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Budget battle ends with 1.88 tax rate
Cruise-in fills Livingston square
Garrett returns as Road Supt., new School Board elected

Board of Education meeting held Aug. 5
Wright injured in logging accident

Budget battle ends with 1.88 tax rate
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Legislative Body approved a budget with a 1.88 tax levy during a sometimes contentious meeting held Monday, Aug. 11, with all county commissioners present. The new tax rate is 8 cents higher than last year’s, a 5.5% increase.

In presenting the budget, Budget Committee Chairman Stanley Carter Jr. said, “It is the best budget that I think we could hammer out with what we’ve got. There’s no pay increases in this budget.

“We’re trying to appropriate to keep everything that we’ve got to keep it funded as it is now. To do any more, to cut any more, cutting any more places, the way I see it, what we’re going to be doing is cutting into the services that the county offers.

“I just hope that we have left enough in the budget to where it’s a workable budget.”

Commissioner Carter said revenue for the county was down this past fiscal year, with sales tax revenue down 12%, the court system off $50,000, and county clerk collections down $100,000.

“It’s just times are getting tight now,” Carter said. “I’ve been on the board now for 10 years and this is the hardest times that I’ve ever seen.”

The tax rate started out as 1.90 before the votes were taken on each appropriation.

Schools were appropriated .59 of the tax levy, with Commissioners Billie G. Phipps and Jeff Staggs passing on the vote because they work for Overton County Schools as bus drivers. Commissioner Rick Moles, who is principal of Livingston Middle School, disclosed that he is an employee of the school system but is allowed to vote without conflict of interest because he was on the school system payroll when he was elected to the County Commission.

Highways & Public Works was appropriated .04 of the tax levy.

Commissioners Alan Atnip, Stanley Carter Jr., Rick Moles, Jean Moore, Gregg Nivens, Cindy Robbins, Chris Speck, Jeff Staggs, and Johnie Webb voted yes, and Commissioners Randall Boswell, Darwin Clark, Ben Danner, Bruce Ledford, Billy Parrott, and Billie G. Phipps voted no. Clark disclosed that he is an employee of the Highway Department but was so when he was elected.

General Debt Service was appropriated at .15 of the tax levy, with Commissioner Boswell voting no, but the appropriation was later rescinded and changed after appropriating Solid Waste at .10 failed with a 6-9 vote.

Commissioners Atnip, Boswell, Clark, Danner, Ledford, Moles, Nivens, Parrott, and Phipps voted against the Solid Waste appropriation, and Commissioners Carter, Moore, Robbins, Speck, Staggs, and Webb voted for it.

A motion made to rescind the .15 appropriation for Debt Service and appropriate .13 instead, which would lower the overall tax levy to 1.88. The appropriation was approved with Commissioners Boswell, Nivens, and Parrott voting no.

A motion was once more made to appropriate .10 for Solid Waste, and with the overall rate now lowered, the measure was approved on an 8-7 vote. Commissioners Atnip, Carter, Moles, Moore, Robbins, Speck, Staggs, and Webb voted yes, and Commissioners Boswell, Clark, Danner, Ledford, Nivens, Parrott, and Phipps voted no.

County General was appropriated at 1.02, with Commissioners Carter, Moles, Moore, Nivens, Robbins, Speck, Staggs, and Webb voting yes, and Commissioners Atnip, Boswell, Clark, Danner, Ledford, Parrott, and Phipps voting no.

The tax levy for the 2008-2009 fiscal year was narrowly approved at 1.88, with Commissioners Carter, Moles, Moore, Nivens, Robbins, Speck, Staggs, and Webb voting yes, and Commissioners Atnip, Boswell, Clark, Danner, Ledford, Parrott, and Phipps voting no. Some commissioners had raised questions about funding the $170,000 budget of E-911 because its detailed budget has not been presented to the County Commission.

The Courthouse and Jail Maintenance budget was approved.

First reading of the Non-Profit Resolution was approved.

A Work House Resolution was adopted to allow Overton County Jail inmates to be hired out.

