CC Notes – June 20th 2011

You may recall the discussion from the April meeting concerning increasing the Hotel/Motel tax here in Cumberland County.  At that time, the Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution that would alter the Private Act of 1979, Chapter 145 changing the Hotel/Motel Tax rate in Cumberland County from 5 percent to 7.5 percent.  The General Assembly agreed to the change, and at the June meeting the Board of Commissioners approved the increase in a 17 – 1 vote, with Jan McNeil opposing. 

Due to the approaching end to the fiscal year, several cleanup resolutions were passed to adjust expenditure appropriations for fuel and other line items as needed.  As a request for a new position in the Property Assessor’s Office was made to the Budget Committee during the budget process, a resolution was passed moving a position from the County Mayor’s office to the Property Assessor’s Office to fulfill the need.  Budget amendments were also passed to accept grant money for the Art Circle Public Library and South Cumberland Water Utility District.

The budget for the next fiscal year is not quite ready from the Budget Committee, so a resolution to adopt a continuing budget was approved.  This will give the various departments the ability to continue operating with no disruption.  A few days later, the Budget Committee finished the budget in their meeting on June 23.  I hope to have it posted online soon.  The budget must still go through a public hearing and pass the full Commission.

A budget amendment was passed to receive funding for the new Health Department that is being built.  The project is moving forward and the land has been purchased for this much needed facility.  Approval was granted for EMS to donate two retired stretchers each to the Cumberland County Rescue Squad and the Fentress County Rescue Squad.  Surplus stone from the construction of the Art Circle Public Library and amphitheater was approved to be donated to the City of Crossville if it is used at the amphitheater site.  A resolution allowing the City to manage the amphitheater was also approved.

Harry Sabine, David Hassler, Charles Seiber, Larry Allen, Clyde Cramer and Suzanne Smith were appointed to the Redistricting Committee that will make sure the Cumberland County voting districts comply with state law after the recent census.  Ron Pulley, Art Wojta and Melanie Sherrill were appointed as members to the Cumberland County Library Board with terms to expire June 30, 2014.  Tom Breeden was appointed the permanent Cumberland County Solid Waste Director, taking over for interim director and County Commissioner Mike Harvel.  Larry Allen was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission as well.  An agreement was reached between the Upper Cumberland Development District and CumberlandCounty to provide local planning advisory services.

During the report section of the meeting, the Finance Director informed us that as of the end of May, property tax collections were 101.2 percent of the budgeted amount, hotel/motel tax is 87.1 percent and that collections in general were trending up.  Economic indicators look more favorable and are ahead of projections. 

The County Attorney, Randall Boston, asked for the will of the County Commission concerning the Hewlett Spencer, LLC lawsuit that is set for trial in December.  By unanimous vote, the CountyCommission voted to have the lawsuit defended and for Mr. Boston to hire the help needed for the case.  After last month’s Commission meeting, we held a closed door session concerning pending litigation against the County.  This particular case dates back to the construction on the JusticeCenter expansion.  The company was involved in early aspects of the project, and submitted a “guaranteed maximum price” on the project of $18,735,388.  The Commission decided to rebid the project, and the price came in just over $14,000,000.

Your feedback is important to me and helps me to better serve you on the Board of Commissioners.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email.  Thank you for allowing me to serve the 4th District and Cumberland County.

Allen