Carter Budget Committee begins working on 2018-19 budget

John Thompson • Apr 9, 2018 at 10:51 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Budget Committee of the Carter County Commission held its second session on setting a new budget for the 2018-19 Fiscal Year on Monday evening and also held a regular meeting in preparing budget requests for the upcoming session of the County Commission.

The committee reviewed the 2018-19 budget requests for the departments covered in the General Fund. At the start of the session, the various departments had made requests totaling $16,726,981.09. That total will require close scrutiny by the committee, since projected revenue is $15,363,501.59. That represents a gap of $1,363,479.50. This year’s budget total is $15,765,003.25.

The budget calculations indicate very little growth in revenues for the next fiscal year. The current budget has revenues projected at $15,326,800.59. The growth for the next fiscal year is only expected to be $36,701. That would bring the total revenue to $15,363.501.59.

The committee will hold several more meetings before reaching decisions on requests and revenues.

During the regular meeting, the committee unanimously approved rebuilding plans for the Carter County Landfill. In a fire on Jan. 20, the landfill lost its garage, two large trucks and all of the hand tools stored in the garage.

Landfill Manager Benny Lyons and Landfill Committee Chair Bobbie Gouge-Dietz discussed the losses, insurance settlement and funding request to cover the difference.

Lyons and Gouge-Dietz said the TML Risk Management Pool paid the county $181,000 for the garage. Last week, the Landfill Committee received three bids for a new 50-foot by 80-foot garage, 10 feet longer than the old garage. The low bid was $279,606 by Richardson Builders.

TML also paid the county $107,166 for the loss of a roll-on, roll-off truck. The Landfill Committee had also approved the low bid on a new roll-on, roll-off truck from Goodpasture Motor Company for $157,235.

To help cover the gap, the Landfill will take $110,000 from its contingency funds. That left $26,538.30 that the Landfill requested to be paid out of the county’s fund balance to cover the rest of the loss.

The Budget Committee voted unanimously to recommend the expenditure to the County Commission, which meets next Monday.

In other matters, the committee voted 5-3 to recommend the expenditure of $8,600 for the matching grant on a Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development grant to help with the county’s efforts to attract new business.

The committee also heard a report from Jon Manfull, the county’s advisor on employee health insurance. Manfull said the insurance costs would be increasing by about 7.5 percent. He presented several optional plans that would provide for slightly higher co-pays and totals.

The Committee also heard from Chief Deputy James Parrish, who discussed a plan to place revenue from housing state and federal prisoners into a reserve fund to pay for replacement of the sheriff department’s old communications system and to provide overtime pay for deputies.

Parrish said the federal government will pay the county $60 per prisoner per day for housing federal prisoners. The state pays the county $37 per day per prisoner for housing state prisoners. That could bring as much as $900,000 to the county.

Additional funding could be realized by the Sheriff’s Department providing the commissary services to the jail. Greene County already provides commissary to its jail.

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