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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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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

  • Cocke School Board
  • Jefferson City arrests
  • Smokies biodiversity
  • Campaign funding
  • Tennessee ranks poorly on home energy efficiency
  • Social Security and Medicaid

    Tuesday, October 16, 2018

  • Eternal Beverage project progresses
  • Arrington injured by train
  • Bobby Lovell has died
  • Early voting begins

    Monday, October 15, 2018

  • Cocke County IDB to meet
  • Stanley fatality
  • Worex crash/charge
  • Inmates charged
  • White cutting
  • Gubernatorial debate
  • Greene County fire fatalities

    Friday, October 12, 2018

  • Corker nominated for judgeship
  • CLB workshop
  • Bredesen in Newport
  • Wyse conviction
  • Pattottsville Heritage Days
  • Assad lawsuit

    Thursday, October 11, 2018

  • Cocke Public Safety Committee
  • More Tennessee adults in school
  • TVA cuts support for solar
  • Hurricane Michael

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