County Commission to tackle light agenda on Monday

Published 5:29 pm Friday, March 17, 2017

When the Carter County Commission meets on Monday, its members will tackle a light agenda.
The agenda for the Commission’s March meeting includes no resolutions are new items of business, but Commissioners will hear an update on the Hampton River Landing Park by Ken Gough, chairman of the County’s Parks & Recreation Committee.
Plans to move forward with the park and river access point may face a month’s delay after the Carter County Board of Education took no action on finalizing the donation of the property to the County during their meeting on Thursday.
In February, the Board of Education voted to donate the property across from Hampton High School to the county with certain stipulations. One of those stipulations was for the county to have the property surveyed so it would be clear what portion of the parcel was being given to the county.
At Thursday’s Board of Education meeting, Board Attorney John Banks said he had not yet received a copy of the survey and the Board took no action on the donation, citing a need for Banks to review the survey.
While no new business is formally listed on the agenda, the Commission’s various committees can present items which they have already voted on to the full Commission for approval.
One of the items anticipated to be brought up for full Commission approval is a proposal to provide animal control coverage for the county on a continual basis.
On March 13, members of the budget committee approved a plan by Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford to train jailers within his department to serve as animal control officers on a rotating, on-call basis. Lunceford said after consideration of the matter with his staff, he felt the plan was the best way to provide animal control coverage without a significant cost to the county.
Last year, around 1,200 calls for animal control were received by Carter County 911, Lunceford told the committee. That number does not include the number of calls regarding abuse, neglect or abandonment that the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter receives each day, according to Shelter Director Shannon Posada. The shelter receives four or five calls each day regarding animal welfare, Posada told the committee.
The budget committee voted to allocate up to $35,000 to allow the Sheriff to purchase the truck and begin training and paying the animal control officers for the remainder of the current fiscal year. That allocation will need to garner the approval of the full Commission before it would go into effect. Also, Lunceford will have to present a request to fund the program for the 2017-18 fiscal year when he presents his proposed budget to the committee next month in order to keep the program going.
The Commission is also expected to hear a funding request for a program to provide shelter pets to veterans as well as a proposal to designate special parking spots for combat veterans at the county’s buildings.
The Carter County Commission will meet on Monday, March 20, at 6 p.m., in the main courtroom located on the second floor of the Carter County Courthouse.

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