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More money taken from Carter Co. budget to pay for pauper burial

John Thompson • Feb 12, 2013 at 9:41 AM

ELIZABETHTON — Carter County’s commitment to pay the funeral bills for some of its poorest citizens has once again become a topic of discussion in the Budget Committee of the County Commission.

For years, the county has set aside $2,000 annually in a “pauper burial” line item, but the money ran out earlier this year and $2,000 was transferred from the normally unused industry line item. With nearly four months left to go, that money has again run out and the county has a bill for a burial that needs to be paid.

Mayor Leon Humphrey said two of the county’s funeral homes, Tetrick and Hathaway-Percy, have always worked well with the county in meeting the need. He said they charge only $600 for a cremation service. He said in some instances in which families have had strong objections to cremation, the two funeral homes have provided a very respectable coffin and service. The families in these few circumstances have had burial plots in churches or family cemeteries.

The committee voted to recommend that $600 be taken from the General Fund to pay the latest bill. Only Thomas “Yogi” Bowers voted against the motion.

The committee also set the workshops for setting a budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The workshops will be held in May, starting May 9. The plans are to approve a recommended budget May 30 and hold a public hearing June 13.

The committee’s goal is to have a recommended budget to present to the County Commission during its June 17 meeting. The commission is scheduled to adopt the new budget during its July 15 meeting.