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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cocke Finance Committee
Members of the Cocke County Finance Committee, meeting Monday evening agreed to send the request for several transfers in the Sheriff's Department to the full Legislative Body. Sheriff Armando Fontes asked that $11,000 be transferred from litigation to jail supplies including the purchase of two restraint chairs and an upgraded radio system in the jail. Also included in the proposed transfers is $97,000 for medical and dental services. Finance Manager Anne Bryant-Hurst said the medical line-item is already $26,000 in the red after four months of the fiscal year. She pointed out the transfer leaves just $71,000 for the seven months balance. But Chief Deputy Derrick Woods reminded the committee that the jail is currently operating under a new medical services contract and that should reduce the needed outside care. Bryant-Hurst pointed out that there will be little in the sheriff's budget that can be transferred in the future and "Everyone needs to know we have challenges and we need to get a better handle on it early on....Noone needs to be surprised." Commissioner Cindy Holt argued that the sheriff's department should have asked for additional funding in the new budget, considering the high medical costs last year. Two current deputies are retiring and so the anticipated savings of $88,000 was transferred to the jail for hiring four new corrections officers. Commissioner Clayton "Skip" Ellison suggested that instead of the new hires, the money be transferred for medical expenses. But Committee Chair Robert Green argued that the new hires are needed if the jail is to regain its certification in the future. Commission Chair Clay Blazer pointed out that the body will hear from Sheriff Fontes before the transfers are approved but he questioned funding for additional staff. Linda Daniels of the Steele Away Home Canine Foster and Rescue, told the committee that since the Friends animal shelter closed in Newport, her group has been sheltering cats and dogs from the county. And Jennifer Steele said her group also has been serving as animal control for the county. On a motion by Andy Tritt the body voted to recommend that $25,000 of the $100,000 in the budget for the animal shelter be earmarked for the Steele Away program. That would leave $75,000 in the budget for the Friends shelter for the balance of the fiscal year. Commissioner Ellison made a motion to, instead of the county selling it's old vehicles on a government surplus Internet auction, the vehicles be offered to local non-profits including volunteer fire departments. The motion died for the lack of a second.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

  • CLB session
  • Brown/Dalton arrest
  • Dandridge crash
  • Thanksgiving travel
  • Tennessee economic report
  • Thanksgiving lunch at Feed My Sheep

    Monday, November 20, 2017

  • Jefferson City bank robbery
  • Newport DCS investigation
  • Former ETSU coach is indicted
  • Fuel prices to drop
  • Middle Tennessee tornados

    Sunday, November 19, 2017

  • Artscapes exhibition

    Saturday, November 18, 2017

  • Monica Denton heads back to prison
  • Tennessee jobless
  • Thanksgiving travel

    Friday, November 17, 2017

  • ACA enrollment
  • Cocke County Partnership meeting
  • Pridemore is being sought
  • Narcan program
  • Environmental standards are relaxed
  • Pro bono work in Tennessee
  • VietNow settlement
  • State jobless remains at record level
  • Major scam
  •    

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