CC Notes – August 6th and August 19th 2013
August 6th Special Called Meeting
After many months of work by the Budget Committee and Finance Department beginning back in April of this year, the 2013 – 2014 Cumberland County budget was passed at a special called meeting on August 6th. The total budget for this fiscal year is $89.7 million, with 61 percent allocated to the school system. The county general fund accounts for 25 percent of the total and the Highway and Solid Waste departments are three percent each. The total property tax rate, which was unchanged, is $1.4975. This is budgeted to generate approximately $19.9 million in net revenue for the county with an additional $10.2 million coming in from sales tax. Ninety four percent of all sales tax revenue to the county is allocated to the school for operating expenses and school debt services. The following is a breakdown of the property tax allocation.
When the state calculated Cumberland County’s ability to pay, approximately $590,000 in additional funding was required to be given to the school system. The Budget Committee, of which I am a member, was determined to create a budget with no tax increase, so to make up for the additional revenue for the schools, pennies were reallocated from the other funds. While going over the Solid Waste fund, I mentioned that it seemed the department was being over funded by at least $0.02 annually. While there was some disagreement, in the end the final budget moved that $0.02 from Solid Waste to the Schools budget. Additionally, $0.015 was moved from the General Fund in to the Schools budget for a total addition of 3.5 cents of property tax to the Schools budget. This money along with an estimated increase in sales tax revenue should fully fund the $590,000 increase.
The capital needs of the County were also addressed in this budget with $943,000 set aside for many necessary items. A new fire truck, fire station expansion, sheriff’s vehicles, ambulances and improvements to the communication system were among the items that were funded.
One full time staff person was funded at the jail, a few salary adjustments were made, county employees received a step increase from the pay scale, and a new county minimum wage was set at $7.75 per hour. A First Responder program was funded for the County, and $100,000 in additional funding was allocated to the Highway Department for tar and chipping.
On the county side of the budget, excluding the school budget, revenues are estimated at $20,768,995 against expenses of $22,117,920. This leaves a budget shortfall of $1,348,925. This will be covered by the fund balance from the General Fund and is a reasonable amount when compared to the capital expenses. This will leave a projected fund balance of just over $4,000,000 at the end of fiscal year 2013 – 2014. In other words, the county is not, at this time, out spending revenues to any significant extent. The final vote of approval was 13 – 3, with Johnny Presley, David Hassler, and Sonya Rimmer voting against. Brian Houston and Charles Seiber did not attend the meeting.
I want to thank Finance Director Nathan Brock and the Finance Department for providing the numbers used in my report.
August 19th Regular Monthly Meeting
All members were present for the August regular monthly meeting of the Board of Commissioners except for Brian Houston. Logan Adams, along with three other team members, did an outstanding job of detailing the 9th Annual Cumberland County Junior Livestock Market Sale. It is sponsored by the Cumberland County Fair and set to be held on Saturday, August 31 at 6:00 PM. Bidder registration is from 5-6 PM. Come out and support these students by purchasing top quality cattle, sheep, goats and hogs for your freezer. All of the animals have been cared for by the students.
The Big South Fork Visitors Center was again up for discussion this month. The Board of Commissioners voted 16 – 1 to change the name of the visitor’s center to: The Crossville Cumberland County Visitors Center: Gateway to the Big South Fork. Commissioner Harry Sabine voted against the resolution. The Commission also passed a resolution to attain the required bond for the new Cumberland County Director of Schools, Donald Andrews.
A resolution to accept the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant and authorize the County Mayor to execute grant documents was passed. This money is to be used at the Community Complex for improvements including drop ceilings, HVAC controls and other items to reduce the operating costs of the facilities. An amended contract between the State of Tennessee Department of Health, and Cumberland County was approved as well. A resolution was passed to affirm and support “It Can Wait National Day of Action” and the nationwide no-texting-while-driving movement. Many of us have probably texted while driving, but it is important that we all make the conscious effort to wait and be safe.
The following resolutions were passed approving appointments to various boards:
- Appointing Trey Kerley and Dr. Tersa Lively as members to the Cumberland County “E-911” Emergency Communications District Board of Directors for four (4) year terms to expire August 31, 2017
- Reappointing Martha Kemmer Hale and Stanley Hall as members to the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission for four (4) year terms to expire August 31, 2017
- Appointing Commissioners Harry Sabine, Jan McNeil, and Sonya Rimmer to the Audit Committee for terms to expire August 15, 2014 and appoint Dennis Hinch and Glenn Harper to the Audit Committee for terms to expire August 15, 2015
- Reappointing Joyce Rorabaugh as Cumberland County Archivist for a term to expire September 18, 2014
A resolution was passed setting the speed limit on the county portion of Deer Creek Drive listed on the Official Road List of Cumberland County, Tennessee. Mike Stubbs, representing the Deer Creek Homeowners Association, approached me with this issue a few months ago. He presented me with a petition signed by many homeowners in the Deer Creek community. To protect residents of the area, a reduction in the speed limit was requested. This request was recently approved by the Environmental Committee after working with the Highway Superintendent, Scott Blaylock. The full Commission approved the resolution and the speed limit was set to 25 MPH. I made the motion to approve the change and Nancy Hyder seconded the motion. The motion passed in a 13 – 4 vote with Commissioners Larry Allen, Mike Harvel, Roy Turner, and John Kinnunen voting against.
A resolution was also approved authorizing the issuance of an interfund loan capital outlay note not to exceed $600,000. This is basically an accounting maneuver made to make the funds to be used for the Crossville Cumberland County Visitors Center easier to track. This passed unanimously. And finally, a resolution to approve an agreement for improvements on Cumberland County Property between the City of Crossville and Cumberland County was passed in a 13 – 4 vote. This resolution concerned the downtown work to be completed during the upgrades to utilities by the City. Commissioners Sabine, Presley, Turner, and Rimmer voted against the resolution.
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Board of Commissioners
4th District Representative