The recommendation to sell the property came out of a building and land committee meeting last week.
Sixth District Commissioner Robert Rominger said the resolution is the first step in moving forward with the selling process.
At the building and land committee meeting, Bradley County attorney Crystal Freiberg said the first step for the Commission would be to declare the property as surplus land for the county.
Also during the meeting, 7th District Commissioner Mark Hall asked the Commission to consider moving the position of environmental officer from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office to operating directly under the County Commission.
“This would give more exposure and create more of a proactive approach to the environmental officer position,” Hall said.
This is how the position had been handled when it was originally created.
Concerns about the accessibility and lack of public knowledge about contacting the environmental officer surfaced during the Commission’s budget meeting on May 5. Commissioners had expressed concerns that the environmental officer was handling other police duties instead of focusing on environmental issues as his main job. Since then the department has made changes to the position.
“We have relocated ... the environmental officer to our special operations division. We felt like the public would have better access to him,” Chief Deputy Wayne Bird said.
“I think part of the issue here is not a good understanding between the (BCSO) and the County Commission expectations,” 1st District Commissioner Ed Elkins said. “There needs to be a little better communication about the cases that are being worked on.”
Elkins asked that part of increased communication be that the environmental officer attend meetings of the Coalition for Community Improvement.
Lt. Buck Campbell said the environmental officer would be attending the meetings from now on. Campbell said he also plans to have the environmental officer or himself attend one Commission meeting a month to answer any questions.
“I think it would really be to the benefit of the county to leave it under the sheriff’s department,” Elkins said.
Leaving the position within the BCSO is beneficial because it allows the officer to assist the Sheriff’s Office in other ways when there are not environmental issues to address, Elkins said.
Hall withdrew his request for the Commission to vote on the issue.
Campbell reminded the Commission that the scope of environmental law is limited.
A resolution “establishing Bradley County’s inability to participate in any future jointly funded capital projects with the city of Cleveland due to potential loss of sales tax revenues” was also placed on the agenda for the voting session by 4th District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe.