Amendments were fund balance impacting for the
Department of Education. The total requested impact was around
$871,000 from School System Fund Balance.
Director of Schools Edmonds stated that the Department of Education
was requesting $94,500 from School System Fund Balance to purchase
property adjacent to Rush Strong School. He said that currently the
School is landlocked and will need extra space should sewage
problems arise. The property in question is in foreclosure and is
the only property available that is adjacent to the school, per
Director Edmonds. After a failed motion by Committee Member Tucker
and 2nd Blevins to Approve the funding, the Department of Education
will take the funds from the remaining money in the Capitol Outlay
Note. The School Board will have a Called Meeting to Approve the
Funding. Committee Chairman Scarlett stated that the School System’s
fund balance is already encumbered for $ 3.4 million. The Department
of Education currently has an unrestricted fund balance of
$4,317,792. Total requests for fund balance approval totaled
$1,881,209 including the renovation contribution at Jefferson County
High School and the Rush Strong Property. Adjustments anticipated
for the Davis Bacon wage increase for construction of the freshman
academy ($700,000) leave the unencumbered balance of the school
system fund balance at $1,736,583 of which $1,410,000 is the fund
balance mandate by the State.
Helton informed the Committee that funds that were budgeted for bus
purchases this fiscal year had been used to pay for the past year’s
buses. Director of Transportation, Maintence and Capitol Projects
Phagan stated that during the 2009-2010 fiscal year no buses were
paid for. The buses ordered during that year were held and delivery
was made as well as payment during the next fiscal year. Funds
allotted for bus purchases during the 2009-2010 fiscal year rolled
into fund balance. There is no clear reason for the decision to roll
the funds instead of purchasing buses and the decision has left the
transportation Department one fiscal year behind. Though buses that
are currently purchased will not be ready for delivery until after
the beginning of the school year, Phagan stated that he can get a 90
day extension on his retiring buses. The motion to Approve a request
for $343,000 for 4 new buses and $220,000 for used buses was offered
by Committee Member Solomon. 2nd Estes –Passed.
Committee Member Baxley made a Motion to Approve any amendments that
were non fund balance impacting for the Department of Education. 2nd
Director of Schools Edmonds requested $35,000 for legal fees. He
stated that the request would fulfill the Department of Education’s
legal funding needs, as any remaining suits are covered by
insurance. Motion to Approve was offered by Solomon and 2nd by
Turner. Passed with a split vote.
The meeting recessed until after the Full Commission Meeting.
The Meeting reconvened to address the issue of Fire Department
Funding. The recommendation from the Public Service Committee was to
fund 4 substations (Strawberry Plains, 412 exit, Old Dandridge #2
and Swannsylvania) at the amount of $25,000 per substation. This
would provide an improved ISO ( insurance ) rating and have a
positive impact on home owner’s insurance for the entire County. The
recommendation was made in Motion form by Public Service Committee
Chairman Tucker. 2nd Kesterson. Failed with Solomon, Estes, Beeler,
Tabor and Mills voting No.
Committee Member Estes made a Motion to include funding mechanism in
the County Budget Process. 2nd Beeler- Motion Failed.
Committee Tucker offered a Motion to fund three substations for
Strawberry Plains, Exit 412 and Swannsylvania. 2nd Blevins- Failed.
The Committee was informed that the County has a service credit of
$12,000 from Appalachian Electric. After partial use for the new
E-911 combination center, around $6,500 will still be available.
Committee Member Solomon made a Motion to use the remainder on the
new elementary school. Motion died for lack of 2nd. Solomon
made a motion to hold the credit. 2nd Beeler (withdrawn) Committee
Member Beeler made a motion to use the credit at Mr Horeb Elementary
School. 2nd Solomon-Passed. The Meeting was Adjourned.