Delinquent Taxes, Industrial Prospect Are Topics of Monday County Commission Meeting

The Fentress Co. Commission met Monday, April 18 in regular monthly session and took action on a number of items of business in a rather brief but busy meeting.

With all members present except Larry Cooper, the meeting was called into session by County Executive J. Michael Cross, followed by the presentation of the Colors by the Clarkrange JROTC Color Guard and Pledge to the Flag led by Commissioner Jeff Green and prayer by Commissioner Lester Gooding.

Following aproval of the notary list and minutes of the previous meeting, the Commission accepted a report on the 2014 taxes from Trustee Wanda Tompkins’ office, showing that out of the total adjusted tax of $6,059,585.00, that all had been collected but $63,671.67, which the commission voted to turn over to the office of Circuit Court Clerk Gina Mullinix for collection.

Executive Cross and the commissioners commended Trustee Tompkins for the great job she had done in collecting the taxes, which was the highest percentage of the tax ever collected.

In  another issue relating to delinquent taxes, County Attorney Leslie Ledbetter asked for authorization to file suit for collection of delinquent taxes for the year 2014, and announced that the date of July 29 had been set to sell all property with outstanding delinquent taxes from 2013.  This request was approved by the commission without opposition.

Scott Sandman, Chairman of the Fentress County Industrial Board, then gave a quarterly report, stating that they had replied to four different requests for information from potential industrial prospects, and one had expressed an interest in obtaining 40 to 50 acres in the Clarkrange Business Park.  He said that this industrial prospect was involved in the manufacture of automotive parts, and would be making an investment of some $100 million, and would create 80 to 100 new jobs.

Next, the commission approved a write-off policy for the Fentress County EMS for ambulance transports, with the motion passing  with 5 votes for, 3 against, one passing, and one absent.  Voting for the motion were Jimmy Johnson, Lester Gooding, Justin Miller, Benny Hughes and Wade Matthews voting for; Jeff Green, JP Reagan, and Donal Williams voting against; Kim Davidson passing, and Larry Cooper absent.

County Attorney Ledbetter then informed the commission that there was a law that had been on the books since the 1930s which gave certain utilities a tax exemption for a 4-year period and that Volunteer Energy Cooperative, along with some other utility companies, had joined in an effort to take advantage of this law.

If this law is upheld, this would represent nearly $1 million in lost revenue to Fentress County.

She requested that she be allowed to join with other counties which would be affected by this proposal to file a response to disagree with the proposal, and get an opinion from the state attorney general on this issue.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.