Emergency Shelter, 3-Star, Closing on Justice Center, Bear Population, Budget Amendments And School Curriculum are Commission Topics

FENTRESS COUNTY NOW 3-STAR CERTIFIED: Members of the Fentress County Commission are shown with Fentress County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leann Smith, who presented the group with a plaque at Monday night’s commission meeting, confirming the county’s Three Star Certification.  Left ro right, front row, Amanda Mainord, Kim Davidson, Leann Smith, County Executive J. Michael Cross, Justin Miller, and State Representative Kelly Keisling.  Back row, left to right: Lester Gooding, JP Reagan, Jeff Green, Benny Hughes, Jimmy Johnson, Amanda Hicks, Larry Cooper, Wade Matthews, and Donal Williams.

FENTRESS COUNTY NOW 3-STAR CERTIFIED:
Members of the Fentress County Commission are shown with Fentress County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leann Smith, who presented the group with a plaque at Monday night’s commission meeting, confirming the county’s Three Star Certification. Left ro right, front row, Amanda Mainord, Kim Davidson, Leann Smith, County Executive J. Michael Cross, Justin Miller, and State Representative Kelly Keisling. Back row, left to right: Lester Gooding, JP Reagan, Jeff Green, Benny Hughes, Jimmy Johnson, Amanda Hicks, Larry Cooper, Wade Matthews, and Donal Williams.

The Fentress Co. Commission met in regular monthly session on Monday, November 16 with all members present, and took action on a number of items in a rather lengthy meeting.

Following the Pledge to the Flag, opening prayer, approval of the minutes from the October 19th meeting, and approval of notaries, Fentress County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leann Smith addressed the commission, and presented them a plaque for having acquired Three Star certification.

State Represent Kelly Keisling then addressed the commission concerning the issue of the Paris attacks and the placement of refugees, stating that he had just received a statement from Governor Haslam, who was asking the federal government to suspend placements of refugees in Tennessee until states can become more of a partner in the vetting process.

He further spoke of the current backlog of more than $7 billion in road construction contracts  in the State of Tennessee, noting the shortfall was due to decreases in the gasoline and fuel taxes.  He said that while it might not be a popular issue, he anticipated that a bill to raise the gasoline and fuel tax would be proposed in January when the legislature convenes.

Curt Miles of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, then gave an update on the Black Bear population on the Cumberland Plateau, reporting that since the relocation of 14 pregnant female Black Bears in 1996-97 from the Smokey Mountains to the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, that the population had expanded to more than 250 by 2012, and further expanded to the point that in 2014, the TWRA established an archery-only hunting season for Bear in Zone 4, which resulted in 15 bears being killed, of which 7 were killed in Fentress County, and the figures released for this year showed that 53 bear were killed, including 22 in Fentress County.  He said that the TWRA would continue to study the bear population in an effort to stabilize the bear population.

Next, the commission approved the appointment of Roy Stucker to the Fentress County Planning Commission to fill Larry Crabtree’s term through February of 2017.

Next, they approved a motion to autnorize Fentress County Highway Department Supervisor Scott Norris to sell surplus scrap metal.

They then approved a resolution for continuation of the Occupational Safety and Health Program for 2015-16.

Grant writer Amanda Mainord then explained the process of filing an applicaiton for a CDBG Grant for the construction of an emergency shelter for the Pall Mall area.  Miss Mainord said that since the county had Three Star certification, they could qualify for a grant with only a 7% local match required, after which the commission unanimously voted to apply for the grant.

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