICE FUND                        $115,922.55 (NORRIS)

This resolution transferred unspent proceeds from capital projects to the Debt Service Fund as per TCA requirements.  It was approved 18-0.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-7 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, ARCHIVES FACILITY, GENERAL CAPITAL PROJECTS FUND $1,600,300.00 (MALL).  This construction/renovation project has been worked on for a few years by prior and current commissions and has been approved in multiple committee meetings.  Funding for the project comes from fees paid for various clerical transactions that are specifically allocated to the Archives Facility.  The budget amendment was approved 16-2 with Commissioners Cooper and Seiber voting against.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-8 – AUTHORIZING ISSUANCE OF INTEREST BEARING GENERAL OBLIGATION CAPITAL OUTLAY NOTES.  This resolution, passed 18-0, authorized the debt note for the Archives Facility that was approved in the prior resolution.  The county is essentially borrowing the money from the county Debt Service Fund Balance instead of from a third party.  The fees that were mentioned will be used to pay back the funds used.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-9 – AIA DOCUMENT B101-2017 – AGREEMENT BETWEEN CUMBERLAND COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND UPLAND DESIGN GROUP, INC.  This resolution concerned the contract for hiring Upland Design Group to handle the work on the Archives Facility and was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 01-2021-10 – RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE STORMING OF THE NATION’S CAPITOL (HOLBROOK, LOWE & HYDER).  An amendment of the original resolution was submitted by Commissioner Rebecca Stone.  After much discussion, a motion to remove the resolution from the agenda was made by Stone and seconded by Mall.  The motion was approved 17-1 with Commissioner Holbrook voting against.

FINANCIAL REPORT
EMS collections for the month were $363,063 which is $29,730 over the monthly budgeted number of $333,333.  Year to date we are $421,019 ahead of projections. 

Sales tax collections for the General Purpose School Fund came in at $983,974 which is $90,351 above projections.  Year to date we have collected $4,850,352 and are $425,385 above budget.  You may recall that the County Commission decided to have a third party conduct a revenue audit (Resolution 12-2020-7 above).  The increase in sales tax revenues is due in part to that audit.  We will know more soon and adjustments may be made.

Property tax collections year to date are 54.0% of budget compared to 51.0% at this point last year.

Cumulative Hotel/Motel taxes are $289,617 which is 43.35% of the budget.  The budgeted amount was revised down for this year to $668,166 from $817,283.  Last year, with the larger budgeted amount, we had collected $391,209, or 47.9% of budget, at this point.

Cumulative Prisoner Boarding collections are $132,327, or 21.97%, of the $602,396 annual budget.  Last year we were at $292,071, 39.3%, of an annual budget of $743,000.

COVID-19 Health Department Testing Information – NEW TIMES
There will be no testing or vaccinations at the Health Department on Monday, January 18, 2021 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.  The local Health Department does not have first doses to administer on Monday. The State closed all state ran health departments, which includes Cumberland County, that do not have vaccine on Monday.

COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered at the Cumberland County Community Complex (1398 Livingston Road, Crossville, TN 38571) Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm.  (This is a change from the regular 8:00 am start time, due to increasingly colder temperatures)

Self-testing for individuals over age 18 will continue to be offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Smartphone with internet and email are required for everyone.

CCHD will continue to provide COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the assistance of health department staff.

COVID-19 Update (difference from previous day)
According to the Governor’s Office, most new COVID-19 cases are coming from small group gatherings like weddings, showers, family events, etc.  To reduce the spread, I am asking everyone to take extra care and to follow the basic rules/guidelines that are in place. 

  • If you feel sick, get tested.
  • STAY HOME after being tested until you get your result.
  • Wear a mask when appropriate.  It is not a political statement; it is about everyone’s health.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Follow the guidelines provided by Governor Lee and the CDC. 
  • Be smart and avoid places you feel are unsafe.

The following are the numbers from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) for Cumberland County as of the date of this newsletter. The change from the prior day, not my prior newsletter, is in parenthesis.

548 active cases (-81)
4,800 inactive/recovered (+101)
73 deaths officially reported (+1)
5,421 positive cases (+21)
111 cumulative hospitalizations (+1) *
42,679 negative tests (+31)
16.97% positivity rate – 7-day average
88.54% Inactive/Recovered
11.27% cumulative positivity rate (positive cases / positive cases + negative tests)
8.96% of residents have tested positive
0.91% of residents have active cases

These numbers are intended to be a brief summary of the information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH). More detailed information can be found at the online dashboard: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html

* Hospitalization data reflect the cumulative (total) number of cases of Cumberland County residents that were ever hospitalized AT ANY HOSPITAL from COVID-19. It does not reflect the number of people currently hospitalized.

Positivity rates are calculated by dividing positive tests by total tests.  I was calculating it by dividing positive cases by positive tests plus negative tests in order to eliminate the double positives, but we are having so many probable cases of late it was throwing the rate off.

A new dashboard has been released for each county.  You can now view the Cumberland County COVID-19 dashboard here:
https://covid19.tn.gov/data/dashboards/?County=Cumberland

School level COVID-19 data is now available online.  Click this link to see the information available for Cumberland County:
https://districtinformation.tnedu.gov/covid-information/search/-1/180

Vaccination Information
The State of Tennessee health departments, including the one here in Cumberland County, are now allowing eligible individuals to register online for an appointment WAITING LIST for COVID-19 vaccinations.  This is a process to get on a waiting list for an appointment, not an actual appointment.

There are three-steps in the process:

  1. Find Your Phase by clicking:
    https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/eligibility/
  2. Find the Cumberland County Phase by clicking:
    https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/vaccine-phases/
  3. If you are in a phase currently being vaccinated here in Cumberland County, register for the vaccination appointment WAITING LIST by clicking here:
    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/cumberlandpriority

The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use require two doses for the best protection against the virus. Those that received the first dose but did not receive an appointment for the second dose will be contacted by the Health Department.  These appointments will be made as doses are shipped, so the call may only come one or two days in advance.

The COVID-19 vaccine supply is still limited, and Tennessee counties may progress through COVID-19 vaccination phases at different times depending on supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and the number of individuals in each phase.  The Health Department will announce additional opportunities for residents to receive vaccinations as vaccine supplies become available, and as the county moves to new phases of the vaccination plan.

Those with general questions about COVID-19 may call the COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945 or 833-556-2476 between 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

You can now contact the Cumberland County Health Department at (931) 484-6196 to schedule an appointment for a FIRST DOSE vaccination until the current supply is depleted.  You may have to try several times to get through as call volume is at historic levels due to the worldwide pandemic.

VACCINATIONS WILL BE PROVIDED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

DO NOT ARRIVE MORE THAN 15 MINUTES EARLY FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT.  You will be turned away.
 
The Cumberland County Health Department is currently administering vaccines to individuals in groups 1a1, 1a2, and persons age 75 and older.

Health Department Information Line
The Cumberland County Health Department (CCHD) has opened a local information line at (931) 707-9007.  The information line will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.

COVID-19 Information and Vaccine Key Links

Thank you for being part of the solution and thank you for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor.  If you are interested in hearing my thoughts and views on news, events, and activities in Cumberland County, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you,

Allen Foster
Cumberland County Mayor
http://allenfoster.net

Published by allenfoster

Cumberland County Mayor

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