County Commission Overrides VETO, Approves White Pine Funding, and Allocates Extra Money for Some Fire Departments and Rescue Squad

The fiscal year 2017/18 budget will stand, following Monday’s regular quarterly voting meeting. During the July 21st meeting, the County Commission voted 15-4 to override the Mayoral Veto that was issued last month. Making the motion to override was County Commissioner David Seal, with Commissioner Douglas offering a 2nd. Voting in opposition of the override were Commissioners Gaut, Seals, Solomon, and Blevins.

Other new business conducted included a motion by Commissioner Dockery to allocate a one-time donation of $10,000 per department to the Jefferson County Rescue Squad, Lakeway Central Volunteer Fire Department, Jefferson City Fire Department, Baneberry Fire Department, Kansas-Talbott Fire Department, Parrotts Chapel Fire Department, and Chestnut Hill Fire Department. The $10,000 donation was motioned to be in addition to the donations already budgeted for each of the organizations, which were $55,000 per department, with the exception of Parrotts Chapel, which was $25,000. Dockery’s motion was 2nd by Commissioner Turner and passed 13-6 with Commissioners Kesterson, Gaut, Musick, Seals, Solomon, and D. Seal voting No. The County Commission also approved a motion from Turner/D. Seal that will set a Work Session for the purpose of discussion regarding plans for future economic development of Jefferson County with representatives from the IDB, EDA, Chamber of Commerce, Office of the Mayor and municipal Mayors, as well as the County Commission. This session will be overseen by the representative from the IDB, and will be conducted on or around September 25, 2017. The motion, which was presented during a previous meeting with a six minute input time per citizen and failed, found favor the second time it was presented, this time with the typical 3 minute limit per citizen input, passing 19-0.

In other action, the County Commission set aside the rules to address the issue of funding for Phase II of White Pine School. Commissioner Baxley and Commissioner Musick offered a motion to allow the allocation of $684,410 from the Department of Education Fund Balance for the completion of the White Pine School Project. The motion passed unanimously. The Commission also rescinded verbiage from a previous motion that would allow Phase II to begin before the completion of Phase I. The motion was offered by Commissioner Dockery and 2nd by Commissioner Tucker and found unanimous approval.

For information, the Commission heard the parameters of a class action lawsuit against the makers of a popular opioid, as well as received information from Commissioner McGraw on the opioid crisis. Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri informed the Commission that CTSA is assisting with a restructuring of the Fire Districts. Mayor Palmieri also requested an additional 1.6 % raise for employees, to bring them to a full 3% raise for the current fiscal year. Though the issue was broached by Commissioner Gaut, it failed to find favor with enough Commissioners, leaving the raise for County employees at 1.4% for the 2017/18 fiscal year.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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