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Dandridge, Tennessee

July 4, 2011 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA
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Independence Day 2011

Independence Day is cause for great celebration in both Jefferson County and the United States as a whole. It is the day when Americans set aside political difference and join in remembering those words and acts, by average men and women, that make the United States great. The United States of American has changed significantly since that fateful day in 1776, when a few brave men declared an independent nation. Should those men return today , they would find it a changed place. In their time 2.5 million people shared this land, however that number has grown to a estimated 311.7 million living in the U.S.A. Americans are proud of the symbols of freedom that are the trademarks of the United States. The bald eagle is a symbol of power and strength, both traits that Americans strive to embody. Though the eagle flies proud and free, the turkey was a serious contender for the National symbol. Benjamin Franklin was in favor of the turkey, because it was a 

native bird, but he was outvoted, two to one, in favor of the eagle. The Flag has changed through the years, however the prevailing theme of equality of colonies, or states, is still prevalent. Other aspects of American culture that are representative of freedom, such as the Star Spangled Banner, were added as America changed and grew. This year, much like previous years, the citizens of Jefferson County will celebrate with cook outs, parades and fireworks. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, was shocked that July 4th was the day chosen to celebrate the birth of the Nation. He felt sure that July 2 ,- when the founding fathers agreed to declare independence from Great Britain- would go down in history as the Nationís Birthday but instead , it was the day that the declaration was presented to the public that became known as Independence Day. The founding fathers, and citizens in general, paid little attention to the Declaration of Independence after the initial reading and signing. They were more consumed with ideas that supported those words. It was much later in the life of the United States of America that the Declaration of Independence took a place of National importance. Today it is housed at the National Archives in Washington D.C.  


The Jefferson County Budget Committee

met on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse, at 7pm.

The meeting was called to order by Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett. Commissioner Patterson sat in for absent Committee Member Mills. 

After corrections, the Minutes were approved.

A motion was made by Committee Member Estes and 2nd by Tabor to accept Budget Amendments and the motion passed.

The Sanitation Department sought funding for a new dozer and to begin the new cell. The Committee discussed avenues of funding , including combining 

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the funding with the new E-911 combination center. A motion was made by Turner to fund the Sanitation Department request on a short term note from the Jefferson County Trustee, at a low interest rate, with the amount ($ 321,500 ) to be repaid through the general fund. Tucker amended the motion to state a ten year period, equal payments and Sanitation Supervisor will assist in setting the terms of the loan, to include no penalty for early repayment. 2nd by Patterson. The motion passed with one No-Beeler.

The Budget Committee addressed the funding for the E-911/EMS/EMA combination building. The facility cannot come before the full Commission until it has a avenue of funding attached to the recommendation. A previously approved motion, made during a earlier meeting, stated that the funding would come by way of borrowing from ourselves and paying back out of Debt Service. Debt Service can only be used to repay outside sources. 

Committee Member Solomon made a motion to go to an outside source for the 1.6 million needed to fully fund the project, not to exceed 2.5 % including issuance cost. 2nd Tucker-motion failed. A failed amendment and motion to seek internal funding with repayment through general fund also failed. Commissioner Tucker made the motion to fund through a outside source and repay through Debt Service. 2nd Solomon and passed with Turner, Tabor and Scarlett voting No. Director of Jefferson County Finance Helton will return with outside funding options, however the item can now be brought before the full Commission.

Jefferson County Department of Education appeared before the Budget Committee. The Committee was furnished with a handout that itemized the cuts that were to be made by the DOE. Committee Member Tabor made a motion to accept the School Budget as it was presented by the School Board. Taborís motion was amended by consent to include $600,000 to be paid from the DOE Fund Balance and to recognize the Trane payment, as well as denote the amount of the local contribution to meet the maintenance of effort to be $12,944,680. Tucker offered an amendment to offset the proposed difference in sales tax revenue, which is projected to give the DOE an estimated additional $200,000 in funding, by adjusting the amount of property tax so that the amount going to the school remains the same. 2nd Barreiro amendment failed . The original motion and consented amendment passed. The Committee was informed that any additional sales tax revenue will be in Fund Balance.

The Committee requested that Helton return with amount of cost, should the Committee be able to fund a raise or bonus for County Employees.  The meeting was Adjourned.


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