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80 Years Ago

Archives 02-11-2009



County Commission Regional jail authority approved
School Board considers two new school buildings
Dillon dies in weekend auto crash
Water work to cause outage Feb. 18

County Commission Regional jail authority approved

Dewain E. Peek photo
County commissioners listen as Commissioner Bruce Ledford objects to the revised Gullett Mountain lease agreement. County commissioners are, front row, Johnie Webb, Jeff Staggs, Billie Phipps, Jean Moore, Billy Parrott, Gregg Nivens, Rick Moles, back row, Darwin Clark, Ben Danner, Randall Boswell, Chris Speck, Cindy Robbins, Bruce Ledford, and Alan Atnip, with Budget Director Debra Maberry sitting in the foreground. Commissioner Stanley Carter Jr. was absent.

By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Legislative Body held the regular monthly meeting Monday, Feb. 9, with Commissioner Stanley Carter Jr. absent.

A resolution was adopted to establish a regional jail authority, with Commissioners Randall Boswell, Darwin Clark, Ben Danner, and Gregg Nivens voting against it.

County Mayor Kenneth Copeland said, “All this does is establish a regional jail authority to get the money to do a study to bring back, to see whether you want to do it, whether it will benefit Overton County or not.”

The other counties involved – Clay, Pickett, and Fentress – have already adopted the resolution, according to Mayor Copeland.

A resolution was adopted to authorize the filing of a Community Development Block Grant application for the purchase of emergency medical service vehicles and necessary equipment. Commissioner Danner voted against the grant application.

Mayor Copeland said, “That’s a CDBG grant for a couple of ambulances.”
The county’s matching funds portion would be about $22,000, according to Mayor Copeland.

A revised version of the Gullett Mountain Lease with Overton County Fire Chiefs Association was sent back to the Public Safety Committee.

The lease was brought to a vote and Commissioners Nivens, Jean Moore, Billy Parrott, Jeff Staggs, and Johnie Webb voted for it, Commissioners Clark, Danner, Alan Atnip, and Bruce Ledford voted against, and Commissioners Boswell, Rick Moles, Billie Phipps, Cindy Robbins, and Chris Speck passed on the vote, making for less than a two-thirds affirmative vote. Some of the commissioners had questioned the wording of the lease agreement.

Budget Director Debra Maberry informed the County Commission of an opportunity to reduce the county’s debt.

“We can go into the market, probably the first or second week in March, and refinance your general obligation bonds for the justice center, add in the senior citizens building, which is an FHA note, and this courthouse note into it, and over a 15-year period the estimated savings is $228,000,” she said.

That action was approved by the County Commission.

The County Quarterly Report was approved.

A budget amendment for the amount of $1,736 in the Sheriff’s Department budget was approved to correct an underpayment of the chief deputy’s salary, going back to January of this year.

The county road list was approved. The list is required by the Comptroller’s Office.

The County Commission voted to direct the General Sessions Court clerk to issue receipts to driving school participants.

In committee reports, Commissioner Jean Moore gave a report on the County Property and Building Committee’s February 3 meeting in which the Leadership Overton Class of 2009 proposed a memorial honoring two young Overton County Marines who lost their life in service to their country – Jeremiah Savage and Brad McCormick. The committee approved the idea of the project with the understanding that further plans would have to be presented to the committee and the County Commission for final approval.

Barbara S. Davis, Myra West, Cynthia Sells, and Elizabeth Chilton were approved as notaries at-large.

The meeting adjourned.

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School Board considers two new school buildings
Overton County Board of Education will meet in regular session Monday, Feb. 16 at the Central Education Office, as directed by Chairman Dolphus Dial. An open door work session will begin at 6 p.m. in the conference room and the Board meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Some items that may be considered were discussed in a work session held Tuesday, Feb. 3. School Board members Dolphus Dial, Kelly Hill, Lenard Ledbetter, Larry Looper, Howard Miller, Mark Peek, Houston Robbins, David Sadler Sr., and Ray Smith were present.

In the work session Howard Miller gave an update on the building committee.

