Tax renewal supported in light vote
In a remarkably light vote, the few Blount Countians who went to the polls March 14 voted overwhelmingly to renew two property taxes for schools.
On the 2-mill ad valorem tax earmarked for education, 1685 voted in favor, 108 voted against. On renewing the 4- mill tax, 1617 voted for, 203 against. It’s anybody’s guess why the votes on the two levies differed.
The two taxes approved brought in about $540,000 toward county schools’ $22.8 million budget last year. The six-mills garnered $84,000 toward the Oneonta city system’s $4 million budget.
Federal funds available toward building Nectar Bridge
The Blount County Commission will work toward using federal monies flowing through the state Department of Transportation to begin the $3 million project of building a new bridge to replace the burned Nectar Covered Bridge.
“We don’t get many chances to double our money like this,” Richard Spraggins, county engineer, told the commission March 13. Spraggins reported an anticipated $412,626 in federal funds this year, and another of the same amount in October. Those amounts plus $64,000 in funds carried over from last year would total about $900,000, almost a third of the project cost.
Brooksville Intersection – Accident injures two children
Two children, ages 12 and 13, were injured March 14 in the fifth accident at the intersection of U.S. 278 and Ala 79 since the completion of the four-lane project in Brooksville on Dec. 17, 1994.
According to Brooksville Fire Department records, there were nine accidents at the intersection in 1994. Fire chief Lane Pettit said motorists traveling through the intersection have increased speed since the four-lane completion, and the department has seen more serious injuries in the past five accidents than before.