County Mayor’s Notes – October 19th, 2020

Today’s COVID-19 update follows tonight’s County Commission meeting summary.

Early Voting is Underway!
Early voting for the November 2020 election is underway.  Stop by the Cumberland County Election Commission (2 South Main Street, Suite 105) from October 14 through October 29 to vote.  Hours are M-F 8 AM – 5 PM, SAT 8 AM – Noon.

Cumberland County Election Commission

Cumberland County Commission Update
The October meeting of the Cumberland County Commission was held tonight with all Commissioners present except Darrell Threet.  During the Special Recognition portion of the agenda, Sheriff Cox asked that everyone remember Deputy Greg Green in his recovery from his recent accident.  The Sheriff also recognized Commissioner David Gibson in his role as an Investigator for the Sheriff’s Department.  On October 1, Commissioner Gibson completed his 40th consecutive year of service.  Congratulations Commissioner Gibson.

Resolutions
The following resolutions were on the agenda (resolution sponsor in parenthesis):

RESOLUTION 10-2020-1 TO ACCEPT OFFER(S) TO PURCHASE DELINQUENT TAX PROPERTY OWNED BY CUMBERLAND COUNTY (HYDER).  The following delinquent tax properties were approved for purchase and will now go back on the tax rolls.  The commission approved the resolution 17-0.

Offerer(s)PropertyPriceAd Fee
Laurelwood Partners, LLC91P A 004.00 | 109 Laurelwood Dr, Fairfield$376.70$45
Laurelwood Partners, LLC  91P B 025.00 | 110 Laurelwood Dr, Fairfield$376.70  $45  
Micheal Matthews90C B 012.00 | 116 Sherwood Cir, Fairfield$287.10$45
Micheal Matthews149D B 008.00 | Dunbar Rd, Tansi$271.00$45
Bluegrass Holdings, Inc20 parcels$4,730.00$137
Jerry & Kara Trentham                                                                           Counter bid 3 parcels of Bluegrass Holdings: 138I J 10.00, 137M E 39.00, 149D D 83.00$890.20 (More than 10% above) 

RESOLUTION 10-2020-2 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, GENERAL FUND, LIBRARY $1,794.00 (HOLBROOK).  The library received a CARES Act grant for video conferencing equipment.  The Commission approved receipt of the grant funds unanimously.

RESOLUTION 10-2020-3 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, GENERAL FUND, LIBRARY $2,105.00 (SHERRILL).  The library has also received a grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives that is to be used for computer technology.  The match is provided from library funds.  The grant funds were accepted 17-0.

RESOLUTION 10-2020-4 – BUDGET AMENDMENT, GENERAL PURPOSE SCHOOL FUND $263,000.00 (SHERRILL).  In reviewing the county school budget, the Tennessee Department of Education required additional funds to be appropriated to meet the Maintenance of Effort test.  The amendment to appropriate the funds was approved 16-0-1 with Commissioner Cooper abstaining.

RESOLUTION 10-2020-5 – TO APPROVE THE SALE OF REAL ESTATE TO ADJOINING PROPERTY OWNER (JACK DAVIS).  Sam Baisley has requested the County sell a small section of property outside the fenced area at the Recycling Center.  The property was valued at $1,450 by the Assessor’s Office, and there is no economic value to anyone other than the adjacent owners.  The owners agreed to pay the appraised cost and all costs related to the sale.  The resolution was approved unanimously.

FINANCIAL REPORT
EMS collections for the month were $423,383 which is $90,000 over the monthly budgeted number of $333,333.  Year to date we are $136,879 ahead of projections. 

Sales tax collections for the General Purpose School Fund came in at $952,467 which is $86,596 above projections.  Year to date we have collected $1,973,244 and are $236,802 above budget.  You may recall that the County Commission decided to have a third party conduct a revenue audit.  The increase in sales tax revenues may be due in part to that audit.  We will know more soon and adjustments may be made. 

Property tax notices have been sent out, and year to date we have collected 0.31% of budget compared to 7.2% at this point last year. 

Cumulative Hotel/Motel taxes are $157,636 which is 23.59% of the budget.  The budgeted amount was revised down for this year to $668,166 from $817,283.  Last year, with the larger budgeted amount, we had collected $181,309, or 22.2% of budget, at this point.

Cumulative Prisoner Boarding collections are $99,645, or 16.54%, of the $602,396 annual budget.  Last year we were at $56,823, 7.6%, of an annual budget of $743,000.

COVID-19 Update (difference from previous day)
The rural Mayors in Tennessee (counties with less than 150,000 population) participated in a conference call with Governor Lee today.  During the call we were reminded that positive cases of COVID-19 in rural counties are increasing, and the average age of those contracting the virus has increased by almost 10 years to 43 years old.  The average age of those hospitalized is 70 and the average length of stay in the hospital is nine days.  According to the Tennessee Department of Health, most cases seem to be coming from small gatherings.  They also reminded us that individuals appear to be most infectious two days before symptoms appear.

Please continue to be vigilant in wearing a mask, social distancing, and making wise choices to help mitigate the spread of the virus.  Follow the guidelines provided by Governor Lee and the CDC, and stay safe.

The following are the numbers from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) for Cumberland County as of 2:00 PM today. The change from the prior day, not my prior newsletter, is in parenthesis.

163 active cases (+9)
1,302 inactive/recovered (+3)
24 deaths officially reported (+0)
1,489 positive cases (+12)
66 cumulative hospitalizations (+0)
26,094 negative tests (+187)
7.98% positivity rate – 7-day average
87.44% Inactive/Recovered
5.40% cumulative positivity rate (positive cases / positive cases + negative tests)
2.46% of residents have tested positive
0.27% of residents have active cases

These numbers are intended to be a brief summary of the information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health. More detailed information can be found at the online dashboard: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html

School level COVID-19 data is now available online.  Click this link to see the information available for Cumberland County:

https://districtinformation.tnedu.gov/covid-information/search/-1/180

Health Department Testing and Face Coverings
Masks/face coverings can help to slow the spread by slowing or stopping the droplets that carry the virus.  Free cloth masks are available upon request at the Health Department for those that want one. Stop by Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm to pick one up for each individual in your household.

The local Health Department (1503 South Main Street) is conducting drive through testing, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.   No doctor’s order is required, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone can be tested regardless of symptoms.

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