On Thursday, April 14, 2011, CumberlandCounty received $4,495,730 in Federal funds for the construction of a new, badly needed, Health Department. The funds represent 87 percent of the total cost of the new facility. Many people have been involved in this project over the last few years. I want to thank former County Mayor Brock Hill for his efforts in getting the grant process going while he was still in office. I am proud to serve a small role with the CountyCommission in the final steps of this project, but without the vision of Brock and others too numerous to mention, it wouldn’t be possible.
The April 18th, 2011 meeting of the full Cumberland County Board of Commissioners was notable due to the unanimous voting on all items on the agenda, less a few abstentions. All commissioners were in attendance except Second District Commissioner Robert Safdie. He was unable to attend due to observance of Passover.
The CountyCommission voted to fund the purchase of land for the new Health Department in the amount of $475,000. This amount along with grants should represent the total investment of the County towards the new Health Department. As you may recall, the new facility will be constructed on Highway 127 South across from the Dollar General Store and next to Physician’s Associates.
State law sets the minimum salaries for most of the elected officials in the various counties across the state. The salaries are based on population of the county. The recently completed U.S. Census indicated that CumberlandCounty has a population of 56,053 which moves us over the 50,000 threshold and into a new salary bracket for county officials as mandated by the State of Tennessee. As elected officials in CumberlandCounty make the state minimum, this increase in population caused a mandated pay increase that must be back dated to April 2010. CountyCommissioners, by previous resolution, make five percent of the CountyMayor’s salary. The following are the approved increases in expenditures for the salary increases:
- CountyCommission, $11,031.75; social security, $843.93; state retirement, $982.93. This represents the total for all commissioners, not an individual amount.
- CountyMayor, $7,950; social security, $608.18; state retirement, $708.35
- Elections Administrator; $6,145; social security, $470.10; state retirement, $547.52
- Register of Deeds, $6,883.75; social security, 526.61; state retirement, $613.35
- Finance Director, $6,883.75; social security, 526.61; state retirement, $613.35
- Property Assessor, $6,883.75; social security, 526.61; state retirement, $613.35
- CountyTrustee, $6,883.75; social security, 526.61; state retirement, $613.35
- CountyClerk, $6,883.75; social security, 526.61; state retirement, $613.35
- Circuit Court Clerk, $6,883.75; social security, 526.61; state retirement, $613.35
- Clerk and Master, $6,883.75; social security, 526.61; state retirement, $613.35
- Sheriff, $7,571.25, social security, $579.20 ; state retirement, $674.60
- Highway Superintendent, $7,571.25. social security, $579.20 ; state retirement, $674.60
Capital outlay notes were authorized in an amount not to exceed $1,830,095 for the closure of the county landfill. A 1.5 cent property tax increase was approved by the previous sitting Commission for this purpose.
A resolution was passed accepting $496,998 from a grant for the Railroad Authority. This money is for the maintenance and rehabilitation of rail track. A resolution was also passed accepting $10,100 in funding for increased home based health care visits by the Health Department. The Highway department disposed of surplus scrap metal for $3,994. A resolution was passed to increase the revenue to the Highway Department budget. The Sheriff Department budget was adjusted to add $17,224 into juvenile services and decrease jail expenditures by the same amount.
Resolutions were also passed to appoint T.J. Bowlin as a Judicial Commissioner for a four year term beginning April 18, 2011. The Cumberland County Beer Board size was increased by two with Johnny Presley and Jan McNeil appointed to fill those new vacancies. A resolution to create a Debt Management Committee was approved as well.
If the Tennessee General Assembly concurs, the Private Act of 1979, Chapter 145 that set the Hotel/Motel Tax rate in CumberlandCounty will be revised raising the rate from 5 percent to 7.5 percent. The Commission passed the resolution unanimously, and now the lawmakers in Nashville must pass it as well.
Official email addresses will be provided to elected officials for conducting county business. This email address will be used to conduct governmental communications and will be public record. I will still be using my firstname.lastname@example.org email address for communication constituents.
A contract with AARF (All About Rescue and Fixin’) was approved, allowing fundraising for an AnimalAdoptionCenter to begin. If all goes well, AARF will raise funds to build a 1,500 square foot center on County property by the current animal shelter. After construction, the building would become County property and operations would be paid for by AARF. AARF would then aid in the adoption of animals from the shelter, as well as provide vaccinations and medicines while having the animals spay or neutered before adoption.
I am honored to serve the 4th District and CumberlandCounty. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. You can get meeting information, contact information, voting sheets, various documents of interest, and much more at my website, http://allenfoster.net. As I have said in the past, all relationships are two way streets and the one between you and your elected officials is no different. Help me to maintain two way communication so I can stay informed. Let me know your thoughts and opinions.