The Wayne County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 in the commission meeting room at the Wayne County Courthouse, with County Executive Jim Mangubat presiding over the meeting. All commissioners were in attendance, including Herbert Brewer, Tom Mathis, Tim Powell, Phillip Casteel, Vickie Petty, Sherrie Powers, David Martin, Tim Prater, Mary Lauren Garner, Kathryn Staggs, Joe Hall, John McDonald, Stephen Pevahouse, and Rickey Kelley. Also present were County Clerk Stan Horton and County Attorney Andy Yarbrough.
Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve the commission minutes as presented. Commissioner Garner seconded the motion, and the committee minutes were approved.
Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve the committee minutes from the various committee meetings as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Prater and was passed unanimously.
County Clerk Horton next presented the following to serve as notaries: James Y. Ross, Sherrie Barber, Lori Nutt, Misty Turnbow, Beth A. Rich, Stephanie Pearson, and Tonya Gallian. Commissioner Powell made a motion to approve the notaries. Commissioner Mathis seconded the motion, and the notaries were unanimously approved.
First under old business on the agenda, County Executive Mangubat informed the commission that John Greer from the State Comptroller’s Division of Water would be at the next Water Board meeting on February 10th, 2020.
County Executive Mangubat then told the commission that he and Wayne County JECDB Director Rena Purdy had a meeting last week with representatives from TDEC and ECD. Purdy then addressed the commission regarding the proposed Agriculture Center for Wayne County that has been talked about for quite some time but with no progress made. She explained that several businesses and organizations, including Wayne County Bank, the Forestry Association, Cattlemen’s Association, and Chamber of Commerce, have pledged to make donations toward the Agriculture Center, and grants will be applied for to cover the cost of other parts of the project such as pavilions and community kitchens. Director Purdy suggested that the county should make a firm commitment to set aside funds in next year’s budget for grant match funding for the construction of the Agriculture Center in the Industrial Park on Highway 13 South. Commissioner Garner made a motion to put funding for the project in next year’s budget, with the actual amount to be decided by the budget committee. Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously on roll call vote. All commissioners voted yes with the exception of Commissioner Powell, who abstained due to a possible conflict of interest.
County Executive Mangubat then updated the commission on the contract with Lincoln Brass, stating that he would be meeting with Adam Versa of Lincoln Brass during the first week of February.
Wayne County Election Commissioner Lillie Ruth Brewer next addressed the commission regarding plans for the re-districting of the county after the 2020 census. She asked the commission to think about whether they want to include the inmates at the prison in Clifton in the city’s population count, which adds about 2,000 to the city’s population. The inmates have been and are currently considered in the Clifton population.
Next, County Executive Mangubat presented a Certificate of Accomplishment on behalf of the county to Veterans’ Service Officer John Allen Berry. Mr. Berry recently became fully accredited as a Veterans’ Service Officer, and has already been serving veterans and their families in Wayne County for several years.
Sherry Ray, Director of the Wayne County Ambulance Service, next addressed the commission to seek support for state legislation that proposes to increase the reimbursement amount that that ambulance services would receive for services provided. Commissioner Brewer made a motion to adopt a resolution in support of the legislation. Commissioner Pevahouse seconded the motion, and the resolution was unanimously approved.
Attorney Josh Polk and Waynesboro resident Franklin Cole came before the commission next to re-address flooding issues at the Cole residence that allegedly began after the construction of Talmadge Kelly Road several years ago. Mr. Cole has come before the commission before to detail the flooding problems he is experiencing and the damage that has already been caused. Attorney Polk, who represents Mr. Cole, said that he has advised Mr. Cole that he has three options as a homeowner: pursue court action, ask the county once again to resolve the problem, or pay to fix the problem himself. Commissioner Garner made a motion to hire an outside contractor to evaluate the problem and for the county to fix the property as needed, and Commissioner Brewer seconded the motion. A discussion followed in which Attorney Polk and County Attorney Andy Yarbrough agreed to meet and discuss the details of the problem, and Attorney Polk said that he and Mr. Cole would pursue getting a bid for repair costs and bring the information back before the commission. Commissioner Garner then rescinded her previous motion.
Under new business on the agenda, Tyler Taylor from Wayne Medical Center addressed the commission regarding the benefit of changing the hospital to a critical access facility. He requested that the commission set aside $40,000 in the upcoming budget to provide funding for an outside firm to do a “master plan” for moving forward with the critical access designation. No action was taken by the commission at this time.
