JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Commission discussed mostly financial issues at its Monday night workshop and budget meeting, tentatively approving a total of $97,291,077 in spending for all funds. The good news for county taxpayers is that the property tax rate will remain the same as last year at $2.0659 for each $100 in assessed value. Watch the Budget and Finance Committee meeting and the workshop HERE on demand.

The general fund, which includes the sheriff’s department and jail along with all courthouse offices, will have one of the sharpest differences between expenditures and revenue, thanks to a decrease in funding from the state and federal governments totaling over $1.5 million. To offset that deficit, the county’s fund balance will shrink by over $900,000. Local sources will also be needed to offset another drop in federal dollars to the ambulance service fund, as Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements continue to decline by over half, from $135,000 to $65,000.

The highway/public works fund will also experience a dip in state dollars of over $1.2 million, most of that offset by an increase in federal dollars of roughly $400,000. Even with that, expenditures in the highway dept. are projected to decline by nearly $1 million from the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The commission and school board will both meet in recessed sessions on June 29 to make any last minute changes to finish out the current fiscal year. The commission is expected to approve the pending year’s budget at their regular meeting next Monday.

Also coming up on Monday night will be several items involving the sanitation department, including acceptance of the $32,500 insurance payout on the wrecked truck and a motion to buy the truck back for $3,500 to use for parts. The commission will also vote on a resolution to allow the City of Jellico to haul city trash directly to the landfill while continuing to pay the county’s tipping fee. It is less distance for Jellico to haul directly to Scott County than to haul city trash to the Towe String Road center for transfer to county vehicles. The commission will also vote on setting hours to accept commercial trash from 7 am to 4:30 pm.

Commissioner Rusty Orick will offer a resolution on Monday asking the Tennessee County Services Association to appoint Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton to one of two vacant seats on the state’s Opioid Abatement Council. Orick pointed out that the appointment makes sense because Campbell County along with other counties in Sexton’s circuit “has been ground zero for opioid abuse.”

Among the budget amendments passed during the committee meeting was one that included a $31,308 refund to Walmart after the company appealed its previous year taxes to the State Board of Tax Equalization. Mayor E. L. Morton pointed out that “The local board didn’t move an inch. It was all the state.”

During the public comment period of the workshop, several residents from the Deerfield Community were present to inform the commission that a court in Hamblen County has ruled in the homeowners’ favor in a suit involving the Deerfield Homeowner’s Association. “We thought we had an association but it did not exist. We don’t know where the fees were going,” one speaker stated. The group announced that Deerfield residents are now free to form an independent homeowners’ association and hope to see cooperation from the county on extension of water lines in the area.

“Deerfield is a gated community with private water and sewer. Campbell County has no authority,” Orick commented, but another Deerfield resident explained, “Our intention is not to become a private utility but to eventually integrate with the City of LaFollette.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/16/2021-6AM)