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Royal Oaks Residents Say Commission Isn't Doing It's Job
by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Several issues were brought up during Monday night's County Commission, two regarding residential situations. Judy Massengale from the Mulberry Subdivision in District 2 had environmental concerns in her neighborhood, due to a neighbor not mowing their lawn. Massengale stated that this neighbor's yard is only mowed an average of twice a year. She asked that the commission possibly pass an ordinance to keep issues like this from arising in neighborhoods.

County Attorney Joe Byrd stated that he would discuss this matter with County Planner Corey Divel in an upcoming planning meeting. Byrd went on to say that he wasn't too sure about passing an ordinance, so as not to keep codes enforcement officers tied up with constantly checking in and looking at people's homes and yards. Byrd said he would like to see these types of issues stay on a "complaint driven" base, and codes enforcement can check on the situation when a complaint is received.

Commissioner Michael Plumley asked that an item on the consent agenda be pulled for regular voting after clarification had been given on the subject. A motion was placed to formally request from the former Hospital Trustees the location of hospital records.

Byrd explained that Reciprocal of America was the insurance company used by Bradley Memorial Hospital. As the downfall of the economy became worse, Reciprocal couldn't pay worker's compensation or liability claims. This led to Bradley Memorial being left to pay out at least $435,000 in receiverships. Byrd went on to say there is a possibility of regaining this money through a court case. However, the court will need all documentation involving checks, cancelled checks, payments, etc. Byrd stated that the courts are in the process of obtaining this information, but that he wishes to personally draft a letter to the Hospital Trustees. The motion passed unanimously.

Before adjourning the meeting, Chairman Louie Alford questioned audience communication; Barbara Gilbert from Royal Oaks Subdivision in the Tasso area came before the commission once again to discuss Wilkinson Creek. Gilbert stated that the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation had been out to the creek earlier in the day Monday, May 3rd to administer more tests, due to the first set of tests having read "off the charts" for human fecal matter.

Gilbert stated that no action has been taken by the commission and she needs guidance on what to do; whether to pass up the commission and take this to Nashville, or obtain an attorney.

Commissioner Jim Smith stated that the county is in the process now of trying to get the beavers removed, which were part of the problem for back-ups in Wilkinson Creek. As for the other issue, Smith and Gilbert agreed to work in correspondence to try and come to a resolve.

Commissioner Ed Elkins requested that the discussion be deferred to a work session, possibly May 24th, until a TDEC representative could be present to answer questions about the situation.

The Bradley County Commission will meet for their work session on May 10th at the Elks Lodge in a joint meeting with the Cleveland City Council at noon.