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80 Years Ago

Archives 08-28-2002






Annual car show held at Standing Stone
Legislative Body sets speed limit at 45 mph
Woman seriously injured in Sunday rollover


Annual car show held at Standing Stone


Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

More than 100 vehicles of varying brands, years, kinds, and sizes took over the grassy area below the dam at Standing Stone State Park for the 5th Annual Sonic Car Show. Spectators of all ages walked the grounds Saturday, Aug. 24 to peruse the automotive offerings on the grounds. Early rains threatended to dampen attendance, both by participants and spectators, but the skies cleared enough to allow for a good show. The rains returned as the last trophy was awarded. Many nice vehicles were entered in the show, such as the 1934 Graham coupe belonging to Harold Moody, at right. Fellow Graham owner Don Stewart talks street rodding with Moody during the show.


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Legislative Body sets speed limit at 45 mph


The speed limit was set at 45 mph and the tax rate was set at 1.69 in action taken by Overton County Legislative Body in the Thursday, Aug. 22 regular monthly meeting.

A uniform speed limit for all county roads, unless otherwise posted, was set at 45 mph, without unanimous consent.

When the subject was brought up on the agenda, Commissioner Gail Arney, who chairs the Highway Committee, said, "We recommended 45.

Then she cautioned, "They're questioning whether it's a waste of money."

County Executive Richard M. "Ossie" Mitchell, who was presiding over his last meeting of his term in office, said, "Well, let's vote on 45, and if there's not eight votes . . ."

Commissioner Arney continued to question the action, saying, "And is it enforceable? "Because if the sheriff don't do his part to enforce it, the sign is pointless even to have."

Commissioner Johnie Webb said, "That's a maximum of 45. In some areas it would be less than 45." To which Executive Mitchell said, "Right, some's already been designated as 30 mph.

Commissioner Arney said, "I know, but we'll have to get some type of grip on it. But if everybody calls and they need a . . ."

Executive Mitchell interrupted, "All right, I'll entertain a motion. Does anybody want to make a motion to set the speed limit at whatever?"

Commissioner Webb said, "A maximum of 45."

Executive Mitchell asked, "Do you want to make that motion?" Commissioner Webb indicated in the affirmative.

Commissioner Arney asserted, "In making that motion, tell them what's the cost."

Commissioner Alan Atnip echoed that concern, asking, "What's the cost?"

Executive Mitchell said, "Cost? Well, it'll take over a year to get the signs up. It'll cost a considerable amount of money.

"I didn't count the roads, and I haven't counted the signs. That would've took about two or three days to do that."

Commissioner Webb said, "If it saves one life, it'll be worth it."

Executive Mitchell said, "Well, I think if you want to set a uniform speed limit, go ahead and start working at the process of getting the signs put up. Of course, the sheriff can't enforce it unless there's a sign up. But as the signs go up, he can start enforcing it."

Commissioner Frank Martin seconded the motion.

Executive Mitchell said, "You also can come back and designate others at 30 mph if you want to."

Commissioner Arney asked if tickets could be written after this has passed if signs are not up. Sheriff Kelly Hull said, "It would never go through court."

Executive Mitchell agreed, saying, "You're not putting the public on notice. You have to put them on notice if you're going to fine them."

Commissioner Atnip asked about the signs up now.

Sheriff Hull said, "There are very few signs up. When you're talking about this, you're putting it on dirt roads and everything. Anywhere in the state of Tennessee, unless it is posted otherwise, then it's 55, whether it be gravel road, dirt road, or what."

The uniform speed limit was approved by a show of hands vote. Commissioner Billie G. Phipps was absent.

Appropriating resolutions and a resolution fixing the tax levy at 1.69 were adopted, with another split vote.

Executive Mitchell said, "I recommended a 10-cent decrease in the budget from a $1.74 to $1.64. We had a meeting the other night. We fussed about how much to lower the tax. I can't believe that; usually we fuss about how much to raise it. We fussed how much to lower it.

'"The budget committee was split up pretty well, but we finally compromised on lowering the tax rate 5 cents, that'd be from a $1.74 to a $1.69."

The appropriations are as follows: General Fund .88, School Fund .60, Solid Waste Fund .05, Highway Fund .05, Debt Service .11.

Executive Mitchell said, "We haven't even been putting any money in Debt Service. That 11 cents, if you want to know how much money that is, multiply that times $19,350 and you've got a figure. What I mean by that is, each penny that we raise the tax or lower the tax is $19,350."

He went on to say, "That's also figured with a 9 percent delinquency rate, now. The delinquency rate's already been taken out of that."

Commissioner Tom Montooth brought up that this budget does not include any estimated growth.

Executive Mitchell said, "Just remember, last year we didn't put anything in Debt Service. This year, we've put 11 cents, that's a big hunk of money. And it's not going to be used this year, because we've got money in there to pay the debts already. So, next year that money will double. So, you'll have over four hundred and something thousand dollars more extra in Debt Service after two years."

Commissioner Montooth made a motion to adopt the resolutions.

