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June 27, 2011

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Jefferson County Commission
EMS/E911 Center - IDB - School Budget
Staff Photo

The meeting was called to order by Commission Chairman Mills.

Approval of the Minutes was by consent. No citizen requested to appear before the Commission.

Notaries and Bonds were unanimously approved.

Nomination Committee Chairman Carmichael presented the recommendations from the committee for vote by the full Commission. All recommendations were unanimously accepted. Hammond will serve on the Animal Control Oversight Board. Commissioner Hubbard will serve on the Conservation Board. Nash, Harrold, Black and Rankin will fill the Library Board. Commissioner Musick will complete the Public Records Commission and one Commissioner from each district will serve on the Redistricting Committee. The Workhouse Commission was not placed. Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri 

recommended that the Workhouse be under the Sheriff. Under state law a Workhouse Commission is necessary unless the County Mayor recommends that the Sheriff oversee the Workhouse, thus eliminating the need for a Workhouse Commission.

Commissioner Tucker made a motion to move budget line items for the Justice Center physical facilities maintenance and to draft a resolution to resend the Workhouse Commission, to be brought back next month. The motion was 2nd by Patterson.

Scarlett made a motion to suspend the rules and was 2nd by Tucker. Both motions passed unanimously.

Sheriff McCoig responded to questions regarding Dexfest ( an outdoor concert event ). He informed the Commission that a command center had been established across the street from the event - in conjunction with the Highway Patrol as well as other agencies. 55 arrests, mostly drug or alcohol related, were made and two underage buys were made at the event. The Beer Board will address the issue in July. Commissioner Turner requested that the Commission be advised of the cost to the county .

Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett informed the Commission that the Jefferson County School Board will need to meet and restructure the school budget and the County Budget Committee is in a holding pattern until the school board meets again. The Budget Committee will meet on June 28 and the full Commission will meet on June 30.

Mayor Palmieri addressed the Commission about the proposed E-911 combination center that will house E-911,EMA,EMS & Ambulance Building. He informed the Commission that the current building housing E-911 has been sold. Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett informed the Commission that the committee had approved the facility and is waiting until the end of the budget process to identify funding. Commissioner Tucker made a motion to have the Mayor speak to the current owner of the building housing E-911 about staying until the new facility is built. Motion was 2nd by Cureton and passed unanimously. Questions arose about the possibility of splitting the project. Commissioners Musick and Patterson, who have toured all the facilities involved, both stated that the current arraignment does not provide acceptable space to operate efficiently. Commissioner Carmichael stated the situation is already tight and prolonging the process will cost the taxpayers more in next few years. St.Mary’s had offered to gift the building site to the county and in a motion by Commissioner Solomon and 2nd by Kesterson the Commission voted to accept the land and authorize the Mayor to move forward with the land process. ( No-Turner, Estes and Scarlet )

Commissioner Dockery made a motion to approach St Mary’s about the possibility of purchasing an additional 2 acres for a total of $39,370, which would come from the funding already requested. 2nd by Tucker and then amended by consent to remove the price of the property and request that it is adjacent to the original 2 acre.

Commissioner Turner made a high privilege motion to postpone and was 2nd by Tabor-motion failed.

The original motion by Dockery passed. 

The Commission discussed a building in Strawberry Plains that has been offered for a Library The building is in disrepair and will take funds to bring it up to par. Annette Loy from the Library Board addressed the issue and stated that grant money could be available. Commissioner Barreiro made a motion to refer the offer to the Library Board. Solomon 2nd and the motion passed.

The Strawberry Plains Senior Center was recently destroyed by flood and they requested assistance from the county. Commissioner Blevins made a motion to have the Mayor’s office to investigate possible building sites or buildings and refer the information to the budget committee. The motion passed

Commissioner Solomon made a motion to accept the recommendation from the Elder Tax Relief Committee and do a state match rather than a tax freeze. Cureton 2nd. Commissioner Tucker made a motion to match at 125% but to address issue each year in budget committee. 2nd Musick, the motion failed. The original motion by Solomon passed.

