From the Archives

The Southern Democrat
July 24, 1980

Count verifies Blount’s growth

Preliminary population count by the Bureau of the Census shows that Blount’s population increased 33.6 percent in the decade from 1970 to 1980, making this county one of the fastest growing in the state.

The 1980 preliminary count registers 35,866 persons living in Blount compared to 26,853 in 1970.

Probate Judge Frank Green says, “I had estimated (the population) from 34,000 to 36,000. I believe we got a fairly accurate count. I did think Oneonta’s (count) was a little low.”

The city of Oneonta is shown as having 4818 in the 1980 census, compared to 4390 in 1970. This is tabulated as a 9.7 growth rate. County money may run short

The close June 30 of the first three quarters of the fiscal year showed operating money may be tight for Blount County road operations.

The number of miles of county roads in each district is the basis for appropriations made to each at the beginning of the year October 1. However, commissioners have in the past stressed that simply appropriating money doesn’t necessarily mean the money is on hand or that each commissioner will receive that much during the course of the year. It depends on taxes from highway users coming in.

According to Commission Clerk Donnie Thomas’s report to commission as of June 30, operating expenses in Comm. Gene Blalock’s Dist. 1 amounted to $103,074 in the first three quarters. Dist. 2’s Comm. Bill C. Hudson showed operating expenses of $156,459. In Comm. W. A. Kornegay’s Dist. 3, these monies amounted to $124,718 and in Comm. Denton Blackwood’s Dist. 4 they were $149,535. Losses in county running into millions

County Emergency Board members estimate lack of rain and high temperatures have caused $11,494,850 in Blount’s crops and livestock through July 18.

The county emergency report estimates an 80% loss on corn; 20%, cotton; 40%, bell pepper; 50%, soybeans; 60%, tomatoes and pole beans; 80%, watermelons; 70%, squash; 50%, sweet potatoes; 50%, hay; and 25%, pastures. A 75% loss is estimated on fruits but 65% of that loss estimate is attributed to a late freeze that occurred in March.