CC Notes – June 19th 2017
All Commissioners were in attendance for the regular monthly meeting of the County Commission except Tracey Scarbrough, Jack Davis, Sonya Rimmer, and John Patterson.
Larry Allen was appointed as a member of the Tri-County Industrial Development Board of Cumberland, Morgan, and Roane Counties with a term set to expire September 30, 2018. The opening was due to resignation. The vote was unanimous.
A resolution to approve a franchise agreement with Volunteer Wireless, LLC, also known as BLTV, was approved. The current agreement has expired and is scheduled to be renewed every ten years. The County’s contract with the State of Tennessee, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was amended to change the effective dates for mental health evaluations and treatment services for criminal defendants charged with misdemeanors. The expiration date is now June 30, 2018. Both resolutions were approved 14 – 0. Office space leasing was unanimously approved for TDEC’s Ground Water Protection Staff through June 20, 2018. Under the agreement, the State of Tennessee will pay $350 per month for their office space at the Cumberland County Courthouse.
Multiple year end BOE budgets amendments were also approved. These were the typical cleanup items that are approved each year by both the BOE and the County. The Highway Fund also had cleanup in the amount of $563. The General Fund cleanup was more significant with $360,103 in cleanup changes. The largest portion of the General Fund cleanup was due to $225,000 in overages in EMS overtime. A good portion of this was offset by decreasing the budgeted amount for full time personnel. In fact, most of the $360,103 was offset by decreases to other areas of the budget, but $121,491 was required from Unassigned Fund Balance to net out the total. All adjustments were unanimously approved.
The Animal Shelter has received $2,581 in donations. A resolution was approved to accept the money and place it in the Animal Shelter budget. The Register of Deeds requested to move $3,230 to part-time staff and benefits from the maintenance agreements line item to offset personnel expenditures. Similarly, the Sanitation Fund required $3,571 to be moved for personnel expenses. Revenue for the jail was increased by $6,617. This money is received for the litter removal by Cumberland County jail inmates you may have seen on I-40 in Cumberland County. The Sheriff’s Department also received a grant for $12,500 from the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy – Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). This federally funded grant is used to offset overtime pay costs for the Sheriff’s personnel while assisting in drug related investigations. The Sheriff’s Department has also received $16,475 for a Highway Safety Grant for impaired driving law enforcement activities. The grant is often referred to as the “DUI Grant”. It is 100% state and federally funded, requiring no matching local funds. All of these resolutions were passed 14 – 0.
You may recall that Cumberland County refunded a portion of debt earlier this fiscal year in order to save significant finance charges on a loan. During that process, a portion of debt service in the amount of $75,000 was accelerated to optimize the refinancing opportunity. A resolution was unanimously approved to pay this money on principal on the loan as per the agreement. This payment does not change the cost savings achieved by the restructuring of debt.
The vast majority of Cumberland County employees currently receive their paychecks via direct deposit. In fact, as of tonight’s meeting, 91% of all Cumberland County employees are set up for direct deposit. This number has increased over the last few weeks after a notice was sent to employees, but the county has had good participation in the program historically. The cost in labor, printing, and distribution of physical checks continues to grow. The Budget Committee recommended requiring all employees of the county to use direct deposit to lessen these burdens. I voted in favor of the motion in order to help streamline the payroll process and reduce costs. Before the meeting tonight, I asked many friends, family and coworkers what they thought about the County requiring employees to use direct deposit. The one thing I consistently heard was, “You mean y’all aren’t already requiring direct deposit?” The resolution to require all employees to use direct deposit by July 1, 2017 was approved in a 10 – 4 vote of the Commission. Voting against were Commissioners David Gibson, Terry Lowe, Terry Carter, and Tim Claflin.
The final resolution of the evening was one to exclude future part-time employees from participating in TCRS, the State retirement system. Currently we have one employee that participates in TCRS, and that employee will continue to be allowed to participate. The vote to exclude future TCRS coverage for part-time employees was approved unanimously.
BOE sales tax collections are at $7,379,169 year to date against a budget of $8,905,338. That is 82.9% of budget with $750,813 coming in this month, which is about $5,300 less than budgeted. Year to date we are behind $29,226 to budget. Property tax collections are at 101.4% of the budgeted annual amount. The Hotel/Motel tax collections continue to be of concern with $644,784 collected against an annual budget of $810,000. Collections this month were $66,232. It would take two great months of collections to make the budgeted amount. EMS payments were in the amount of $343,836 for the month which is almost $40,000 above the monthly “get” number needed to make budget. The annual budgeted amount is still attainable as we are now only $21,000 behind year to date. Prisoner boarding has exceeded the $300,000 annual budgeted amount with year to date collections at $438,968. The last payment received was for $82,103.
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