John Kinnunen was sworn in to his new position as the new 9th District Commissioner during a ceremony before the August meeting of the Board of Commissioners. All Commissioners were present for the meeting. After approval of the minutes, the issue of the BigSouthForkVisitorsCenter was brought up again. The previous bids for construction were rejected because the contractor did not complete bid forms, causing the bids to fall outside state and federal guidelines. This means that an environmental study must be done and ads taken to rebid the project in order to move forward. Those voting in favor of funding up to $5,000 towards rebidding were Brian Houston, Nancy Hyder, Robert Safdie, Joe Koester, Jan McNeil, Roy Turner, Jeff Brown, Sonya Rimmer and me. Voting against were Harry Sabine, David Hassler, Johnny Presley, Charles Seiber, Terry Carter, Larry Allen, Mike Harvel, John Kinnunen, and Carmin Lynch. This vote resulted in a tie. Mayor Carey, Chairman of the Commission, then cast his tie breaking vote in favor of the motion. He stated that while there was not really a clear direction from the public on which way to go, he was voting yes to see if we can get bids on the facility.
The Standing and Statutory Committee member terms were extended by resolution until the September meeting of the Board. The committees were set to expire at the end of August so this will allow them to continue functioning until new members are appointed at that meeting. The resolution passed 17-1 with Commissioner Lynch voting no.
Jack Davis and Randal R. Boston were reappointed to the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission. Their terms will expire August 31, 2016. The donation of a school bus that can no longer legally be used by the school system was unanimously approved to be donated to the CumberlandCountyYouthCenter. A budget resolution for $22,500 to allow the Sanitation Department to purchase a mini excavator was approved unanimously (with Commissioner Harvel abstaining as he works for the department) as was a budget resolution to accept a $25,000 grant to the school system for computers at the PhoenixHigh School.
The final resolution passed was for $100,000 for a single site, paging only, wide band system for the Cumberland County Fire Department to be implemented to meet FCC mandates by January 1, 2013. You may recall this item being discussed during budget hearings and at a work session in recent weeks.
Commissioner Harry Sabine mentioned that Tonya Hinch was recognized in the UT alumnus magazine as being an outstanding UT alumnus working to revitalize her hometown. She was recognized for her hard work and dedication toward making Crossville a better place to live.
The financial report gave encouraging news for the County budget showing property taxes collected at 101.3% of budgeted projections and the Hotel/Motel collections at 120% of budgeted projections. Ambulance Service collections are still suffering from slow Medicare reimbursement and are down approximately $320,000. This money is expected to be recovered over the next few months. Contracted prison revenue is up over projections as are sales tax collections.
Also of note, the county budget is posted on my website, http://allenfoster.net, on the Documents of Interest page.
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