“There were a lot of unanswered questions (at the last meeting),” finance committee chair Connie Wilson said.
One unanswered question was when the designer fee would be due.
Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel was also present for the meeting.
“In the letter we received, it said the funding had to be in place by Aug. 1,” Casteel said.
Wyrick said discussion about the fee began when the state decided a design firm needed to be hired to begin working on the Bradley County project.
“When the bills come in, they will invoice this local group,” Wyrick said.
The state and federal portion of the project does not apply to the designer’s fee.
The veterans home representative said the county, city and the anonymous donor must draft a letter of commitment to the project to the state to continue with the process. A similar letter was sent last year but did not specify for how long the commitment would stand. Wyrick said the commitment has to be renewed annually unless the letter states it is good for longer.
“There needs to be some kind of duration of the commitment. If you want to extend it for two more years, then put a date of September of 2014,” Wyrick said.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis suggested using a 2016 date for stating the duration.
Committee member Ed Elkins made a motion to use the same letter as last year but using a new ending date.
Wyrick said deadlines have changed this year requiring certain steps of the process to be completed sooner to secure funding in that fiscal year.
The amount of money needed in this fiscal year was the main question local officials wanted answered.
“It’s kind of important since we don’t have the $2 million,” Elkins said.
Part of when funding is needed depends on when the federal government decides to fund the project. Wyrick could not guarantee how much funding would be needed for the project in this fiscal year because it depends on the project’s progress. However, it’s highly unlikely the entire local match could be needed this fiscal year, Wyrick said.
Wyrick said the federal government has not committed funds to the project. His estimated guess was that this could happen in 2013.
In addition to deadline changes, facility standard changes also took effect this year.
“The federal government changed its standards for these buildings in 2011,” Wyrick said.
He pointed out the standards are moving away from a hospital style setup to an at-home feel for each retiree. Wyrick said the standards were changed to increase the standard of living for those in the veterans homes.
Also during the meeting:
- Three amendments concerning funds were passed for Bradley County Juvenile Court, the Sheriff’s Office and money from insurance for tornado damage.
The Juvenile Court was receiving money from an ongoing grant. The Sheriff’s Office amendment concerned money for providing security.
- A motion to take the Bradley County Commission’s 1.6 percent raise and use it to give legislative assistant Amy Moore a raise died for lack of a second. An amendment to use the money to repair the Commission meeting room’s sound system was postponed.