County Attorney Daryl Colson described it as, “a work release program under the sheriff’s supervision, and he would, of course, have to account for all the monies that are brought into the program, people would have to turn their wages over to the sheriff. He would be required to deposit those wages into a trust account and to disburse those funds according to the schedule of percentages, which he has filed.”

The percentage schedule sets amounts for room and board of the inmate while at the jail, restitution, court costs, and an allowance.

Commissioner Jean Moore asked about who would carry the liability when inmates are working outside of the jail.

Colson answered, “Well, that’s one of the things the sheriff, the chief deputy, and I have spoken about. We want to have some safeguards in place to make sure that they are being released to employers who have workers comp coverage, because if they were not released to employers who have workers comp coverage and incur an on-the-job injury and came back to the jail, then the jail would be liable.”

Commissioner Danner asked if the program could be ended should a future sheriff fail to run it correctly.

Colson answered, “The program is ultimately controlled by you, the County Commission, and the County Commission can disband it at any time.”

He said the County Commission would have to hold a public hearing every year on the effectiveness of the work release program.

“So you have direct oversight of the work release program,” Colson told the county commissioners.

A resolution was adopted to submit applications to Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for solid waste grants, one a matching grant and another that is a full grant.

Darrell Hoover was appointed to the E-911 Board to replace Ralph Robbins, whose term expired.

Budget Director Debra Maberry’s bond was approved.

Road names were approved as follows: Stanley Carr Access Road, Willow Tree Lane, Clear Water Lane, and Golden View Lane.

Mayor Copeland said, “Stanley Carr Access, the county maintains it, and the other three are for emergency purposes only.”

An auction was approved for Overton County Sheriff’s Department to sell 15 vehicles abandoned in their possession.

The following were approved as notaries at-large: Jon Buckner, Fred Amonett, Tammie Larue, Margaret Stout, and Lori Berta.

The meeting adjourned.

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Cruise-in fills Livingston square


Dewain E. Peek photos
Hundreds of spectators and well over one hundred cars filled the Livingston square Saturday evening, August 9 for the Standing Stone Cruisers Car Club Cruise-in. The beautiful summer day provided perfect weather for auto enthusiasts to bring out their rides for everyone to see. Vehicles from every era were represented, from T-bucket roadsters, to hot rods from the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, muscle cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s, performance cars from the ‘80s, and late model power from the ‘90s to present.
A ‘50s hot rod that grabbed the eye of at least one young specator was a 1950 Ford coupe, in semi-flat primer and red-orange flames.
The Livingston Cruise-In is held the second Saturday night of each month through October. All makes and models are welcome and admission is always free. For more information visit www.StandingStoneCruisers.com.

 

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Garrett returns as Road Supt., new School Board elected
Four years after losing the Overton County Highway Superintendent election to Charles “Chig” Parrott, Joe Garrett has been elected to return to the position in another closely contested race.

A mere 69 votes separated the successful Democrat challenger from the Republican incumbent, 1,384 to 1,315. Garrett won all but four precincts. Parrott won in Monroe (86-69), Rickman (202-112), Hardy’s Chapel (47-24), and Fairgrounds (110-63).

The election held Thursday, Aug. 7 drew 2,795 to the polls, much lower than the 2004 election, which had 3,439.

Overton County Board of Education will have a new look with exactly half of the Board being new members.

Four of the incumbents chose not to run for re-election, and 3rd District incumbent Patricia Bowman lost to challenger Larry Looper, 362 to 145.

In the 1st District race, David Sadler Sr. won 416-171 over Mike Hayes.

Ray Smith won the 5th District School Board member race 218-98 over Veronica Beauchemin.

In uncontested races, Houston Robbins was elected to serve in the 2nd District with 266 complimentary votes, and Howard Miller was elected to serve in the 4th District with 245 complimentary votes.

Assessor of Property Larry King received 2,099 complimentary votes in his unopposed bid for re-election.

In the Democratic Primary, Overton County voters preferred Robert D. Tuke with 401 votes. State voting gave Tuke the nomination to challenge incumbent State Senator Lamar Alexander in the general election.

