Dandridge, Tennessee

February 7, 2011 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

Community Tectonics and School Board in Legal Dispute

Community Tectonics has made a request for mediation and arbitration over a monetary dispute with the Jefferson County School Board.
Jefferson County School Board had a contractual agreement with the architecture firm Community Tectonics. Community Tectonics provided design services for the proposed school building project. Their contract with the Jefferson County School Board ended in 2010.
Community Tectonics released the following statement to the Jefferson County Post, through their attorneys, Ritchie, Dillard and Davies, P.C.
“Community Tectonics has made a request for mediation and arbitration for payments owed for design services on projects which were approved and funded between 2008 and 2010, while Community Tectonics’ contract with Jefferson County School Board was in effect. Community Tectonics and the School Board previously agreed to this procedure, instead of a lawsuit in Court, to resolve particular issues and Community Tectonics is committed to working towards a prompt and fair resolution.”
Chairman of the Jefferson County School Board, Anne Marie Potts gave this statement. “The Jefferson County School Board has forwarded the request to our attorney Chuck Cagle and we have no further comment at this time.”

Jefferson County Budget Committee Meets
The Jefferson County Commission Budget Committee Meeting was held Thursday, Feb 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM at the Jefferson County Courthouse. In attendance were commissioners Anna Barreiro, Todd Kesterson, Sammy Solomon, Bob Beeler, Russell Turner, Marty Mills, Donnie Tabor, Daniel Estes, Robert Tucker, as well as Chairman of the Budget Committee Commissioner John Neal Scarlett.
Commissioner Scarlett called the meeting to order. 
After an approval of the minutes from the December 16, 2010 meeting, Dr. Charles Edmonds, Director of Schools, asked for an amendment to the school budget. He requested a General Fund adjustment. Edmonds stated that the school system needed to move $100,000.00 from the Fund Balance to Maintenance. When questioned by Commissioner Beeler if the fund balance 
would still be in good standing after the transfer, Edmonds assured the committee that the Fund Balance would be approximately 3 times the amount deemed necessary by the State of Tennessee. The transfer passed by unanimous vote.
Next on the agenda were various budget amendments to the County General Fund. The Highway Department’s need to purchase additional salt for the roads and reimbursement of longevity pay that was received but not entitled were items listed by Mayor Alan Palmieri. No additional funds were requested by the Mayor and the amendment passed unanimously. 
Commissioner Terry Dockery requested funding for Parrotts Chapel Community Fire Department in the amount of $26,400. He stated that the Parrotts Chapel Fire Department needed the funds by April to be able to secure a grant. The commission decided to address the request for the new budget year. Money appropriated for the next year’s budget will be implemented on July 1, 2011.
After much discussion the Budget Committee decided to not forgo $25.00 per committee member pay for those commissioners serving on the Budget and Planning Committees. All Budget and Planning Committee meetings require compensation for committee members, however, according to Chairman Scarlett, there has been a long standing “gentleman’s agreement” to only receive pay for “stand alone” meetings instead of those piggy-backed to a County Commission meeting. Commissioner Turner converted the “gentleman’s agreement” into a motion and it passed unanimously.
Sheriff Bud McCoig requested a $37,832.50 transfer from Fund Balance to his budget to purchase vehicles. 5 cars are needed by the Sheriff’s Department. Three cars are currently budgeted for and also available is an insurance payout. Rather than lease cars and incur interest on the lease, McCoig requested the additional funds to purchase the vehicles outright. Each car is being purchased at the price of approximately $25,000; however the Sheriff’s Department already has the majority of the funds needed for the purchase. $37,832.50 would allow for the 5 new car purchases. The requested amendment passed.
The Adequate Facilities Tax was discussed at length. Commissioner Barreiro had requested that the committee review the tax for possible repeal. Mayor Palmieri expressed an interest in repealing the tax in favor of other alternatives. His reasoning included attorney fees necessary to enforce tax and inhibiting growth in Jefferson County by burdening home builders with this tax.  The tax is part of a resolution and therefore requires two-thirds commission vote and two readings to repeal.
Sunday beer sales are still on the agenda for the next regular County Commission meeting.

Post 9/11 GI BILL - New Education Opportunities for Veterans
The Post 9/11 GI Bill is helping veterans who have served an aggregate period of 36 months active duty to open the door to colleges in our area.
Those veterans who served 30 continuous days after Sept 10, 2001 and have a service related disability (honorably discharged) are also eligible for this benefit.  In some instances, the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits will transfer to dependants of the service member.
Carson-Newman College is participating in The Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps make private college attainable for service members.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill pays only up to the highest in-state public undergraduate tuition and fees. When attending a private college, the annual tab is often much higher than the bill can cover. Participating “Yellow Ribbon” institutions decide upon a tuition and fee to be donated by the college. 
Dustin Jarnigan - Sergeant US Marine Corp attends Carson-Newman College
This amount is then matched by the VA. This combination of benefits along with fee and tuition donations, make private college attainable for those on the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  Locally Carson-Newman College, Pellissippi State Community College, Tusculum, ETSU and Lincoln Memorial University are all participants in The Yellow Ribbon Program.  Between July 2009 and June 2010, approximately 20 Jefferson County Veterans have gone to school on the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

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