The Nov. 4 Blount County Commission meeting was unusual for the amount of ground covered: a public hearing on a landfill application, a work session and business meeting combined into one meeting, swearing in of two recently-reelected commissioners, and retirement recognition for two long-service District 1 road crew employees.
In the business meeting, the commission handled four agenda items affecting the sheriff’s department.
It received an update from Sgt. Jeremy Rudy on the Roadside Trash Detail (RTD), learning that the inmate detail had worked the covered bridges, all of District 1 roads and most of District 2 roads submitted for the first cycle, in the process collecting 5,500 lbs. of debris. Rudy thanked the commission for $10,000 worth of special weapons and equipment requested for the RTD as it continues to clean Blount County roadsides.
The commission discussed at length sheriff-elect Mark Moon’s request to move sheriff’s investigators’ compensation to a salary basis equivalent to present compensation plus 10 hours overtime pay, to align the county with federal compensation practice. A decision and vote on the matter was postponed until the December meeting.
The commission also approved shifting a courthouse security team employee from sheriff’s payroll to the correctional facility payroll for budget administrative purposes, with corresponding line item amendments.
As a fourth item, the commission approved a contract amendment with NCIC – an inmate communications system vendor – to allow installation of a video visitation system at the Blount County jail. Using the system, family members of inmates can visit with their relatives using their cell phones or computers, without having to be present at the jail. Resolutions
Five agenda items were resolutions dealing with miscellaneous matters. The commission passed all five.
Two separate resolutions recognized District 1 road crew employees Glennis Best (35 years) and Randy Jones (36 years) for their dedicated service to Blount County on the occasion of their retirement. Best served many years as the district foreman. Jones anchored the road crew serving under five different county commissioners. Both men take with them an encyclopedic knowledge of road savvy, and repair and resident history.
A third resolution proclaimed the week of Nov. 16 – Nov. 22 as Farm City Week in Blount County in recognition of the dual role of producers and distributors of agricultural products played by farmers and merchants.
Two resolutions specify the vacating of county roads, in the absence of public objections: Berry Road, located off U. S. 231 north of Summit, and an unnamed road connecting County Road 51 and Bullard Road near Mountain Grove.
The commission passed a motion specifying a personal liability bond increase for commissioners from $50,000 to $300,000. The increase is deemed to be in the county’s interests in order to provide additional liability to commissioners in the performance of their duties. In other actions, the commission:
• received a plaque and lapel pins from Hayden Lions Club president Tim Sosebee in appreciation for commission’s assistance with Lions Club Covered Bridge replica project.
• approved the 2019 holiday schedule.
• appointed Chuck Lacks to the Palisades Park board to fill the unexpired term of Mitsy Stewart, set to expire in September 2020.
• postponed until the December meeting consideration of hiring an HVAC certified technician, an apprentice, and a journeyman electrician.
• appointed Billie Giddy to a five-year term on the West Blount Fire and Emergency Services Fire District.
• approved a budget amendment to shift the balance of $11,092 in the Animal Adoption Special Donation Fund to the incidentals budget line item.
• approved bringing forward the 2018 final balances for fund 111 (gasoline tax fund) and 117 (RRR tax fund) to fiscal year 2019.
• rejected rebids received for the courthouse infrastructure renovation project, electing to execute the project “by force account” (using in-house labor.)
• designated as surplus a District 1 2004 Chevrolet truck and authorized the county administrator to dispose of by best means possible.
• mentioned but put off consideration of reported odors from a dog food plant drifting into west Blount County from outside the county; to be considered when District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong is present.
• approved the placing of a “Purple Heart Tree” in the courthouse at Christmas, as requested by veterans organizations. Quorem and future meetings
A quorem consisting of Commissioners Mike Painter, Dean Calvert, and Nick Washburn was present at the business meeting, along with Commission Chairman Chris Green. Commissioner Armstrong was present for the early part of the meeting, then excused himself for another appointment.
The next commission work session will be Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 9 a.m.
The next commission business meeting will be Monday, Dec. 10, at 9 a.m. Both will be in the commission board room at the courthouse in Oneonta.
The Blount County Extension Office luncheon will be held Monday, Dec. 4, at the Frank Green Building following the commission work session.
The courthouse Christmas lunch, sponsored for county employees by Brunson, Barnett, and Sherrer law firm will be held Tuesday Dec. 11.