First Meeting of the New Fiscal Year for Jefferson County Commission

In their first meeting since approving a five cent property tax increase for the current fiscal year, the Jefferson County Commission held their annual quarterly work session. While many upcoming agenda items are more general housekeeping in nature, the Commission will vote on a recommendation from the Jefferson County Budget Committee that would approve the purchase of a three story building located in the Historic Town Square in downtown Dandridge for use as the Jefferson County Mayor’s office and the Jefferson County Finance Office.

The recommendation did not come unanimously from the Budget Committee but did carry more than a split vote with only three members voting against the motion to offer up to $1 million dollars ( plus associated costs) for the purchase of the building and sell the current Jefferson County Finance Office and apply those funds to renovation of the current County Clerk’s Office with any additional funds to go toward the purchase price. At the recommendation of Jefferson County Finance Director Potts the funds for the purchase would come from an internal County note through the Trustee’s Office at a low interest rate.

Over crowding has long been an issue for the Mayor’s Office and the Finance Office. Katy Huffaker, Chairman of the Facilities Committee, brought the idea of the purchase to the Budget Committee with a unanimous recommendation from her committee. While the Facilities Committee had originally decided to take the sales of the Finance Office and the renovation of the Clerk’s Office in stages, Budget Committee Member Phagan tied the purchase to the sale and renovation as a package. It also included the determination that the roof on the new site was of good quality. Huffaker stated that the new location in question is of superior quality and fits the needs of the county. Any interior renovations like partitions could be purchased with funds currently assigned to upgrade the current Finance Office for ADA compliance.

The question of the purchase of the new building will come before the full body on Monday, when the Jefferson County Commission meets for their first voting meeting of the new fiscal year.

Source: K. Depew, News Director