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Committee Discusses Lighting and Employee Benefits
by Ashley Murphy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Issues regarding recreational lighting and the county's post-employment benefits were the two topics that dominated the Bradley County Finance Committee meeting held on Wednesday afternoon. 

Bradley County will be entering into contracts with Cleveland Utilities and Volunteer Electric Cooperative to light the Industrial Baseball Park, off of Urbane Road, and the Charleston Football Field, located at Charleston Elementary School.

Lighting Industrial Field will require a 15 year with Cleveland Utilities. This contract includes the total and actual cost of the project, so at the end of the contract term, Bradley County will assume ownership of the lights. Based on estimates given by Musco, the fixture and materials supplier, and Cleveland Utilities, the cost per month will be $1,765.24.

Lighting of the Charleston Football Field will require entering into a 10 year contract with Volunteer Electric Cooperative. Based on information given by VEC, "the Cooperative will design, at no cost to the consumer, the outdoor lighting system to meet the consumer's need. The Cooperative will provide, install, own and maintain the outdoor lighting system." After the 10 year term has expired, the monthly payments will be renegotiated so that it only the maintenance of the lighting system is included. Until that contract comes to a close, Bradley County will be paying an estimated cost not to exceed $980 a month.

After discussion, the motion to allow Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis to sign contracts for both facilities passed unanimously.
Concerns have risen regarding Bradley County's post-employment benefits package, causing the county to take action. A few years ago a handful of employees were let go from the road department, only to be hired back by the newly elected Road Department Superintendent about two weeks later.

The current policy states a number of consecutive years of service must be held before the benefits package can take effect. Even though hired backed, the employees were written of the employee list, meaning their consecutive years of service were interrupted and that the benefits would not be received.

Finance Committee Member Ben Atchley made a motion for a resolution to include the following new terms: allow cumulative years of service for Bradley County employees regarding the 30 year mark; the 25 year employees will be left at consecutive years of service, but will include language to compensate for the two week break in employment.

If the resolution passes the County Commission, new policy will take effect on July 1, 2010.