By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – County commissioners Zach Marlow and Dewayne Baird, as well as Shane Prater, director of Veteran Services, spoke at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon.
Baird is a third district commissioner. He is also the branch manager and vice president of Peoples Bank of the South. He spoke about the recreation side of commission projects, updating about Lonas Young Park projects.
“When I first ran for county commission, my goal was to revamp the recreation side,” Baird said.
The Lonas Young Park campground project has 20 camp sites with electric and sewer. According to Baird, tent sites will be added, and they are looking at expanding the soccer field. They will soon be resurfacing tennis courts and basketball courts, too.
“There’s the beach area and boat ramp area; our biggest thing is our tourism out there. The fishing tournaments are huge, and we also had a wake surfing competition out there. Participants and people in attendance said it was the best venue. This event had rentals at Shanghai and Indian River booked. It brings revenue into our area,” Baird said.
Marlow is with the first district, and he spoke about the legislative affairs side of county government.
“We’ve vamped up our legislative affairs efforts by forming a committee in 2020. It’s important for rural counties like Campbell County to advocate for legislation at the local level. One of the things we advocate for is ways to bring revenue into our county,” Marlow said.
He said they were advocating for more funds for housing prisoners at the county jail.
“We took in $800,000 less dollars in prisoner housing revenue. It was covering 50 percent of the cost to operate the jail, now it is only covering in the low 30s,” Marlow said.
He said the legislative affairs committee was also advocating for more funding for EMS services, as well as trying to get additional funding for our veterans.
“Some areas we were successful by working together with other counties is with the State aid program for infrastructure projects and funds for School safety. We are glad the state is sending a significant amount of funding for SROs. Currently tax payers are shouldering that expense,” Marlow said.
Veteran’s Services Director Shane Prater also spoke about his office and services it provides.
“We provide anything VA related to the veteran’s in this county at no cost. We do a tremendous amount of work. Last year, through our office, we brought in about $25 million to the Veteran’s in this county,” Prater said.
“It’s a very rewarding job. We help with all types of compensation claims, education, medical; we do what we can at no cost to Veterans,” Prater said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/14/2023-6AM)