The Industrial Development Board Chairman Daryl Brady addressed the Commission regarding possible sites for a proposed Industrial Park. Brady stated that heavy opposition from residents is a deterrent in attracting industry and only the Jefferson City locations are unopposed. Per a motion by Solomon the IDB will rank the location choices and return the information to the Commission. 2nd Turner and passed.

In other New Business the Commission voted to postpone indefinitely a county web site. The motion was made by Turner and 2nd by Solomon. The Commission adopted a resolution to allow the Jefferson County Government to continue to function beyond July 1, 2011, should another Budget not yet be adopted. Commissioner Estes presented a motion to propose a settlement in a case that the Commission is currently involved in. The motion passed. Kesterson made the motion to have Budget Committee terms be 2 years. 2nd Tucker and passed.  The meeting was Adjourned.

Board of Education requests expansion of Dandridge Growth Boundaries

The Jefferson County Board of Education has requested that the Town of Dandridge extend their growth boundaries to include the new central elementary school and the proposed freshman academy. The elementary school is currently under construction and is anticipated to be ready for use in fall of 2012. The Dumplin Valley area that is the location of the schools is currently not inside the Dandridge growth boundaries. The Jefferson County School Board is hoping to hook onto city sewer. According to Jefferson County Finance Director Daryl Helton, the move would save county taxpayers considerably. In a Dandridge planning meeting on Thursday, plans were brought to show the proposed area that would be in the extended growth boundaries. In an effort to avoid forcing Dandridge city taxpayers from shouldering the road improvement costs that will be associated with the school project, Dandridge will only extend the boundaries where necessary to provide service. The plan is to only annex one side of Dumplin Valley, and only the property that unavoidable. The result will be that the growth lines are not “clean” which is a problem that is currently facing Jefferson City. Jefferson City Mayor Potts requested that they be allowed to address the problems associated with lines that are not considered to be “clean” during the last growth 

TDOT Calls Public Hearings

Fate of the Green Bridge Still Not Settled
Staff Photo

Some Dandridge officials and property owners recently received information from Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) that the Green Bridge Project is not as far along as was previously understood. Several years have passed since TDOT held public hearings on the question of the fate of the green bridge that is a part of the Historic Town Square. Increased traffic and condition of the bridge were the reasons behind the proposed bridge project. The Town of Dandridge submitted their recommendation to TDOT several years ago, after the public hearing process. The public outcry from citizens in the Cherokee Drive and Isabelle Lane areas, as well as the expensive cost of a “Green Hill” or “Cherokee Drive” location, supposedly removed those options from the table. This past week, however, they were still listed as viable options. The information stated that TDOT will again hold public hearings on the Green Bridge issue. TDOT Community Relation Officer for the region serving Jefferson County, Mark Nagi, stated that TDOT was in the environmental phase of the project and will then move to the planning phase. According to Nagi, the Green Bridge Project is part of a three year plan that will begin in 2012. He did not provide any further information on the intent of TDOT. Town officials appear to be outside the TDOT loop, as they understood the project to be beyond the initial planning phase.

committee meeting. Dandridge has a moratorium on providing sewer to any property that is outside the city limits, therefore they will have to annex the area in question. Though Dandridge will pass the cost of the schools sewer to the county, the Town will still be obligated to provide services to the annexed area, as those residents will become Dandridge tax payers. Dandridge Town officials have stated that the change in growth boundaries and subsequent annexation of parts of the Dumplin Valley area are in totality a response to the request from the Jefferson County School Board. Dandridge, Jefferson City, New Market and White Pine have all requested extensions in growth boundaries. Any extension will require pubic hearings, as well as individual city, growth committee , Jefferson County Commission and State approval. The total process could take 8-10 months.

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