Carter County passes complete budget Monday

A number of important measures came up for a vote during Monday’s commission meeting that did not appear in Wednesday’s article.

In particular, the Carter County 2019/2020 budget came up for a final vote Monday night, after two months of back-and-forth debates about the Planning Commission and the placement of economic development responsibilities.

The complete budget passed with a 19-5 vote. Those who voted yes included Willie Campbell, Mark Blevins, Robert Acuff, Nancy Brown, Patty Woodby, Isaiah Grindstaff, Jerry Proffitt, Austin Jaynes, Ross Garland, Layla Ward, Ginger Holdren, Randall Jenkins, Gary Bailey, Travis Hill, Ray Lyons, Aaron Frazier, Robin McKinney, Kelly Collins and David Miller. The five who voted against included Mike Hill, Bradley Johnson, Ronnie Trivett, Charles von Cannon and Sonja Culler.

Finance Director Brad Burke said his department is working on making the budget available to view online on the county’s website.

This budget includes the lack of a tax increase compared to last year, after Burke’s department worked starting in February to find ways to bring revenue and cost estimates more in line with what departments were actually receiving.

The county also approved the contract with the city of Elizabethton, allowing the city to dump its household trash at the county landfill and bringing between $300,000 and $400,000 annually in increased revenue.

The commission approved the Budget Committee’s proposal to adopt the state’s 457 retirement plan while freeing all new contributions to the current Nationwide program, with Culler casting the lone dissenting vote.

The commission also talked about Bailey’s efforts to get internet access up at the landfill, securing a deal that saved the county thousands of dollars. The landfill now has a 7-year contract with Spectrum, as part of the city’s request to replace the physical ticket system with electronic systems.

The commission also attempted to vote on whether to grant Planning Director Chris Schuettler’s request for compensation for his department’s work with economic development, but Burke said he still has not received any written documentation of the days or hours Schuettler’s department worked on economic development, so the conversation did not continue.

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