County Executive Mangubat next presented the plans to apply for grants to construct a new building to house Collinwood Medical Clinic, which was already approved by the budget committee. Commissioner Mathis made a motion to approve the building, and Commissioner seconded the motion. The motion passed on roll call vote, with Commissioners Kelley and McDonald casting votes of “no,” and all other commissioners voting “yes.”
County Executive Mangubat then presented a resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application to TDEC for funding for the construction of the Collinwood Medical Clinic in the amount of $420,000. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $641,500, with the $221,500 not covered by the grant to be provided by Wayne County and Maury Regional Hospital. Commissioner Mathis made a motion to approve the resolution, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Powers. The motion passed on roll call vote, with Commissioners Kelley and McDonald once again voting “no” and all other commissioners voting “yes.”
Wayne County E911 Director Jimmy Turnbow came before the commission next to present plans to purchase radio towers from the county for $400,000. He said that if the commission agreed to the sale of the towers to 911, he would bring back an agreement of terms for the commission’s review before finalizing the contract and sale resolution. Commissioner Powers made a motion to approve the sale of the towers to 911, and Commissioner Casteel seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved on roll call vote.
Next, Road Superintendent Chuck Moser came before the commission regarding calls that he and some of the commissioners have received from concerned citizens regarding the need to post a lower speed limit on some county roads. Commissioner Powers mentioned that she had received requests from some of her constituents to lower the speed limit on Piney Road and Wright Ridge Road. Superintendent Moser distributed information to the commissioners on the cost of speed limit signs, which would be approximately $30 per sign including the posts. Law requires that speed limit signs be placed every one mile on roads with posted speed limits. No action was taken by the commission on the issue at this time.
Budget amendments were next on the agenda. A line item amendment for the Lutts fire truck was first. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve, seconded by Commissioner Powell. The motion was unanimously approved. The next line item amendment was in the schools budget. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve, seconded by Commissioner Powers, and motion approved unanimously as well.
Commissioner Kelley next made a motion to approve the following to serve on the Agriculture Committee: Vickie Petty and Chris Gambrell, both re-appointed to their second two-year terms, and Phillip Casteel and Dean Stegall, both re-appointed to their third and final two-year terms. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Powers, and was approved unanimously.
Solid Waste Director Robert Hayes came before the commission next. He first stated that wording should have been added to a previous resolution regarding tire disposal to state that any court costs and attorney fees would be added to the client cost of unpaid fees if legal action becomes necessary. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve the wording change, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Powers. The motion was passed unanimously.
Director Hayes went on to inform the commission that the Decatur County landfill is closing in February 2020, and that he is searching for other landfills to take the county’s garbage. He said that the three nearest landfills are all approximately 80 miles away, and will almost certainly add around $20 per ton to the hauling fees. A representative from TDEC gave a slideshow presentation that showed the basics and the cost of landfill site construction.
Next, Mrs. Ava Barnett came before the commission to request that her uncle Joseph Pevahouse’s memorial bridge sign be moved from its present location to Ross Creek Bridge. Mr. Pevahouse was a decorated WWII veteran who was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Commissioner Powers made a motion to approve the moving of the bridge memorial. Commissioner Brewer seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.
Road Superintendent Moser then presented two bridges to be renamed in honor of Wayne County Army Veterans Joel Cole and Milas McKinley Davis, Sr. He also requested the extension of two county roads for approval: J. Robertson Lane, extend 726 feet, and Newborn Hollow Road, extend 0.2 miles. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve the renaming of both bridges and the extension of the two county roads. Commissioner Petty seconded the motion, and the motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner McDonald then made a motion to approve the county road list as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kelley and was unanimously approved.
Superintendent Moser next told the commission that a steel structure bridge is set to be delivered to the site of the bridge on Doll Conway Road on February 24th. The steel bridge will replace the concrete one that recently had a head wall to wash out.
Next, Sheriff Shane Fisher came before the commission to present the jail status report. The Sheriff also requested approval for two changes to the Sheriff’s Office policy manual, one concerning holidays and the other concerning maximum vacation hours to be accumulated. Commissioner Pevahouse made a motion to approve the changes, and Commissioner Garner seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
A representative from the group “United We Stand” then came before the commission to request approval for a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Resolution. The resolution declares that Wayne County is unified in the desire to protect the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is the right to keep and bear arms. The representative from “United We Stand” stated that Wayne County would become the 20th county in Tennessee to pass such a resolution. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve the resolution as presented. Commissioner Casteel seconded the motion, and the resolution was unanimously approved.
With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner Powers made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.