County set to vote on budget, eyeing LFMS
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Jun 25, 2013 | 556 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bradley County Commission is set to vote on the 2013-14 budget proposal at its next voting session.

Commissioners also plan to set the tax rate to come in line with the state certified tax rate. State regulations require the tax rate to change during property reappraisal years to keep the amount of revenue coming to the county at the same level. When property values have increased, the rate goes down to keep the county from bringing in excess revenue simply because of reappraisal. When property values go down, as they did this year, the tax rate goes up to ensure the county will have the same amount of revenue.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said the county is still waiting for the final rate to be given to it by the state.

The budget proposal does not require a tax increase.

A potential tax increase to fund renovation at Lake Forest Middle School was briefly discussed by county commissioners during Monday’s work session. Third District Commissioner Jeff Morelock said a 7-cent property tax increase likely would be needed.

“I would just like to see us fix it to where they could get started in construction on Lake Forest, not in the 2013-14 fiscal year but in the 2014-15 fiscal year, rather than putting this thing off way into the future,” Morelock said.

The Commission may delay a decision in order for the finance committee to hear a presentation from Cope Architecture. The company approached 4th District Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones about a program it offers that could be helpful to the school construction project. The group is one of the six architects that recently presented to the Cleveland Board of Education for its new elementary school design.

Morelock said he is open to other funding options that would decrease the rate which would be needed to bring in enough revenue to finance completing the project.

“I’ll just see where we stand and I might just delay it (tax vote for LFMS) two weeks so we have a chance to review this Cope presentation, see what they have to say,” Morelock said.

The Bradley County Board of Education has pledged $1 million to the project if the Commission commits to the project in the next year.

- Also placed on the agenda for Monday’s voting session was a rezoning request for property on South Lee Highway in McDonald. The rezoning request would change a piece of property from agricultural (FAR) to commercial (C2).

“It’s adjacent to the existing gas station there and they are wanting to put storage tanks on that property,” said Bently Thomas, county planner.

Sixth District Commissioner Mel Griffith said the property currently serves as a parking lot for the gas station.