County Mayor’s Notes – December 16th, 2019

Thanks to Allen Hall for the use of this beautiful photograph!

From zero to five broadband grant applications in a single year.  Last year, no provider applied for grants to extend service to Cumberland County.  This year, we have grant applications in the North, South, East, and West portions of the county as well as in Crossville.  It took a lot of work but the county is broadband grant eligible, and you responded in great numbers to show community support.  The State will score the applications and we will know if any providers in Cumberland County have received a grant before Spring.

Speaking of Broadband, if there are any individuals that are still getting broadband or cable TV service from Spirit Broadband, please let me know.  You can call my office or send me an email.

I was excited to learn that the Plateau Partnership Park IDB has received a grant for $1,000,000.  Cumberland County is a regional hub for three distressed counties that border us.  These funds will be used for a water line extension to the industrial park that should help make the park more attractive for industry, and move us closer toward economic growth for the entire region.  I want to thank everyone involved in this process from the IDB to the State of Tennessee.

The December 16th meeting of the full County Commission was held with all Commissioners in attendance except Chad Norris, Carl MacLeod, and John Patterson.

There were a couple of items under new business.  The first was the resignation of Ninth District Commissioner Carl MacLeod.  Carl and his family have moved to South Carolina, and he sent me his resignation last week.  That means we have a vacant Commission seat in the 9th District effective January 1, 2020.  TCA has specific requirements for filling a vacant seat.  First, we must have the formal notice of vacancy from the County Clerk.  That was given at the meeting.  Next, notice must also be officially given in the paper/media by the Mayor’s Office as the Commission Chairman.  That will go out soon.

I suggested a motion be made that the County fill the vacant Ninth District seat at the January 21, 2020 Commission meeting in accordance to County Commission rules.  Anyone interested in filling the vacant Ninth District County Commission seat should notify the County Mayor’s Office in writing by January 9, 2019 at Noon.  A cover letter is suggested, but not required to be submitted at that time.  Those unable to notify the County Mayor’s Office may also be considered at the January 21, 2020 meeting of the full County Commission.  Verification of residency in the ninth district is required.  The motion was made and approved 15-0.

Next, the Sheriff gave notice that he wishes to discontinue using his current personnel policies and adopt the personnel policies and handbook of Cumberland County.  The change will become effective January 1, 2020.  The rewritten policies adopted by the County last month are well written and should protect both the employee and the county.

RESOLUTIONS
The following resolutions were presented to the Board of Commissioners for consideration (resolution sponsor in parenthesis):

RESOLUTION 12-2019-1 – Accept Offers to Purchase Property Owned by Cumberland County (Hyder).  The Delinquent Tax Committee recommended approval of the following offers:

Offeror(s)PropertyPriceAdvertising Fee
Michael Matthews8113 Cherokee Trail, Tansi$302.50$45
    

This will return the property to the tax rolls after it had been removed due to property taxes not being paid for several years.  The resolution was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 12-2019-2 – Encouraging the Support of HR1175/SB1469 which directs TennCare to reimburse ground ambulance providers at a rate not less than the current Medicare fee schedule and adding funding to the 2020-2021 budget (Hyder).  This resolution originated from our EMS Director in an attempt to secure more funding for TennCare ambulance transports.  It encourages our state legislators to support funding TennCare transports at the same rate as Medicare.  If approved by the state, this would result in a substantial funding increase for our local EMS.  The resolution was approved 15-0.

RESOLUTION 12-2019-3 – Requesting legislation to the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee for counties that are bordered by three or more distressed countries to qualify for a sales tax TIF (Lowe).  This resolution was placed in support of the recent City request for the same legislation, and was approved unanimously.  If approved by the state legislature, it could help in retail recruitment here in Cumberland County.

RESOLUTION 12-2019-4 – Budget Amendment, General Fund, Juvenile Court $3,961.00 (Hyder).  This resolution was approved 15-0 and allowed comp and vacation time to be paid to the former Youth Service Office so the position can be filled quickly.

RESOLUTION 12-2019-5 – Budget Amendment, General Fund, Fire Department, $10,160.00 (Lowe).  Donations have been given to the Fire Department to fund the acquisition of a rehab emergency support trailer.  This purchase is in partnership with the Tennessee Federation of Fire Chaplains.  This resolution, unanimously approved, authorized the acceptance and expenditure of the funds.

RESOLUTION 12-2019-6 – Budget Amendment, General Fund, Local Health Center/Appropriations to State $27,965.00 (Cooper).  The Tennessee Department of Health has approved the withholding of the 3rd and 4th quarter county appropriations so the funds can be used to repair and replace HVAC control systems at the County Health Department.  The resolution was approved 15-0.

RESOLUTION 12-2019-7 – Declaring light poles no longer utilized by Cumberland County as surplus property and be donated to The City of Crossville (Seiber).  There are several light poles that have been laying on the grounds at the Community Complex for at least a decade.  We had been trying to determine how to dispose of them, when we found out that the City has a use for them at Meadow Park Lake.  This resolution, approved unanimously, donated the poles to the City.

RESOLUTION 12-2019-8 – General Fund Budget Amendment, Military Museum, $250.00 (Patterson).  Commissioner Patterson received a donation for the Military Museum for $250, but the donation did not go through the budget process and did not have proper accounting codes in the resolution.  Although Commissioners commented on being very thankful for the donation, it was sent to the Budget Committee in order to follow proper process and to get the correct information to accept.  The motion was approved 15-0.

FINANCIAL REPORT
Local option sales tax collections came in at $859,937 which is $36,731 above estimated revenue.  Overall, we are $24,928 above the budgeted amount year to date.  Hotel/Motel tax collections are approximately 40.3% of the $817,283 budget as revised down due to last year’s collection.  So far $329,770 has been collected.  Property taxes are starting to come in and stand at 25.4% of budget.  Prisoner boarding is at 33.9% of budget at $254,823 collected.  EMS collections for the month were approximately $404.000.  This puts year to date collections at $1,817,087 which is $150,422 above budget.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Mayor.  If you are interested in following the events of the county, please subscribe to my County Mayor newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and God Bless!

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