“The building committee voted unanimously to take the architect’s
recommendation of building a 7 through 12 at Rickman and a Pre-K-8 northeast of town,” Miller said.

The School Board may consider the recommendation further in the next work session prior to regular monthly meeting. If the School Board votes to approve the proposal, then it would be sent to the County Commission for consideration for funding.

Chairman Dial said, “The Board will present it to the County Court to either reject it or accept it. If they accept it, that’s when the Board and the County Court will get together to start working up numbers. They won’t look at numbers until they decide if they want to accept it.”

The proposed school northeast of Livingston would relieve A.H. Roberts Elementery, Allons Elementary, and Livingston Middle School of future overcrowding, taking students from Independence, Monroe, and Alpine.

Board member Kelly Hill asked, “This is the proposal, but we’ve still got to figure out how we’re going to fund it?”

No plans on funding were presented.

The Board heard from Transportation Supervisor Noah Hinson informed the Board of the need for a new handicap bus and reminded them of the plan to purchase three buses per year so the school system does not run into a year where a large number of buses will be needed.

Board members agreed to take bids on buses. Taking bids does not obligate the school system to purchase the buses.

Diane Sadler informed the Board that an agreement had been reached in contract negotiations with Overton County Education Association (OCEA). The primary item that had been keeping the contract from being agreed upon was arbitration. For many years, the contract has called for binding arbitration in the event of an unresolved grievance.

The Board’s negotiating team and OCEA’s negotiating team have agreed to “fact finding advisory” arbitration instead of binding arbitration. Once a grievance goes to fact finding arbitration, the School Board can accept or reject the arbitrator’s finding, but it will take two-thirds of the School Board (7 members) to reject the arbitrator’s decision.

Mickey Ledbetter was on hand to speak to the Board about basketball training leagues and to answer questions. After hearing from him, Board members assured him that they understand the leagues are not the reason for some of the electric bills the Board has become concerned with.

Matt Eldridge addressed the Board about possible policies for football practices, similar to those being proposed for elementary basketball. The following are among the items in the proposed new policies: football practice is not to begin before 4 weeks prior to the first game; no Saturday or Sunday practice; practice will not exceed 2.5 hours per session; and practice will not continue past 4:45 p.m.

Keeping players safe in the heat was also brought up. Kentucky shuts down practice at 104 heat index, according to Eldridge.

“At 104 heat index, they shut it all down, no teaching the kids outside, no football practice, no games, no golf practice, no girls soccer,” he said.
Eldridge suggested purchasing psychrometer for each school.

“It tells the heat, it tells the humidity, it tells the heat index,” he said.

The instruments cost about $100 each, according to Eldridge.

The basketball policy was also looked at again. One change to the proposed new policies was counting the Overton County Tournament as two games instead of three.

Chairman Dial announced that Mike Gilpatrick is retiring as director of schools at the end of his contract.

Dial said he wants to have a director hired by April. With the budget process beginning soon, Dial wants the new director to have the opportunity to sit in on the budget meetings.

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Dillon dies in weekend auto crash
A Livingston man died in a one-vehicle crash on Hilham Highway around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 8.

According to reports, Timmy L. Dillon, 43, was driving a 2003 Nissan Altima west on Highway 85 when the car crossed the centerline and went off the road on the other side, then struck a culvert.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol report, Dillon was not wearing a seatbelt. The THP report notes that the seatbelt could have made a difference in the fatality.

Trooper Kendall Grasty and Sgt. Jeff Cook investigated the incident.


Water work to cause outage Feb. 18
Livingston Water Department will have a water outage in the South Church Street area from 7 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 18. All streets south of the town square will be without water during this time.

Also, customers in the Rock Crusher Mountain, Linder Mountain, and Fredonia areas may experience low water pressure or no water for short periods of time during a two-week period from February 12 through February 26 as the Water Department works on a water tank that requires maintenance.

For more information contact the Town of Livingston Water Department at 823-1269.

A Water Department spokesperson stated, “We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.”


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Overton County News
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