Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

May 17, 2013

County discusses non-profit funding contracts

By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer

CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland County Budget Committee reviewed contract agreements for funding of local non-profit agencies Tuesday evening and approved several.

However, there were a couple of new funding requests that were either turned down or were not brought up for a vote.

The Cumberland County Youth Center was funded at a rate of $8,500 last year, but the committee decided to eliminate it for fiscal year 2013-'14.

Harry Sabine, 1st District commissioner and committee chairman, suggested eliminating the funding this year.

Nancy Hyder, 2nd District commissioner, said she didn't think they were following the agreement with the county after the changes in operations were made.

"They are not under any government or state guidelines anymore. They aren't offering any of the daycare programs or after school anymore. It's just totally sports programs now," Hyder said.

The consensus of the committee was to eliminate the funding for this year and maybe look at it again next year.

A $15,000 request of funding from the Fairfield Glade Fire Department was also discussed, but no action was taken.

The Fairfield Glade Fire Chief, Howard Robb, wrote a letter to the county requesting the funding for equipment for the new, refurbished pumper truck that was purchased.

"We managed to acquire this engine using money from fund raising projects and donations from the good people in Fairfield Glade, with no help from our county property tax dollars," the letter states.

The truck came with just the basic equipment and they are requesting $15,000 to purchase a deck gun, electrical generator with night time scene lighting, large diameter relief valve, chainsaw, positive pressure fan, portable fire extinguishers, electric hand lights and other miscellaneous items.

The Fairfield Glade Fire Department made a request last year for funding help to purchase the vehicle, but it was turned down.

Carmin Lynch, 9th District commissioner, also sent a letter urging the committee to support the funding request.

"As a reminder, the Fairfield Glade Fire Department has a mutual aid agreement with the county fire department. Fairfield Glade property taxes provide about $150,000 of the county fire department's budget, even though the Fairfield Glade Fire Department is dispatched first to 911 fire calls in the district. The proposed first responder program that was presented by chief (Jeff) Dodson is relying on 15 volunteers from the Fairfield Glade Fire Department to staff the first 45 positions for that program. There is a close working relationship between the two departments to benefit all of Cumberland County," Lynch wrote.

Hyder said, "What about the 1st or 2nd District that's in the city? We don't use the county fire department and our taxes still go to it. We have to represent all of the county. We have funded them for several years in the past to build those fire halls out there."

John Kinnunen, 9th District commissioner, made a motion to approve the request at a reduced rate of $10,000, but it died because there was no support of the motion.

"I'll support it if we include giving $10,000 to all of the districts," Hyder said.

A request from the Cumberland County Master Gardeners was also turned down for a Kinder Garden program for elementary students, as was a request from Wags and Whiskers Animal Rescue.

"The way things are right now with the budget, I can't see starting anything new," said Jan McNeil, 5th District commissioner.

Several of the committee members agreed.

The following budget requests from agencies were approved at last year's rate:

•Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, $52,500.

•Cumberland County Rescue Squad, $8,550.

•Fair Park Senior Center, $25,775.

•Cumberland County Young Marines, $1,200.

•Hilltoppers, $17,100.

•Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA), $17,211.

•E&CD-Planner, $10,800.

•Upper Cumberland Development District, $9,228. Reinstated after being eliminated last year. Motion to reinstate made by Hyder and supported by Kinnunen.

•Tourism Task Force, under discretion of Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr., $26,000.

•Cumberland County Playhouse promotion, $9,500.

•Lake Tansi, utility contribution for EMS and security building.