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Clean-up Continues; No Tax Increase for This Budget

by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mayor D. Gary Davis opened Monday night's Bradley County Commission meeting by proposing a resolution to commend all of those from the Bradley County Fire & Rescue, Sheriff's Department, Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Management Agency who volunteered their time during and after the tornadoes that swept through our county on April 27, 2011.

Davis stated there were 157 volunteer hours from BCFR after the storms moved through. He also wanted to commend all those who were at work and receiving paid time during this disaster, but the volunteers gave up personal time and should be recognized for their dedication. He continued by saying that these volunteers not only saved many lives during this time, but also saved the tax payers thousands of dollars by contributing their services free of charge.

This led to updates from EMA Director Troy Spence and Mike Calvin. Calvin was representing the company that is monitoring the storm debris clean-up under FEMA requirements. As of last night there have been 81,392 cubic yards moved from roadsides across the county. Approximately 57,000 of that is from the county and 26,000 from the city.

Clean-up is not anywhere near being finished and the crews are trying to get the hardest hit, most debris laden communities first. If the crews haven't been through your community yet, they are working on it. Calvin did want it to be known that all storm debris must be in the city or county right-of-way no later than June 20, 2011. He said that once crews clear the roadsides and the roads are marked on their maps as having been completed, the crews cannot backtrack and pick up the debris placed on the road after June 20th. So make sure to get all of your storm debris moved to the side of the road in the next couple of weeks to insure that it is picked up by the helping crews.

Spence said he didn't want to give an exact date, but his hopes are to have the storm clean-up completed by the end of June or sometime in July.

After receiving updates, Mayor Davis switched to the task of budgeting. It's that time of year again and the commission must review the budget before sending it on to the Finance Committee to make another pass at it and make final changes.

Davis stated that revenues are flat, but that there are no proposed tax increases for the coming year. In addition, the budget was carefully put together in a way to also allow all full-time county employees a 1.6% pay increase. He was also glad to announce that only a few departments needed budget increases, while the majority of departments were able to decrease their budgets from last year to help with the process.

The Finance Committee meeting has been rescheduled to Friday, June 10, 2011 at 2 p.m. to discuss the budget to get it ready for final approval.

The Bradley County Commission will meet again on Monday, June 13th at Noon in the Bradley County Courthouse.