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Dandridge, Tennessee

September 19, 2011 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

Generosity Begins At An Early Age
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June Woods’ grandson demonstrates the satisfaction that comes from helping a worthy cause. He and many other Jefferson County residents gave generously to find a cure for Muscular Dystrophy.

Jefferson County Commission Worksession

Gearing Up for Tonight's Meeting

The Jefferson County Commission met for a Regular Monthly Work Session on September 12, 2011 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse. 

The Meeting was Called to Order by Commission Chairman Mills.

Two citizens appeared before the Commission to address the Library situation at Parrott-Wood in Strawberry Plains. A representative from the Parrott family stated that the family would be willing to accommodate the County’s needs through sale or lease. They would be amendable to donating the property for expansion.

Citizen Jack Kramer requested that the Commission take no action until the Library Board could reach a 

decision on the best path to take. He stated that the library should remain in the old town area for close proximity to the school.

Nominating Committee Chairman Carmichael informed the Commission that the Committee had established an application process for citizens wishing to hold a post on a committee. Available openings will be advertised to allow citizens the opportunity to apply for the position. Carmichael said that all Commissioners were requested to attend the next Nominating Committee meeting to assist in compiling an accurate and complete list of Committees. He stated that the Committee is working on compiling a work book to assist in up to date lists of Committees. 

Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri stated that a special proclamation to honor Lauren Collins would be presented. Collins received high acclamation for her documentary on Eminent Domain. The Commission requested to view the documentary.

The Mayor requested that ETED be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. He informed the Commission that no final draft of the document regarding the lease of the hospital to HMA was available , however the item will appear on the next agenda in case the document becomes available.

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Commissioner Dockery inquired to Sheriff McCoig if a dirt bike would qualify as disturbing the peace. McCoig stated that he cannot enforce the use of correct mufflers on private property, however he can enforce disturbing the peace. It requires that he give one warning before issuing a citation.

Highway Superintendent Tipton informed the Commission that the County will be required to replace signs between now and 2018. He stated that he will start changing the signs as needed now, to prevent a huge monetary burden later. New signs cost an additional $5.

Director of Schools Edmonds provided the Commission with a packet which included a letter from the School Board requesting an informal meeting regarding the renovations at Jefferson County High School.

Chamber of Commerce Director Cason informed the Commission that the Elite Bassmaster tournament will be held in Jefferson County in 2012. He also stated that M-Block may be in need of expansion soon.

Roger Mynatt of the Jefferson County Nursing Home requested that the Commission extend the Nursing Homes $500,000 line of credit. They have not previously used the credit line.

Finance Committee Chairman Griffith informed the Commission that the Committee has been assessing the Act of 81. They are also in the processing of addressing the Debt Policy, which is required by the State. The Committee will request that all departmental purchasing go through the Finance Office.

Public Service Committee Chairman Tucker stated that the Committee is looking into Fire Department Funding allocations and may soon have a recommendation to bring before the Committee. He also said that the Outdoor Music Even Resolution will be on the agenda for the next Commission meeting. 

Redistricting Committee Chairman Turner stated that he will present the redistricting map to the Full Commission at the next regular meeting and request approval to implement the changes.

Building Inspection Board of Appeals Chairman Carmichael stated that the Committee is in the process of reconciling Jefferson County Codes with other mandates. He said that the Inspection and Appeals process is not up to par and the Committee has a lot of work to do to correct the situation.

Director of Jefferson County Finance Helton stated that the School System’s line item budget passed. He informed the Commission that there was some necessary language changes in the resolutions for the sanitation department and the E-911 Combination Center.

Commissioner Dockery stated that he felt that using the nearly 2 million dollars recently released from a law suit against the County to fund the E-911 project would be an appropriate use of the money.

Helton stated that in October there will be a presentation of a debt management policy and that the fund balance should be considered at that time. He said that there is currently a money crunch because of paying for the sanitation dozier. He said that a total financial picture should be available at that time.

Commission Chairman Mills stated that there will need to be action taken on where to apply a $12,000 service credit from Appalachian Electric. Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett stated that he would like to apply the credit with the County facilities rather than the school system.

Commissioner Estes stated that he would like to see a separate notification of non profits in the newspaper.

