Article by W. Clay Crook-
Henderson County Commission met in regular session on Tuesday evening, August 10, 2021.
The budget committee called a quorum at 6:00 p.m. and previous minutes were approved. The Finance Director, Lee Wilkinson, said that the counties are still waiting for final guidelines on the use of federal money, and the state money has a stipulation that it can only be spent on non-recurring items. He said that he would also like to put a cost of living increase of up to 3% on the next agenda.
On the elevator for the courthouse, there are some unforeseen issues with some of the electrical lines, and it could be as much as $100,000.00 to move the lines. Everything, otherwise, is still on schedule.
For the Carthel Smith building, which is being used by the Finance Department, the Smith family has asked the county to purchase it for $195,000.00 and would like the budget committee to consider the offer.
There is also an opportunity for a grant for the Sheriff’s Department that would provide for some computers and software, and some inmate work provisions for a re-entry coordinator and another position. Joe T. Wood said that there was no formal commitment, penalties, nor grant matching funds, and has been recommended by TCI. Sheriff Duke said that he would sign that the funds would not be included in the maintenance of efforts funding and would be an advantage down the road for the system in the efforts to combat recidivism. The budget committee voted in favor of the application.
Mayor Eddie Bray mentioned the funding for the Bicentennial request, which is on the agenda for the commission. He also spoke briefly on the recommendations on the two completed applications for non-profits, and asked for a recommendation on the parks at Parkers Crossroads and at Lexington. The committee recommended approval with a stipulation that the forms need to be completed in full by all entities for next year’s requests.
In between meetings, State Senator Page Walley spoke about the recent legislative session and that the state of Tennessee is in sound fiscal commission and that the number of employment opportunities have substantially increased. He also mentioned the future reopening of the hospital in Haywood County. “I want you to see me as your advocate in Nashville, to get what you need done in Henderson County and for Henderson County.” He also spoke about different initiatives around the state in reference to COVID-19. He asked for feedback on state versus county control, and most said that they were in favor of local decisions being made locally.
During the commission meeting, which started at 7:00 p.m., the following notaries were approved: Shelley M. Broughton, Candace Coleman, Victoria Crismon – Legg, Dean Jackson, Shelly Lee, Abigayle Sartain, Jackqueline Scott, Brooke N. Sullivan, David Rhodes, Lacy Woods, Bentley Deloach, Kristie Willis, Maray Baker, Misty Cozart.
The commission approved the parks funding requests for Lexington and Parkers Crossroads from the budget committee. After discussion, the commission voted to terminate the non – profit committee, and the duties of that committee will revert to the..
For complete coverage, see the August 18th edition of The Lexington Progress.