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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Cocke budget process
Members of the Cocke County Finance Committee have tentatively set a Monday night vote on a new county budget which is set to be considered by the full legislative body in a special session on August 6. The body will consider four options; a budget funded with the current property tax rate of $2.90; a budget with a 10 cent decrease on the tax rate, a budget with a 5 cent decrease on the tax rate or a budget with a 5 cent decrease on the tax rate but with 5 cents earmarked for jail improvements. Commissioner Terry Dawson made the later proposal, and Finance Manager Heather McGaha suggested that earmarking $280,000 for the jail would send a message to the Tennessee Corrections Institute, that the county is trying to address it's jail issues. Last year revenues were higher than anticipated, leaving an ending fund balance of just over $1 million. But Commissioner Clayton "Skip" Ellison cautioned the other committee members to remember that revenues could slow in the coming year. And CLB Chair Clay Blazer pointed out that the proposed budget has expenditures which are $180,000 higher than anticipated revenues. " One of the big concerns I have overall is if we aren't careful...If you spend more money every year eventually the fund balance runs out. I understand why we do it, but five years down the road we will be in the same shape we were before. We really need to spend the same amount that we are bringing in." The proposed budget has no major increases except for the three percent across the board raise for all school system employees. The committee also voted to remove two of the four cruisers requested by Sheriff Armando Fontes. That reduced expenditures by $80,000. Commissioner Cindy Holt expressed concern that the agreement with a private firm to provide medical services to the jail, at a fee of $15,000 monthly, is not a binding agreement because it has not been notarized. "It must be fixed," she argued. Commissioner Ellison suggested if money is to be set aside for jail needs, he pointed out that the Economic Development Commission also needs additional funding. The EDC is looking at developing a new, larger industrial park, stretching from Highway 25E west to Thinwood Drive.

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Saturday, December 08, 2018

  • Friday evening hit and run in Cocke County
  • Friday evening hit and run in Cocke County
  • Pedestrian struck on West Broadway in Newport
  • Jefferson County carjacking

    Friday, December 07, 2018

  • Shots fired at Hamblen officer
  • Jail and justice center options
  • Inmates charged with assault
  • Alexander lauds Corker

    Thursday, December 06, 2018

  • TennCare fraud is alleged
  • Couple arrested in Evans assault
  • Judge Carter Moore hears pleas
  • King arrest
  • Pennington found competent
  • Tennessee attorneys provide more free service
  • New laws effective January 1

    Tuesday, December 04, 2018

  • Newport swearing-in
  • Victim remembrance
  • Life insurance benefits
  • Senate Republicans

    Monday, December 03, 2018

  • President George H.W. Bush dead at 94
  • Tennessee musicians laud President Bush
  • Republicans want to change Tennessee election rules
  • Smokies fatality

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