Commissioner Dockery stated that , though he was not ready to present the idea for a motion at the next meeting, he would like to investigate the pros and cons of term limits. He stated that he would like input from 

Public Service Committee

Possible Earmarked Additional Tax Discussed for Fire Departments 
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The Jefferson County Public Service Committee met on September 12, 2011 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.

The meeting was called to order by Committee Chairman Tucker.

The Agenda and Minutes to previous meeting were approved by consent.

Two citizens from the Strawberry Plains area addressed the Committee regarding excessive noise from a neighboring property. Both citizens stated that the noise from a dirt bike track was hindering their ability to use their property. They stated that they had come before the Committee before and requested relief from the noise intrusion. The Committee did not act on the request for a noise ordinance, citing concern that it would impact other citizens that were involved in regular daily activities such as mowing. 

Citizen Steve Palmer, owner of Dexfest, addressed the Committee concerning the proposed Music Resolution that will go before the full Commission on September 19,2011. 

The Committee heard from representatives from some of the area Fire Departments regarding a funding formula that would more efficiently split the County’s contribution to the Departments. 

The issue of an additional tax of $25, $50, $75 or $100 that would be earmarked for the Fire Departments was discussed. Three additional substations would be added to accommodate the areas of the County that are not as highly covered. The additions would eliminate the need for establishing new Departments, which is costly for the County. Fire Department Representatives stated that with the addition of the substations Jefferson County will be adequately covered, which is important to homeowners that pay insurance premiums. A motion to move forward with a recommendation of the tax was tabled until more information could be made available regarding how the tax would be received by cities whose citizens already pay taxes for city services.

Currently Dandridge covers a total of 8,864 properties - Jefferson City 3,783- New Market 3,383- White Pine 2,354- Kansas Talbot 1,998- Chestnut Hill 1,343- Lakeway Central 1,222- Baneberry 778. The total number of properties covered in Jefferson County is 23,725. The Departments would receive the amount of tax collected in their area. A $50 fee would result in a total of $1,186,250. This amount would be split according to property coverage in each area.

The Meeting was Adjourned.

citizens and Commissioners on the issue. It was stated from the floor that the move would require a change in the charter of the County. Dockery requested information on the various options for the forms of government charters.

Commissioner Turner requested that the Commission consider reforming a Facilities Committee to assist in overseeing building projects. Turner also stated that he would like to revisit the funding of the E-911 combination facility. He said that he feels that the project is costly and not needed at this time. Turner stated that he would rather return to the original commitment of only a E-911 building.

Mayor Palmieri stated that the law provides that the Mayor is responsible for all County Buildings. He said that the E-911 Combination Facility was definitely needed, and had already been approved by the Budget Committee and the Full Commission.

Commissioner Tucker stated that he would like to see the money that was set aside for the hospital lawsuit ($2million) be used to pay for the E-911 combination center and the remainder -around $400,00- be slotted to pave roads. Further, he stated that he would like the Commission to earmark the new funds that will be received from hospital property tax for road paving.

Commissioner Dockery inquired of Tipton the current condition of the roads and Tipton stated that they needed considerable work, however there were very little funds available for paving.

Commission Estes stated that he believes that the County has other needs that are greater than roads, citing schools as an example. He stated that the issue would need to come before the Budget Committee.

Commissioner Carmichael stated that the County needs to look into the future and develop a plan that can meet the needs of the County, including roads.

Commissioner Tucker raised the issue of decreasing the number of Commissioners and requested that the Commission explore the option.

Commissioner Beeler stated that the County Charter must change in order to change the number of Commissioners.

County Attorney Churchwell stated that it could be accomplished through the redistricting process. Commissioner Beeler stated that he has a letter that is contrary to that information.

Commissioner Baxley said that fewer numbers do not necessarily result in fewer conflicts and cited the School Board as an example.

Commissioner Griffith stated that any altering of numbers should make sense in the redistricting process, rather than just lessening Commissioners.

Commissioner Turner stated that the number of Commissioners was not the problem, rather how they function together.

Commissioner Estes stated that lowering the number of Commissioners would put a strain on those serving, as it would drastically increase their commitments.

Commissioner Carmichael stated that it would be difficult to effectively communicate with all citizens if the numbers were altered.

Commissioner Blevins stated that he will make a motion for action regarding the Parrott-Wood Library at the next meeting.  The meeting was adjourned.

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