JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Commissioners met via Zoom Monday evening in a workshop session.  During the work shop, commissioners heard from two guest speakers and discussed various business items. The first speaker was Theo Stephens with UCFA, who spoke to commissioners about his program and what it could do for the county.  The program, Life Blue, promotes healthy lifestyles. Stephens said he had been in contact with the school board about the program as well. Commissioners asked him to bring more information about the program before the recreation board.

They also heard a presentation from Sonya Lee who spoke to the commissioners about the need for a community center in the county. Lee said she had started an online petition with over 1,000 signatures in support of it.  She asked commissioners to look at Clinton’s Community Center as a model with it’s bowling alley, arcade, pool and gym.

Commissioner Scottie Kitts said that the county had $800,000 in the hole with the Lonas Young Park  and  the county could not afford it as “much as he wished they could.”  “I’m for it, but there’s just not the funds right now,” Kitts said.

“I ran for commissioner because younger people don’t have stuff to do in the county, but it all comes down to funding. I don’t know what the answers are, but we do have to start looking at these problems as a commission,” Commissioner Zach Marlow said.

Lee pointed out that there were grants that would cover 80 percent and the county would not have to come up with all the funds at once. Commissioners suggested she take the idea to the recreation committee where it could be discussed more in depth.

There will be an in-person recreation committee meeting held next Monday at the court house at 5 p.m., following CDC guidelines of masks and social distancing.

During the Monday evening workshop, commissioners discussed the application for a 100 percent grant that could be used on park expansion. The grant is a Blue Cross Blue Shield grant that is open to all 95 Tennessee counties. A total of ten grants will be awarded.

Commissioners discussed adopting several roads into the county. County road superintendent Ron Dilbeck attended the meeting via Zoom as well.  According to County Attorney Joe Coker, the adoption of roads usually goes through the planning commission. Dilbeck asked if several commissioners could meet to look at the roads and then ultimately take it to the planning commission. Commissioner Rusty Orick said he could be available, as did Commissioner Dewayne Baird. Dilbeck also spoke briefly to commissioners about the upcoming purchase of two pieces of road equipment for the highway department. Dilbeck said he plans to purchase a new CAT 2021 backhoe and a four wheel drive mower. The purchases were discussed at last week’s budget and finance meeting. The equipment will be paid for through monies from the county’s equity fund. Dilbeck also told commissioners he would appreciate any extra funds they could “throw his way for asphalt.”

Bruce Perkins with the county ambulance service asked commissioners to put something on the agenda to be discussed next week where Medicare has changed their specialty care transport rates. Perkins said he needed to change those rates to reflect that, which would have to be voted on by commissioners.

Commissioner Ralph Davis told the commission he had talked to General Sessions Court Judge Amanda Sammons over the weekend and that according to the Supreme Court order, the county no longer has to have a certified nurse taking temperatures.  “They said we could hire part time workers to take temperatures and ask questions.”  Doing it this way would stretch out the county’s funds to cover this safety measure and “save the county money,” according to Davis.

Davis said he plans to make a motion at the next meeting to give Circuit Court Clerk Bobby Vann the authority to hire employees to do this. The issue will be discussed more at next week’s meeting.

Davis also reported to the commission that he had been in touch with the state regarding the county’s discussion on courthouse parking over the last month and the special parking signs. “I was informed today that the taxpayers own both of those parking lots and by law, we don’t have the right to tell them they can’t park there,” Davis said, adding that the state said all the “special parking signs had to come down” other than the handicap parking signs and the veterans parking signs. Davis said he planned to bring this to the agenda for a vote next week that all special parking signs be removed. This would make parking “first come first served,” though courthouse customers are encouraged to keep parking at one hour or less. “I think once the signs come down, the citizens will feel a lot better about it,” Orick said.

According to Commission Chairman Johnny Bruce, in light of the governor’s extension of the emergency order, commissioners will continue to meet via Zoom until they “have some clarity on things opening up and some direction from the state.”  The next Zoom meeting will be Monday, July 20, at 6 pm.  HERE is the packet for the July 20 meeting.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/14/2020-6AM)