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Many Questions Go Unanswered During Monday's Commission Meeting
Monday, March 15, 2010

by Ashley Murphy

Once again, Bradley County has been recognized for its excellent budgeting process. Mayor D. Gary Davis presented County Finance Director Lynn Burns with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 2009. The award is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting. Bradley County was just one of 17 local governments in the State of Tennessee to receive this award for 2009.

Cheryl Dunson of Santek Environmental updated the commission on various aspects of the landfill. In 2009, there were 160,800 tons that came into the landfill, which has a cap of 200,000 tons. The State of Tennessee gave Santek $65,000 for their tire recycling efforts. Also, the remaining life on the  landfill has been extended from 54 years, from last years update, to 60 years.

Commissioner Ed Elkins is part of the McDonald Ruritan Club and had questions he wished to ask regarding leases that the Ruritan Club is currently holding. The McDonald Ruritan Club put $35,000 of their own funds to rewire the old McDonald school building after the school board closed the building and removed all wiring. Certain details need to be laid out, as far as who is responsible for this building so that no more funds are wasted. Several commissioners thought that the building should be torn down, due to its decrepit state. Others simply stated that no matter the condition of the building, if it is left up, then it needs to be taken care of in a proper way and kept up, just like any landlord deal. The matter was referred to the Building and Land Committee, who will meet Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at Noon in the Courthouse.

Commissioner Lisa Stanbery also had questions regarding the House Bill for Special School Districts that would allow school boards the authority, like the County Commission, to raise property taxes. Commissioner Mel Griffith stated that there are 15 special school districts in Tennessee and there was a time when special school districts were stopped, because they created "financial chaos." More will be discussed once the Education Committee has come back with a recommendation.

The County Commission will meet again on Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Courthouse.