County Mayor’s Notes – November 19th, 2018
Working together. I mentioned this last month, but it is worth mentioning again because working together is how we are going to get things done here in Cumberland County. In that regard, I want to congratulate Mayor James Mayberry on his recent re-election, as well as Art Gernt and Rob Harrison for being elected to the City Council. Running for political office is difficult, so I want to thank all of those that ran good clean campaigns.
The red Christmas on the Mountain barrel is in the County Mayor’s Office! Please stop by and drop off any new unwrapped toys as soon as possible to help benefit the kids of Cumberland County! Check out their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/christmasonthemountaintn/
On November 1-2, I was able to attend the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development in Nashville. In addition to being recognized along with the City of Crossville for being a ThreeStar Community, Crossville-Cumberland County was recognized for having the Interchange Business Park designated as a Select Tennessee Certified Site. This is the State of Tennessee’s highest designation and demonstrates the site is prepared to accommodate an industrial project. The conference had several excellent breakout sessions including discussions of how to come to a deal with industry looking to locate to our area, discussions on the Opportunity Zones created in the last U.S. budget, Tax Increment Financing, and many other subjects. TVA led a session on how to address industrial site weaknesses to make them marketable. Karl Dean and Bill Lee addressed the attendees as well.
I am also continuing to meet with the various internet providers in the county in an effort to increase broadband access. I have talked with most of our county providers as well as the State of Tennessee concerning this issue. Many of the providers have shown interest in increasing access. Cumberland County is known to have very poor access by officials at the state level. I intend to keep pushing this issue until we see results. Cumberland County is one of the largest counties in the state, and we deserve better broadband access.
The last item I want to mention is the possibility of new retail development in Cumberland County. I have had multiple meetings with various individuals concerning this issue and I want you to know that I will support whatever reasonable efforts we can make to bring new retail to Cumberland County. I know Crossville Mayor James Mayberry feels the same. I also want to mention that we shouldn’t forget the current retailers we have in our area. We have some great local shops and restaurants that we should all support.
The November 19th meeting of the full County Commission was held with all in attendance except John Patterson.
The following resolutions were approved (resolution sponsor in parenthesis):
RESOLUTION 11-2018-1-To accept the 2019 Version of the Cumberland County Road List (Lowe)
The resolution to approve the road list was passed unanimously.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-2-To amend the August 20, 2018 version of the Cumberland County Rules (Hyder)
This resolution was to amend the rules to allow for the “Approval of the Agenda” after the Roll Call on the monthly meeting agenda. The resolution was approved 17-0.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-3-To appoint Sonya Rimmer to the Tri-County Industrial Development Board of Cumberland, Morgan and Roane Counties for a six (6) year term to expire September 30, 2024 (Foster)
Sonya Rimmer was unanimously appointed to the Tri-County Industrial Development Board.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-4-To appoint Trey Kerley to the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission to fill the unexpired term of Larry Allen through August 31, 2020 (Foster)
Trey Kerley was unanimously appointed to the Planning Commission.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-5-To appoint Barbara Parsons as Cumberland County Historian for a four (4) year term to expire September 30, 2022 (Foster)
Barbara Parsons was unanimously appointed as the Cumberland County Historian.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-6-To establish and approve a Human Resources Director position on the county pay scale (Hyder)
The resolution to establish a Human Resources Director position was approved 17-0. Cumberland County has almost 400 employees. In a time where we must comply with FMLA, affirmative action, EEOC, state and federal regulations, as well as insurance issues, licensure tracking, sexual harassment, discrimination, etc., this position is well overdue. I hope to have someone hired in January.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-7-To increase the threshold over which public advertisement and sealed competitive bids or proposals are required (Davis)
This resolution increased the threshold for requiring bids up to $25,000. These items would still be required to follow the purchasing policies, including the effort to obtain three quotes. The resolution passed 17-0.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-8-Budget Amendment, General Fund, Agriculture Extension Service, $220.00 (Wilson)
A $220 error was found in the calculations for the Agriculture Extension Service budget. The resolution to correct the issue was passed unanimously.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-9-Budget Amendment, General Fund, Sheriff, $465.00 (Wilson)
This budget amendment was to accept $465 in funds donated for the Sheriff’s annual “Trunk or Treat” program. The resolution was passed 17-0.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-10-Budget Amendment, General Fund, School Resource Officers, Special Patrols, $13,200.00 (Blalock)
This was funding was for training that was originally allocated in the prior budget but not spent. The funds were overlooked in the budget process for the new year. The vote to restore the funds was unanimous.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-11-Budget Amendment, General Fund, Other Emergency Management, Dispatch, $16,270.00 (Wilson)
The Dispatch Department has already used all of the funds allocated to overtime. To help with the issue, money was moved from other line items in the Dispatch budget to cover the costs going forward. The resolution was approved 17-0.
RESOLUTION 11-2018-12-Budget Amendment, Drug Fund, $15,000.00 (Blalock)The Sheriff’s Department was awarded a grant from the State of Tennessee ThreeStar program to purchase and outfit an educational trailer for educating the public about the dangers of prescription pain killers and other opioids. The resolution was approved unanimously.
Sales tax collections through October are $2,483,315, which is $83,206 above budgeted projections. Property tax collections are at 16% compared to 17.6% at this point last year. Hotel/Motel collections are $262,141 year to date compared to $281,789 last year. That is 29.6% of the annual budget. Prisoner boarding, which is received sporadically from the State of Tennessee, is at $141,687 for two months which is 22.9% of budget. Ambulance collections increased significantly last month to $535,686 to reduce the deficit to $195,495. I met with our EMS Director, Finance Director, and the Chief of Operations for AMB MARS, our third-party billing company, on October 19 to discuss our recent collections issues. Evidently the government awarded the contract for their services to a different agency. The new agency had some startup issues, including documentation of Medicare certification. This has been cleared up and our reimbursements are being processed. Gasoline was budgeted at $2.25 per gallon and diesel was budgeted at $2.50 per gallon. Currently our weighted average cost for gasoline is $2.03 and diesel is $2.31.
Thanks to Ms. Lindsey Oliver’s fifth grade classes at Crab Orchard for inviting me to talk to them about being the Mayor of Cumberland County! Over the last few weeks I have also spoken to the Tansi Exchange Club, the Fairfield Glade Rotary, the Fairfield Glade Board, and at the Korean War Veterans Association dedication of a new statue at the memorial park. Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving as your County Mayor. It is a privilege.
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Cumberland County Mayor