County Mayor’s Notes – December 20th, 2021

Flatrock USA Work Session
The investors that have purchased the 773 acres of property in Westel from the Plateau Partnership Park, Flatrock USA, presented their plans to convert the area into a motorsports and entertainment destination.

According to the work session presentation, recent studies show that American consumers now prioritize leisure, travel, dining, and events, with 2/3 of the US population preferring experiences over possessions.

Flatrock intends to build:

  • Automotive Innovation Center
  • Driving Experience / Safety Training Center
  • Hotel & Lodge
  • Conference & Events Center
  • Residences
  • Gourmet Gastronomy
  • Winery / Brewery / Distillery
  • Music & Festivals
  • Camping
  • Motorsport

Flatrock is intended to be a sprawling motorsports and entertainment destination that uniquely combines world-class amenities and innovative design while also embracing the distinct charm of the Cumberland Plateau. With objectives of creating hundreds of jobs and bringing in millions of dollars in revenue to the area, Flatrock will welcome people from across Tennessee while also attracting national and international visitors.

The Flatrock Entertainment Group engaged Tilke Engineers and Architects to design and oversee construction of the track. Tilke is recognized as the world’s leading designer for motorsports venues/research/development test facilities.

More information will be coming early next year.

Cumberland County Commission Meeting
The December meeting of the Cumberland County Commission was held tonight with all Commissioners in attendance except Commissioner Jack Davis.  The following resolutions were considered, with the sponsor being in parenthesis.

RESOLUTION 12-2021-1 – TO RENEW AN ADVENTURE TOURISM DISTRICT IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY AND CROSSVILLE, TENNESSEE, AND TO DEVELOP AN ADVENTURE TOURISM DISTRICT PLAN FOR SUBMISSION TO THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND TO THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE FOR JOINT APPROVAL AS AN ADVENTURE TOURISM DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THE TENNESSEE ADVENTURE TOURISM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2011 (FOSTER).  Several years back the County designated specific areas as an adventure tourism district.  Becoming a certified adventure tourism district allows qualified businesses to earn a jobs tax credit that can help offset part of franchise and excise tax liability.  This resolution, approved 17-0, renewed the district.

RESOLUTION 12-2021-2 – AUTHORIZING CUMBERLAND COUNTY JOINING THE STATE OF TENNESSEE AND OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AS PARTICIPANTS IN THE TENNESSEE STATE-SUBDIVISION OPIOID ABATEMENT AGREEMENT AND APPROVING THE RELATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS (FOSTER).  This resolution allows the county to participate in a class action settlement for opioid abatement and was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 12-2021-3 – TO APPROVE THE QUITCLAIM OF EXCESS COUNTY OWNED RIGHT-OF-WAY LOCATED ON DARTMOOR DRIVE TO ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNER VIA QUITCLAIM DEED (JACK DAVIS).  An easement that was created with the work on Peavine and Dartmoor was requested by One Bank for parking and signage.  The commission approved the transaction according to standing rules from the Environmental Committee in an 17-0 vote.

RESOLUTION 12-2021-4 – TO ACCEPT OFFERS FROM THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RELATING TO THE WOODY CONVENIENCE CENTER PROPERTY FOR THE EXPANSION OF HIGHWAY 127 NORTH (HYDER).  This resolution accepted the offer of $53,040 from TDOT to relocate the convenience center in the Woody area.  It was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 12-2021-5 – TO PURCHASE NEW PROPERTY TO RELOCATE WOODY CONVENIENCE CENTER (JACK DAVIS).  This resolution was to purchase approximately 3.6 acres of property about a mile from the current convenience center location for $52,300.  This will be the site of the new location and was approved 17-0.

The following routine budget resolutions were all approved 16-0-1 with Commissioner Cooper abstaining.