Commissioner Webb said, "I've talked to several people about lowering the rate, and the majority of the people I've talked to said they were satisfied with the tax rate like it was, if we did have an emergency and had to raise the taxes, we'd get a lot of flack. I'm concerned about that."

Executive Mitchell said, "I'm concerned about taxing people, Mr. Webb, and storing money when you don't have to. I just can't stand that, now. I'm a taxpayer too.

"When I go in there to pay mine, if it's $5 less than it was the year before, I'm going to be tickled because I can go and get a hamburger and fries with that.

"But, good point. I'm sure a lot of people feel that way, but a lot of people don't know our financial condition.

"Our fund balances this year is nearly a half-million dollars more than they were last year three million, four hundred and something thousand dollars. That is healthy, healthy, real healthy. Even our Debt Service's got nearly a million dollars in it."

After Commissioner Wayne Ferrell seconded the motion, a roll call vote was taken. Voting for the resolutions were Commissioners Alan Atnip, David Dorminey Sr., Wayne Ferrell, Tom Montooth, Jean Moore, Gregg Nivens, and Billy Sullivan. Voting no were Commissioners Gail Arney, Randall Boswell, Donnie Bull, Junior Carter, Frank Martin, Grant Pennington, and Johnie Webb.

Executive Mitchell declared, "A tie? You mean I get to break a tie in my last meeting? I can't believe that. But it's easy for me to make that decision. I vote with a yes vote, without any reservations whatsoever."

First reading of a resolution making appropriations to non-profit charitable organizations of Overton County was adopted. Appropriations are the same as last year, according to Executive Mitchell.

"It is the same. We haven't added anybody," he said.

Debbie Maberry was unanimously approved to continue as budget director for the 2002-2003 budget year.

The Overton County School System quarterly report was approved.

Executive Mitchell said, "They are in good shape financially, and I'm glad to see that."

Adjustments in the salary schedule were approved for fiscal year 2002-2003.

The Legislative Body approved recommended changes in the amounts the county contributes to the employees' health insurance to contribute 80 percent of the average cost of a single policy, which Executive Mitchell said would be $3,280.

Executive Mitchell said, "This is a big plus for the county employees."

Approved as notaries at-large were Tonya Reed and Randall Dial.

The commissioners presented a plaque and an Overton County afghan to Executive Mitchell to honor him for his years of service to the county.

Mitchell said in the form of a farewell address, "When I took office four years ago, this county had three major problems. The first thing we did was start addressing those problems.

"Number one was solid waste. We didn't have anywhere to go with our solid waste without having to pay an outlandish price. We solved that problem.

"The next one was an overcrowded jail. I just knew we were going to be sued, and it was going to take the county away from us with lawsuits if we didn't do something. In fact, we had all kind of threats, and everything. So, we had to build a new justice center. We did that. That solved the jail problem.

"And the third problem was overcrowded schools. The School Board had been asking for money for a bond issue to remodel the schools. And after much fussing and discussing, and whatever, we approved a bond resolution for $14.5 million to renovate all seven schools in this county.

"We've left some good tracks.

"We did two other things. We provided more services to the county. Namely, in the solid waste department. We put a convenience center at Alpine, and we put a convenience center at Hardy's Chapel."

He went on to say, "So, we solved those three problems. And last, but not least, I think this is either my 13th or 14th budget, I've forgot which, but the county is in the best shape financially that it's ever been.

"This year we ended in good financial condition. We're leaving the county, in my view, better than we found it, and I'm sure Mr. Kenneth Copeland and his administration will have the same goal, and I hope they do leave it in better condition than they found it, when they leave here.

"It's been a pleasure working with you, and the public has been very supportive, and I won't ever forget it.

"I'm proud of what we've done. Yet, it could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of the County Commission. The county executive can have all kinds of big ideas, but if he don't have the cooperation of the County Commission, and I don't mean their vote, I mean their work, their input, the value they demonstrate in committee meetings. You've just got to have that to make it work. And it's been great.

"Thank you very much."

The outgoing commissioners also gave parting comments.

Commissioner Ferrell encouraged new commissioners, saying, "You'll have disagreements, but leave as friends. That's the main thing. It's human nature to disagree, but leave as friends."

Commissioner Gregg Nivens said, "When I first came in here four years ago, I didn't know a whole lot about how things worked. I got in here, got more involved into it, and it has been a learning experience, and I've really enjoyed it. Plus, we've had an excellent group to work with.

"We didn't always agree with everything, but nobody took it personal. You couldn't get this type of education out here doing anything else. It's been really enjoyable."

Commissioners Donnie Bull, Tom Montooth, and Billy Sullivan also said goodbyes, expressing thanks for support.

The meeting adjourned.



Woman seriously injured in Sunday rollover

A 77 year-old woman was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash in the Taylor's Crossroads area Sunday evening, Aug. 15.

According to reports, Oleeta C. Smith, of Monroe, was driving a red 1989 GMC S-15 east on Old Stover Road around 5:15 p.m. when she apparently lost control of the vehicle on the wet pavement. The truck went off the right side of the road, hit a bank, and flipped over.

Smith suffered head trauma and was transported by Overton County Ambulance Service to a Life Force helicopter that took her to Erlanger Hospital.


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