CC Notes – January 21st 2014
Emergency Services Meeting
Prior to the regular monthly meeting of the full County Commission, the Emergency Services committee met for the normal monthly meeting. The topic of interest continues to be the P25 radio system used by our emergency services workers. Several of Cumberland County’s officers from the Sheriff’s Department were at the meeting to discuss the issues they are having with their radios. There have been many problems with this radio system for several years dating back to my days on the Board of Education. The system has simply never properly functioned. Last month, the Emergency Services committee tasked the County Attorney with beginning the process of possible legal action against the supplier of the radios. Other issues are also being investigated and the Budget Committee has allocated funds to help alleviate this situation in the current year’s budget.
The radio of an officer, or any emergency responder, is their lifeline. Our emergency personnel potentially put their lives on the line each time they answer a call. The least we can do is provide them with the tools they need to perform their duties in as safe and effective a manner as possible. As the County Commission is not an administrative arm of government, the Emergency Services Committee asked the Mayor to take the lead in finding a company that can work with our county employees to resolve this issue. This is an issue that must have a high priority with the County.
Regular Monthly Meeting
The first meeting of the Cumberland County Commission of 2014 was held on January 21 with 15 of the 18 members present. Caroline Knight, Joe Koester, and Jan McNeil were unable to attend.
Mr. Holland Taber was a lifelong resident here in Cumberland County. He was a blacksmith with a shop directly behind the courthouse. Back in 1968, after repairing a piece of equipment for the wife of County Judge J.T. Horn, he jokingly told her, “You tell your husband if he can’t accomplish a little job like getting a clock fixed, he ought to give up office.” Shortly thereafter Judge Horn gave Mr. Taber the task of repairing the Courthouse Clock. Mr. Taber successfully repaired the clock after many hours of work and using handcrafted parts he made himself. The total cost to the county was $129. In July of 1968, Judge Horn presented Mr. Taber with the title of “Custodian of the Clock.” Mr. Taber passed away on January 4, 1995 and since then the clock has worked off and on. The County Commission unanimously voted to dedicate the Cumberland County Courthouse clock to Holland Taber. Representatives from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology here in Crossville were in attendance at the meeting and were given new title of “Custodian of the Clock.” Due to their efforts, the clock is once again functioning properly.
A budget amendment for the Library for $1,265 was unanimously approved. This money comes from E-Rate funding and will be used to enhance internet access at the Art Circle Public Library. A resolution for a budget amendment for the Sanitation Fund, Recycling Center, in the amount of $17,924 was approved unanimously with Commissioner Harvel abstaining due to being employed at the department. This money will be moved from the unassigned fund balance of the Sanitation Department and moved into the Solid Waste Equipment line in order to purchase a magnetic sorter for the single line recycling program. A resolution requesting additional funding from the State of Tennessee for housing State prisoners in the county jail was also unanimously approved. The money the state pays the county for housing these prisoners is significantly less than the cost of their incarceration. The resolution requests that the state pay the actual costs associated with keeping these inmates. The final resolution was one accepting the official County Road List. The only road added to the list in the past year is Towne Center Drive. The resolution was unanimously approved as well.
Sales tax is tracking better and has almost made up for the deficits from earlier months. Collections in December came in at $660,149 against a projected $654,943. That brings the negative projection down to $7,701 for the year. Property tax revenue is still looking good for the year, with 49.5 percent collected year to date. This compares with 46.5 percent year to date last year. The Hotel/Motel tax collections are at 47.8 percent of the budget while Prisoner Boarding is at 50.9 percent of budget. Ambulance collections are still down with only 22.6 percent of budget collected thus far, but the Commission has been assured that all billing is caught up and the funds should be arriving soon.
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