CC Notes – February 18th 2014
All members of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners were in attendance for the February 18 regular monthly meeting. Dustin Kunkel began the meeting during the Comments by the General Public agenda item. Mr. Kunkel was speaking for many of the residents of the Meridian area of Cumberland County concerning the proposed transitional housing at Meridian Baptist Church. Objections to the transitional housing centered on security as well as general placement of the facility. Although Meridian Baptist has since dropped the idea of the facility, those in the community asked that the County Commission look into the situation. The County Mayor asked the County Attorney to research the issue and report back at a later date with a possible work session to be scheduled.
The Rescue Squad requested permission to pour a concrete pad at the Cumberland County Community Complex in the area where they normally have their concession stand. All expenses and labor are to be provided by the Cumberland County Rescue Squad. The motion was approved unanimously. A motion to allow the Cumberland County Health Department to use $14,100 in grant money to construct a walking trail on the new site was also unanimously approved. The trail will reduce the mowing needs at the facility and provide additional landscaping at no cost to the county. Another budget amendment was unanimously passed in the amount of $24,238 to pay for salary adjustments at the health department per funding received by the State. A resolution accepting $400,000 in funds for the Railroad Authority was also approved. The funds are received as a grant and will be used for the maintenance and rehabilitation of rail track. In a 16-1-1 vote, a resolution was passed in the amount of $33,000 as the required match for funding for the renovation and modification of the Cumberland County EMS substation and Volunteer Fire Department station in Crab Orchard. The City of Crab Orchard provides all repairs, maintenance and utilities for the building that is used to house county services. The money will come from the General Fund. Carmin Lynch voted against the motion and Sonya Rimmer passed.
A resolution was unanimously passed requesting legislation by the Tennessee General Assembly to more equitably distribute Local Option Sales Tax collected by online retailers not physically located in the State of Tennessee. Currently the revenue from these online sales are distributed to the local governing bodies in the same percentages as are taxes collected locally. The resolution requests that a method be devised that would more equitably distribute the revenue based on the address of the purchaser paying the tax. The county is not asking for a tax to be placed on the purchaser. The county is asking that the tax already collected be distributed based on the location of the buyer.
A resolution to allow a St. Jude benefit at the Cumberland County Community Complex at no charge passed in a 16 – 2 vote, with Carmin Lynch and Harry Sabine voting against. The use of the facility will come at no cost to the County as it is during the day with no electricity needed and personnel already scheduled to work.
Stonecrest Avenue and an extension of Stonecrest Loop were added to the Cumberland County Road List in a unanimous vote as well.
Revenue collected in January continues to trend positively. Sales tax collected for the month of November was above budgeted projections by $8,029 or 1.31%. At this point we are finally ahead of our year to date projections by $328. Property Tax collections came in at 56.5% of budget year to date compared to 56.2% last year. The Hotel/Motel tax is down against last year’s figures at 53.5% collected ($394,959) compared to 62.5% last year, but a revenue increase was budgeted in that line item. Ambulance revenue continues to be concern with just 34.9% of budget received compared to 57.8% at this point last year. December receipts were up to $330,310 and should continue at high levels as all back billing on the old system has been caught up. Prisoner boarding collections stand at $500,388 for the year which is 55.8% of budget with five months of revenue. Preliminary sales tax numbers from the State of Tennessee for sales tax collections from December look to have exceeded budget as well. We will know the final numbers after the Trustee has verified the totals.
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