Committee updates dominate county agenda

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 3/6/19

Members of the Bradley County Commission heard updates from several committees during Monday night’s voting session. Besides those updates, there was no new or unfinished business on the agenda.

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Committee updates dominate county agenda

Posted

Members of the Bradley County Commission heard updates from several committees during Monday night’s voting session. Besides those updates, there was no new or unfinished business on the agenda.

Committees that met last week included the Audit Committee and Farmers Market North Committee.

Audit Committee Chairman Louie Alford presented a letter to Tennessee’s Office of Comptroller of the Treasury regarding the 2017-18 fiscal year audit, thanking auditors for their work “to provide us with a comprehensive audit …”

The letter also noted the Audit Committee met “to fully review the audit and to review with departments their corrective action plans for improved accountability. The committee voted unanimously to forego the March 11, 2019, meeting with your team as they were fully satisfied with” the audit and “the reasonable explanations, and the corrective action plans.”

Alford asked that the letter be included in the minutes of Monday night’s meeting.

Commissioners also heard an update from the Farmers Market North Committee from its chairman, Alford. He said the biggest issue facing the market is theft over the weekends, when the vendors leave their produce in place overnight.

“We just need to try to secure it better than it is,” Alford said, adding the vendors appreciate any help.

Commissioner Charlotte Peak asked how much money is needed for the fence. Alford said $2,000 is needed, and Peak replied her business, KACE Construction & Developments, sent a $100 check for the fence project.

“Now you need $1,900,” she said.

In other business:

• Commissioner Mike Hughes he toured Black Fox Elementary School and “it is unnerving to see the situation.” He recommended other commissioners tour the school as well to see the needs.

Space concerns at both Black Fox and North Lee elementary schools were discussed during an Education Committee meeting last month, with Bradley County Schools Director Dr. Linda Cash bringing up the need for more classroom space at both schools. The estimated cost for modular buildings is $1 million to $1.1 million.

“We are currently in need of more space in those schools,” Cash said. “We are literally just out of space at both of those schools.”

Cash told committee members she has “actually put this off for several years now” because she wanted to finish the new Lake Forest Middle School before launching another project.

Under Cash’s proposal, the three portable classroom buildings at Black Fox are to be removed. “It was never meant to be a permanent situation anyway,” she said, adding two portable buildings at both Black Fox and North Lee are owned by Family Resource Agency.

They would be replaced with 750- to 800-square-foot modular at a cost of approximately $140 to $150 per square foot, whereas a traditional building will cost about $20 more per square foot.

In other discussion related to the schools, Commissioner Thomas Crye, chairman of the Education Committee, thanked Cash for facilitating a tour of the schools last week. He said the tour highlighted the shortage of space at Black Fox and North Lee elementary schools.

• Hughes said the Emergency Services Committee will meet at noon on Tuesday, March 12, at the EMS station on Paul Huff Parkway.

• Peak thanked Commissioner Tim Mason for help with a recent litter issue in the 4th District.

“We’ve always got something over there and he always dives right in and helps,” Peak said.

Mason is environmental codes enforcement officer for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office and Tennessee Department of Transportation litter coordinator with the BCSO.

• Commissioner Kevin Raper said he met recently with Doug Berry, vice president of economic development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.

“I am very excited about the possibility of growth in the near future,” Raper said.

• Commissioner Bill Winters spoke about challenges faced by Bradley Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, specifically census concerns because of a push from insurance companies to send nursing home patients home after a hospital stay, rather than back to the nursing home. Winters said “some of our county folks” would rather have loved ones cared for at a skilled nursing facility than relying on home health services at home.

“In reality, when I get 85 … or closer to 90 and I need this kind of care, I think they’ll be sending me home,” Winters said.

• Mason said he met with John Thomason, an organizer of the Bradley County Funeral Honor Guard, at the Bradley County Veterans Cemetery at Fort Hill Cemetery and worked about four hours to clear homeless campsites from the cemetery. Trash removed included beer cans, drugs and drug paraphernalia, he said.

Mason said he does “not feel sorry” for the people who left behind the dangerous mess, adding a plan to allow students to volunteer at the cemetery picking up trash is not safe with those types of items left behind.

He added he plans to help keep the veterans cemetery cleaned so that “all our families in the city and county” can feel comfortable and secure when visiting the graves of loved ones.

• Heard from Peak the “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region will be Saturday, May 4, at Ocoee Crest in Benton.

According to the Boys & Girls Clubs’ website – www.bgcocoee.org/DWTS – the night will consist of eight community leaders “dancing their hearts out with their main goal being to raise the most money and bring home the grand prize.”

Supporters can visit the website in order to vote for their favorite dancer, including Peak.

The Bradley County Commission’s next scheduled meeting is a work session at noon on Monday, March 11, in the County Commission Courtroom at the Courthouse.

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