  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-6 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, CENTRAL CAFETERIA FUND $4,000.00 (HOLBROOK)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-7 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, CENTRAL CAFETERIA FUND $5,814.00 (HOLBROOK)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-8 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, CENTRAL CAFETERIA FUND $9,256.91 (HOLBROOK)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-9 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, CENTRAL CAFETERIA FUND $10,695.00 (HOLBROOK)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-10 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, SPECIAL EDUCATION FEDERAL BUDGET, FEDERAL IDEA PART B REVISION $6,784.90 (NORRIS)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-11 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, FEDERAL PROGRAMS SCHOOL FUND, FEDERAL CONSOLIDATED REVISION $30,576.33 (NORRIS)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-12 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, FEDERAL PROGRAMS SCHOOL FUND, HQIM LITERACY IMPLEMENTATION NETWORK AND EARLY LITERACY NETWORK GRANTS $163,000.00 (NORRIS)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-13 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, GENERAL PURPOSE SCHOOL FUND, CCTE MIDDLE SCHOOL STEM AND CAREER EXPLORATION GRANTS $36,701.04 (NORRIS)
  • RESOLUTION 12-2021-17 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, FEDERAL PROGRAMS SCHOOL FUND, TENNESSEE ACCELERATING LITERACY AND LEARNING CORP $455,000.00 (LOWE).

RESOLUTION 12-2021-14 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, GENERAL FUND, ANIMAL CONTROL $72,498.00 (HOLBROOK).  Currently, and for unknown reasons, Animal Control is a function of the Solid Waste Department.  This is not a typical setup and is not a best practice.  This resolution allocates funding for personnel and equipment in order to move the department under the Sheriff’s control.  The resolution was approved 16-1 with Commissioner Lowe voting against.  The resolution takes effect on January 1, 2022.  This should create an improvement to the service provided by the county in regards to animal control.

RESOLUTION 12-2021-15 – TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE, HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT (GIBSON).  This resolution allowed the Highway Department to apply for a grant for two, one-ton pickups.  The amount is not to exceed $80,000.  The resolution was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 12-2021-16 – DELINQUENT TAX PROPERTY ATTORNEY FEES (GIBSON).  When delinquent tax properties are taken according to TCA by the county, a title search must be performed.  This resolution, approved 17-0, allocated funds to pay those fees and created an agreement for pricing going forward.

Financial Update
EMS collections for the month were $380,982 which is $47,649 above the monthly budgeted amount of $333,333.  Year to date we have collected $2,024,754 which is $358,089 above projections.

Sales tax collections for the General Purpose School Fund came in at $1,106,688 which is $95,667 above projections.  Year to date we have collected $4,465,491 and are $451,533 above budget.

Property tax collections year to date are approximately 26.7%. Last year we had collected 22.1% of revenue.

Cumulative Hotel/Motel taxes are $491,697 which is 60.8% of the budgeted amount of $808,712.  Last year, with a smaller budgeted amount of $668,166, we had collected $289,617, or 43.35% of budget, at this point.

Cumulative Prisoner Boarding collections are $139,854 of the $602,396 annual budget.  Last year we were at $132,327, or 21.97% of the $602,396 annual budget.  Payments for prisoner boarding are somewhat sporadic from the state.

COVID-19 Update
According to the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), in Cumberland County there are 172 active cases of COVID-19.  There have been 240 deaths reported as of the date of this newsletter.  Datasets for additional information can be found at https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/data/downloadable-datasets.html.

As of Friday, December 17, 2021, Cumberland County Schools Director Dr. Ina Maxwell reported 20 active student cases and 4 positive staff cases of COVID-19.  Cumberland County Schools are currently closed for Winter Break.  Teachers will report back Tuesday, January 4th and Students will report Wednesday, January 5th.

State Vaccination Dashboard:
https://data.tn.gov/t/Public/views/TennIISCOVID-19VaccineReporting/SUMMARY?:showAppBanner=false&:display_count=n&:showVizHome=n&:origin=viz_share_link&:toolbar=no&:embed=yes

Cumberland County Health Department Update
The Cumberland County Health Department is currently offering the Pfizer COVID 19 Vaccine and Booster.  The State of Tennessee has recognized certain Health Departments as Pfizer only.  Unfortunately, the Moderna Booster is not available at the Cumberland County Health Department at this time.  There are several other local facilities that offer Moderna. A complete list can be found at www.vaccines.gov. If the status changes for the Moderna vaccine and booster, the Health Department will send out an announcement. 

COVID-19 Testing Hours Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
COVID-19 Vaccine Drive Thru Monday – Friday, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Walk-In Vaccine available 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

I can’t believe it is that time of year already, but MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season.

Thank you for being part of the solution and thank you for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor.  If you are interested in hearing my thoughts and views on news, events, and activities in Cumberland County, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you,

Allen Foster
Cumberland County Mayor
http://allenfoster.net

Published by allenfoster

Cumberland County Mayor

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