Money, rezoning and appreciation at full commission meeting

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Laura Riddell returned to the county commission during public comments Monday evening, a month after telling commissioners she was going to the state over the transitional home she said should not be in her neighborhood.

“She said she was aware of those trailers,” Riddell said. “The state has them listed as a homeless shelter.”

She said this means the property has three distinct, official definitions of what the property is, with no clear explanation of why it is classified like this.

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“This is not where anyone wants to raise their children in,” she said. “See you next month.”

Roy Livingston returned to the commission to talk finances, saying the way the county handles its money is unlike other areas around Carter County.

“This is the only place we could find anywhere that does one reading on budgets,” Livingston said.

Livingston continued the use of the plural by asking the public to “bear with us,” saying “we are going to stay after the money” and “we will be bringing you something soon.”

The first order of business after public comments was to fill the late Ronnie Trivett’s seat on the commission. After hearing from some applicants, the commission voted Mark Tester, a former supervisor of the engineering department at Johnson City Power Board, now known as Brightridge.

Planning Director Chris Schuettler brought two rezoning requests to the commission. The first was for 1766 Highway 19E near Off the Grid Mountain Adventures, rezoning it from an A1 (agricultural) to M (manufacturing).

The second rezoning request is for Doe River Gorge Ministries, changing part of its property from M to a B3 (business).

Charles von Cannon said the latter is part of a $4.2 million expansion for the Christian camp.

“This will be a huge investment into this county,” Von Cannon said.

Both rezoning requests passed unanimously.

Mayor Rusty Barnett brought the students from Daniel Arnett’s architecture class at Hampton High School, so the commission could honor them for the work they did on the substation at Little Milligan. The students received certificates of appreciation for the work they have been doing in the county.

For Budget amendments, the commission approved the $106,000 to repave the parking lot at the Workforce Development Complex, with only Gary Bailey voting against; the $44,500 for the salary compensation study, which passed unanimously; the extra $1,200 needed for a longer contract for the new Roll Call Pro system, with only Willie Campbell voting against; the $7,500 for computers for commissioners to use alongside that new Roll Call Pro system, with only Campbell and Von Cannon voting against; the Sheriff’s Department’s $344,000 request to contract for a new records management system, which passed unanimously and Isaiah Grindstaff abstaining; Christmas bonuses for county employees, with Jerry Proffitt voting no and Grindstaff, Campbell and Patty Woodby abstaining and the $7,613 to fund a new HVAC pump for the Assistance and Resources Ministries, with only Sonja Culler voting against.

For more details on the commission’s vote on a resolution to reduce the Planning Commission, read the article in the next edition of the Star.