Alexander received 374 complimentary votes in Overton County in his unopposed bid for the Republican nomination.

State Representative for the 41st District John Mark Windle received 1,779 votes to challenger Glenn E. Stockton’s 108 in Overton County. Windle received the nomination in 41st Representative District voting and will run unopposed in the state general election.

Overton County voters gave incumbent 6th District Congressman Bart Gordon 1,497 complimentary votes, and gave Republican write-in candidate Steven Edmondson 7 votes in the Republican Primary.


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Board of Education meeting held Aug. 5
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education held the regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Aug. 5, with all members present.

The 2008-2009 General Purpose Budget, amounting to $21,021,000, was approved, with Tonya Sells voting no and Kelly Hill and Sam Pendergrass recusing themselves from the vote because they have family members in the
school system.

Chairman Tim Vaughn clarified the issue by stating that the Board member conflict of interest policy does not prohibit any Board member from voting on the budget unless it is on a specific budget amendment.

“Everybody here, even though you have family members, you’re okay on this total budget,” Chairman Vaughn said. “You guys disclosing it is your personal preference, it it not mandatory.”

Perkins Vocation Budget for the 2008-2009 school year was approved.
I.D.E.A. Part B Special Education Carryover Budget was approved, as was I.D.E.A. Pre-School Carryover Budget.

Quarterly reports were approved for General Purpose, Federal Projects, and Food Services for the quarter ending June 30, 2008.

Overton County Differential Pay Proposal was approved.
An item was added to the agenda, with Tim Coffee and Sam Pendergrass opposing, to pay on a private loan taken out for improvements to the Livingston Academy baseball field years ago, of which more than $60,000 is still owed.

Kelly Hill made the motion to honor an agreement worked out between LA Baseball Coach Pat Swallows and LA Softball Coach Elizabeth Maxwell to share use of the batting cages in the baseball field house and take the money that was to be spent on the softball team’s facility, $30,000, and pay it toward the field improvements loan.

Board member Mark Peek said, “We were going to have to build a building for softball. It’s state law, we’ve got to treat all sports equally. We were going to have to build a building for softball.”

The School Board voted to pay $30,000 out of the Reserve Fund on the loan, with Board members Coffee, Pendergrass, and Tonia Sells voting no.
The following bids were approved for the school nutrition program for the 2008-2009 school year: food and supplies – Institutional Wholesale Co.; bread – Lewis Bakery; milk – Southern Belle (firm bid); ice cream – Purity Dairies; pest control – Universal Pest Control.

Universal Pest Control’s bid of $9,320 was accepted for pest control for the school system.

Harris Electric Company’s bids for light bulbs was approved as follows: 4-foot fluorescent F32 T8/TL 741 at $26.79 per case of 25: U-shaped fluorescent FB34/CW/6/EW at $40.80 per case of 12; 4-foot fluorescent GE F32 T8/SP 35 Eco at $26.50 per case of 25; 4-foot fluorescent F34T12/CW/RS/EW at $22.50 per case of 30.

Auto supply bids from Coleman Oil were approved as follows: antifreeze at $57.30 per 6-gallon case; 10W30 oil at $36.60 per 12-quart case; 15W40 diesel oil at $46 per 6-gallon case; Dexron 3 ATF at $34.50 per 12-quart case; batteries with 1-year warranty – 930 CCA for gas buses at $66.50, and 9040 group 4 for diesel buses at $137.50; oil filters – NAPA 7182 at $9.50, NAPA 1607 at $5.95, and NAPA 1799 at $19.39; fuel filters – NAPA 3358 at $6.56, NAPA 3621 at $16.54, NAPA 3585 at $10.34, and NAPA 3630 at $24.42.

Bus tire recapping bids from Livingston Limestone were approved at $221 for new 1100/22.5 radial 16 ply, and $127.50 for recapping 1100/22.5 radial.

Security Equipment’s bid of $2,450 for fire alarm inspections was approved.

