Commission adopts continuing resolution

Dewain E. Peek/OCN screen shot

County Executive Ben Danner addresses the County Commission.

By Dewain E. Peek,

OCN Editor

Overton County Commission held the regular monthly meeting Monday, June 29, marking the first time since March the Legislative Body has met in person. The meeting had been pushed back from the usual second Tuesday of the month.

To continue paying the bills until a new budget is ready, approval was given for Resolution 2020-0629-03 to adopt a continuing budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020 and to authorize the expenditure of funds by the various county offices and departments.

“Usually, we would pass the budget at this time, that’s what we were hoping for,” County Executive Ben Danner said.

He explained that money coming into the school system has delayed the School Board passing its budget.

Commissioner Billie G. Phipps made a motion to adopt the continuing budget resolution, and Commissioner Frank Martin seconded. On the vote, Commissioners Donna Savage, Philip Talley, Lee Richards, Randall Boswell, Geraldine Walker, Gregg Nivens, Jean Moore, Jeff Long, Robbie Melton, Martin, Shane Walker, Gail McCowan, Darwin Clark, Jesse Bowman, and Phipps all voted yes.

Repairing the bridge at City Lake was next addressed with approval of Twin-K Construction Company’s bid, in the amount of $1,620,188.81, for the BRZ project. Twin-K Construction was the lowest bidder for the new BRZ bridge project, which is scheduled to begin after July 4, 2020.

Commissioner Clark, who is an employee of Overton County Highway Department, estimated the bridge to be shut down from 6 to 8 months once the project begins.

Overton County Highway Department was approved to complete the Emergency Watershed Project (EWP) at Sunk Cane and Shiloh.

Commissioner Clark said the project mitigates erosion around the stream next to Sunk Cane Road and Shiloh Road by adding shot rock to the bank.

Litter Grant Resolution 2020-0629-01 was adopted for 2020-2021 in the amount of $44,800, with no matching funds required.

Executive Danner said, “This one’s for the county roads.”

Approval was given for Resolution 2020-0629-02 to adopt the Overton County Multi-jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is required for FEMA reimbursement.

Executive Danner said a government agency lost the county’s 2003 plan and a new one had to be drawn up.

“The city, the deal they’re working on with the pond, they had to have this in place because the county does the plan for the city and the county,” Executive Danner said.

A litter contract for Overton County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Department of Transportation in the amount of $68,513 was approved.

Overton County Sheriff’s Department’s request was approved to apply for a Mental Health Grant to reimburse the county for transports made in 2018-2019. The grant would not require any matching funds.

Reimbursement Account Funds by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth Grant for $300 to $5,000, with no matching funds, was approved.

Approved was Library Tech grant 50/50 and CARES Act, which require no matching funds from the county.

Overton County Ambulance Service’s annual write-offs were approved.

Overton County Trustee’s request to turn over 2018 property taxes to the Clerk and Master, in the amount of $83,217.40, was approved.

School Quarterly Reports ending March 31, 2020 were approved.

The following School Budget amendments were approved: General Purpose School Fund 141 Amendment #3; Federal Projects Fund 142 Revisions – IDEA Technology Partnership Grant Amendment, IDEA Part B Revision #3, Title V Revision #2, Title IA Revision #3 and #4, and Carl Perkins Basic Revision #2, #3, and #4; and Central Cafeteria Fund 143 Amendment #2.

“That’s just the year-end budget amendments for the school system,” Executive Danner said.

The following amendments were approved: Highway Fund 131 Budget Amendment #2; and General Fund 101 Budget Amendment #3, #4, and #5. Commissioner Shane Walker passed on the vote.

The bid of Institutional Wholesale Inc. was awarded for jail food and non-food for next year.

The bid for volunteer fire department property, crime, liability, and auto insurance for next year was awarded to VFIS Insurance through Swallows Insurance Company at $77,259.

Overton County Highway Department bids were approved as follows: Drilling – Midstate Drilling; Striping – Volunteer Highway Supply; Asphalt in place – Rogers Group Paving Division; Asphalt pick-up (asphalt will be picked up based on availability when usage is needed) – Rogers Group Paving Division, DRP (Copeland); Asphalt Oil Rs2 – Marathon Petroleum; Asphalt Ae3 – Hudson Materials; Gravel/Chips – Rogers Group Quarry Division; Plastic Tile Pipe – Pug’s Septic, Metal Tile Pipe – Contech Systems, purchases will be considered based on convenience, availability, quality and/or application; Grader Blades – Whitehouse Equipment; Tires and Tubes – Hwy Tire, Travel Center of America Truck Service, purchases will be considered based on convenience, availability, quality and/or application; Explosives – Austin Powder Co. Blasting, Dyno-Nobel Inc. Blasting.

The fiscal strength letter for the Three-Star Program was approved.

A battery back-up at the Election Office was approved to be placed in surplus for disposal.

William Robert Thomas, Margaret Stout, Angie G. Hite, Kenneth E. Dodson, and Nicole Looper were approved as notaries at-large.

Minutes of the May 11, 2020 County Commission meeting were approved.

Dian Franklin and Nicole Cooper were approved to be added to the Audit Committee.

Commissioner Savage presented a report from the Audit Committee.

“We had three audit findings this time, all in the school’s,” Commissioner Savage said.

“The first finding was that journal entries were posted to the General Purpose School Fund that did not properly reflect the operations. It caused some major categories in payroll line items to be overspent.

“We recommend that all accounts are monitored on a continuous basis,” she read from the Audit Committee’s report.

“Finding number two, is expenditures exceeded appropriations approved by the County Commission in four of 23 major appropriation categories.

“Expenditures should be held within the appropriations that were approved by the County Commission.”

She went on to read, “Salaries should not exceed line items appropriations. These expenditures were not approved by the County Commission. The budget resolution approved by the County Commission states that salary and wages of the county will not exceed appropriations.

“And finding number three, were duties were not segregated adequately for employees in the office of the Director of Schools.”

The auditor’s report stated, “The official and employees responsible for maintaining accounting records were also involved in receipting, depositing, and/or disbursing funds.”

Commissioner Savage said, “During this time, that the schools were hiring a new payroll manager, the budget director processed payroll.”

The auditor’s recommendation was, “Officials should segregate duties to the extent possible using available resources.”

Commissioner Savage said, “We met with the Director of Schools and the schools budget director on the 23rd and have been assured that these findings will be corrected, but we would also like to thank all the departments who did not get a finding and for their cooperation with the audit process.”

Before the meeting adjourned, County Executive Ben Danner announced that the next County Commission meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, July 27, but cautioned that it would depend on when the school system’s budget is ready.