Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Cocke Finance Committee
Members of the Cocke County Finance Committee meeting Monday evening began the process of hammering out a 2019/20 county budget. In attendance was Kaley Walker of the UT County Technical Assistance Service. Members were told several departments are requesting employee raises, and so those department heads will be invited to address the committee. Chair Forrest Clevenger said he would like to review the budget of the county clerks office which he said is larger than the office in Greene County. The issue of pay for the county magistrates also was considered. Walker said some counties use employees of the General Sessions Judge to handle warrants during off-hours. Clevenger also wants a review of overtime in both the sheriff and fire departments, however he pointed out that the budget request from Sheriff Armando Fontes shows a decreased request for overtime funding. There also was a discussion with regard to funding of the Cocke County Partnership. Mayor Crystal Ottinger said state law requires a county to fund 80 percent of the economic development budget. Whitewater rafting firms recently have expressed concern that the $2.00 rafting fee collected with each ticket, is not being used to promote the business as required under the private act. The committee was told that additional restrooms and parking also are needed for rafters. Mayor Ottinger said discussions are continuing with regard to a possible sewage system to serve the Hartford business community. Commissioner Gary Carver suggested the issue of rafting and it's future be included in discussions by the long-gange planning committee. He also pointed out that many county buildings are deteriorating because "we've been kicking the can down the road for years."

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Thursday, June 04, 2020

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