Chemsearch’s bid for drain enzyme treatment was approved at $30.95 per gallon.

Bids from B&B Filters for HVAC filters were approved as follows (12 per case): 10x21x1 at $17.64; 11x20x1 at $29.28; 11.5x19x1 at $29.28; 12x24x1 at $17.04; 13.5x24x1 at $34.92; 15x20x1 at $17.04; 16x16x1 at $17.88; 16x20x1 at $16.56; 16x25x1 at $16.56; 16x26x1 at $33; 17x28x1 at $33; 18x24x1 at $21.24; 18x25x1 at $21.24; 19x20x1 at $34.92; 19x34x1 at $41.28; 20x20x1 at $16.56; 20x25x1 at $17.28; 20x28x1 at $41.28; 14x25x1 at $22.80; 15x20x2 at $22.92; 16x16x2 at $41.76; 16x20x2 at $23.04; 16x25x2 at $22.92; 18x20x2 at $36.96; 18x24x2 at $25.68; 20x20x2 at $22.92; 20x25x2 at $24.48; 20x30x2 at $57.24.

The School Board accepted the resignation of Amber Frazier, Spanish teacher at Livingston Academy.

The Board accepted the resignation of Matthan Houser, Electronic Media/Social Studies teacher and assistant football coach at Livingston Academy.

The Board also accepted the resignation of Kathy Carr, Physical Education teacher at Allons Elementary School.

Margie Taylor’s resignation from being a custodian at Livingston Middle School was accepted.

Chairman Vaughn said, “I would like to thank these for their years of service in our school system. I hate to see them go.”

Director of Schools Mike Gilpatrick issued the Director’s Report to the School Board. (The report is published elsewhere in this edition of Overton County News.)

Before adjourning, School Board members spoke about the impending departure of those Board members whose terms are ending the last of this month.

Kelly Hill said, “I want to thank all you guys who are going off – Tim, Tonia, Tim, and Joey, a personal thank you. I’ve enjoyed working with you, and especially for me, Tim Vaughn because we’re in the same district and he’s been a really big help to me, and I appreciate it.”

Tim Coffee, who did not choose to run for re-election after 8 years on the Board, expressed his appreciation to the public and said, “I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve made some life-long friends. I’ve lost some friends -- Mr. Jerry Glasscock, Edith Key.

“We’ve not always seen eye-to-eye on everything, but we’ve always had a way, it seems like, it comes out best for the kids. You always would like to do better for the kids.

“This has been a really tough year, been a trying time. I would like to thank every one of you’all for working with me, putting up with me. I would like to thank my wife because she’s put up with me over this right here.”

Tonia Sells, who also chose not to run for re-election, said, “I’m just thankful it’s over, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”

Joey Smith, who chose not to run for re-election said, “I thank everyone. I just think it’s time for somebody else to take over.”

Patricia Bowman, who ran for re-election, said, “I’d love to stay. It’s been a pleasure working with everybody and getting to know them. It’s not an easy job.”

Tim Vaughn, who also chose not to run again, said to those in attendance, “It’s an honor for us to serve you, the citizens. Thank you teachers for all you do.

“We’ve got a great system here, and I wish we had the perfect system; we do not, but every year we seem to improve and that’s all we can ask of anybody. We have a lot of great kids, a lot of great teachers. Thank you public for supporting us and we’ll move on with the next group. I wish them all luck.”

Director Gilpatrick said, “It has been a pleasure working with everyone. It’s a difficult job, yours and mine here.

“I would like to announce to the public that we did get our report card and all of our schools are in good standing.”

 

Wright injured in logging accident
Dexter Wright, of Highway 84, is in Vanderbilt Hospital following a logging accident over the weekend.

Wright was reportedly cleaning up an area on the property of Sheriff W.B. Melton when a tree fell on him, pinning him to the ground. Melton apparently went looking for Wright after he failed to return after a long time.

Wright underwent surgery Monday, Aug. 11 and at press time his condition was unknown.

Wright is married to Pamie Wright.





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