Sale of Taubert Property, Communications Tower Bid Among Co. Commission Topics

The Fentress Co. Commission met Monday, September 19, 2016 in regular session and took action on a number of items in a busy hour-long meeting.

With all members present, the meeting was called to order by County Executive J. Michael Cross, followed by the presentation of the Colors by the Clarkrange JROTC Color Guard, the Pledge to the Flag led by Commissioner Wade  Matthews, and opening prayer by Davis Hendricks.

Following the roll call, approval of notaries, and approval of the minutes of the August 22 session, the first order of busines was approval of a proclamation declaring the week of September 18-24 as “Read With a Child Week.”  The proclamation was then presented to Tina Smith, Fentress County Schools RTI Coordinator, who gave an update on activities planned for Thursday, Sept. 22 in support of the Read With a Child Week.

Charlie Curtis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Co. Commission Association, then gave an update on the association’s effort and support in the fight to restore state funding for York Institute, and challenged the commissioners to get involved in the statewide effort to support rural communities.

Next, they approved the list of Joint Economic and Community Development Board members as submitted by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leann Smith, and also confirmed the appointing of Mrs. Smith to represent Fentress County at the Upper Cumberland Development District’s Retail Academy.

The Commission then confirmed the Industrial Development’s motion to allow Middle Tennessee Natural Gas to provide natural gas service to the Clarkrange Business Park.

Next, they approved a motion to authorize the Fentress County Jail to accept bids from various food service vendors for food for the jail, which should result in a substantial savings for the facility.

Proposals had been requested for the construction of a retainer wall at the west side of the courthouse where the former jail had been,  but because of the wide variety of proposals and prices, the bids were rejected, and a motion by Larry Cooper was approved to obtain the services of an architect to create  detailed specifications for the project, after which they would again advertise the project for bids.

The next item of business concerned bids received for the construction of the Emergency Communications Tower in Clarkrange.  The County had obtained a 180-foot tower from state surplus for $100.00, but had earlier rejected bids because of the high cost.

Bids were opened on Monday, with two bids received.  They were from Allstate Tower  of Henderson, KY in the amount of $80,936, and from B &B Construction of Hazard, KY in the amount of $30,000.

On a motion by Jeff Green, the commission voted to accept the low bid of $30,000 from B & B Construction.

Commissioner Cooper also made a motion, which passed, to requet proposals for the construction of a 50’ x 50’ fence around the tower once it has been constructed.

The Commission then began consideration of proposals to dispose of the county-owned land known as the Taubert Property which is located off the Gouldstown Road,  which had been purchased by the county in 1993 for the purpose of developing a landfill.

Executive Cross said that currently, the county has no use for the property, and it was actually a liability, and felt that the best alternative would be to sell the property and get it back on the tax rolls.

It was pointed out that the property had never been actually permitted for a landfill, and the current cost of disposing of our trash was $10 per ton less than it was 10 years ago.

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