As has become a matter of routine, members of the Cumberland County Commission approved a continuing budget and tax rate resolution to fill the gap of when this fiscal year's budget expires and the new budget is to go into effect. Members of the budget committee are continuing their work with department heads and elected officials as they move toward an election year budget that will be presented to the full commission after the July 1 deadline.

State law requires that commissions adopt last year's budget for the purpose of paying employees and operating costs while work continues on preparing the new budget.

Last fiscal year's tax rate was $1.64 per each $100 of taxable property and remains in effect until a new property tax rate is adopted.

County commission budget committee chairman Lynn Tollett announced that the budget committee will meet Tuesday and Thursday in the small courtroom of the courthouse beginning at 4:30 p.m. each night to continue budget work. The meetings are open to the public.

In other business, the commission took the following actions.

•APPROVED a resolution described as a routine bookkeeping measure required by the state auditor establishing an account to receive a government grant in the amount of $300,000 on behalf of the county's Railroad Authority. Primary purpose of the grant is for maintenance and rehabilitation of the rail track that runs from Crab Orchard east into Roane County.

•APPROVED a resolution accepting federal funds through the state for the purpose of purchasing new voting machines. The $269,545 is a 100 percent grant requiring no matching funds.

•APPROVED a resolution moving from the fund balance $106,150 to various departments to cover shortfalls in the current fiscal year budget. Of that amount, $49,000 is designated for unforeseen increases in utility bills and $30,000 to cover the increase in gasoline.

•APPROVED receipt of a 100 percent grant in the amount of $28,200 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Methamphetamine grant on behalf of the sheriff's department.

•APPROVED transferring from the fund balance to the highway fund $18,500 to cover overruns in that budget. About one-fourth of that amount was the increase in gasoline.

•APPROVED receipt of $34,300 in proceeds from the sale of surplus equipment in the county highway department with the funds earmarked for the purchase of new equipment.

•APPROVED appointment of Jerry Lawrence, Lee Allen Kaffenbarger and Robert Williams Collester III as new judicial commissioners on recommendation of Circuit Court Clerk Larry Sherrill and Judicial Commissioner Director Benton Threet.

•TABLED action on a resolution supporting the Cumberland County Planning Commission's support of the findings of the 127 North resource team's recommendation for the widening and improvement of Hwy. 12 N from I-40 into Fentress County. Commissioner Lynn Pryor made the motion, stating there was much controversy over the road improvement plan, and his motion was seconded by Commissioner Mike Harvel. All voted in favor with the exception of Commissioner David Gibson who was unable to attend the meeting.

•APPROVED the election of notaries. NEW: Denise P. Beaty, Eric Carwile, Bill Crabtree, Danielle Dorey, Tara L. Harris, Rebecca Panzica and Jennifer Watts. RENEWAL: Glee Beaty, Teresa Bolin, April L. Dayton, Richard Fox, Berry Gustin, Brenda A. Manning, Kathy A. Manning, Linda J. Piette, Georgia Reynolds, Phyllis Seagraves, Jeannie D. Sidwell and Tina Webb.

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