Carter Co. highway/landfill/education committees select new leadership

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

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The Carter County Commission’s highway, landfill, and education committees selected new leadership on Monday.

Mark Blevins remains chairman of the Highway Committee, with Nancy Brown as vice-chairman. Kelly Collins is now chairwoman of the Education Committee, with Sonja Culler as vice chairwoman. Commissioner Gary Bailey was re-appointed chairman of the Landfill Commission, with Jerry Proffitt as vice-chairman.

During the business portion of the highway committee meeting, Blevins said the widening of the Steel Bridge Road project in the Siam Community lacks only a couple of signatures before work can begin.

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The committee also voted to propose using $300,000 of the $500,000 Governor’s Grant to purchase asphalt for repairs of roadways and pavement around the county schools. The commission recommended using $250,000 for roadway repairs and $50,000 for school repairs. The motion will be sent to the budget committee.

According to Mayor Patty Woodby, the Governor’s Grant is unrestricted as to its use and must be used by the end of the year.

Commissioner Mark Tester made a motion to name the bridge that crosses Buffalo Creek on Governor Alf Taylor Road the Charlie Bayless Bridge. The members voted unanimously to support the renaming.

Highway Superintendent Roger Colbaugh advised the committee that chat and 400 tons of salt are stocked for use to treat roads in the winter. He said the supply should be sufficient for a mild winter.

In the education committee meeting, Director Dr. Tracy McAbee told the committee that Carter County School’s TCAP scores are down compared to other school districts regionally.

“There are a few reasons for this, including the fact we weren’t in school as much due to the COVID and we didn’t go on Fridays,” McAbee said. “I will take full blame because these were my recommendations.

“Our ACT scores didn’t drop. In some grades, the TCAP scores were lower, and in some grades, the scores were higher. We had the biggest drop in math so there has to be a focus for us there.”

McAbee also provided an update on COVID in the school system, saying there are 34 active cases in students and four in adults.

In the landfill committee meeting, Bailey said although the committee had earlier agreed to buy five dumpsters for a total of $35,000 there were no bidders. The bid was resubmitted and the lowest bid returned was $39,085.

Blevins made the motion to take the additional $5,000 out of the landfill budget with Tester seconding the motion. The motion moves to the budget committee.

The committee also considered the purchase of a road tractor and used roll-off truck for $205,000. Tester recommended checking the budget and then determining where the funds will have to come from to make the needed purchase.

Landfill director Benny Lyons said a household chemical disposal day will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 9 at the county recycling center. Residents can dispose of oil-based paint and spray paint as a state-provided chemist will be on-site to ensure the safe disposal of household chemicals.

Lyons said that latex paint would need to be taken to the landfill to be broken down further.