County Commission Tables Discussion of County Road Speed Limits

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   The Wayne County Board of Commissioners met in special session on Monday, September 21st, 2020 in the commission meeting room at the Wayne County Courthouse, with County Executive Jim Mangubat presiding over the meeting. Commissioners in attendance were Herbert Brewer, Tom Mathis, Tim Powell, Phillip Casteel, Vickie Petty, Stephen Pevahouse, David Martin, Tim Prater, John McDonald, Kathryn Staggs, and Rickey Kelley. Commissioners Sherrie Powers and Mary Lauren Garner attended via virtual meeting. Also present were County Clerk Stan Horton and County Attorney Andy Yarbrough. Commissioner Joe Hall was absent.

   County Executive Mangubat opened the meeting, and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

   Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve the minutes of the August commission meeting. Commissioner Prater seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

   Commissioner Kelley then made a motion to approve the committee minutes as presented, and Commissioner Pevahouse seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously passed.

   County Clerk Horton presented to the commission the Official Bond for Property Assessor Dustin White. Commissioner Mathis made a motion to accept the bond as presented. Commissioner Prater seconded the motion, and it was unanimously passed.

   Next, Jeff Minatra from Collier Engineering presented a proposal to the commission for the new Ag Center. Commissioner Powell inquired about the cost for the project, and Minatra gave a rough estimate of $500,000-$600,000. Commissioner Mathis made a motion to approve the proposal from Collier Engineering, and Commissioner Casteel seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved on roll call vote.

   Highway Superintendent Chuck Moser then came before the commission and briefly discussed the previously mentioned issue of posting reduced speed limits on rural roads. He said that he had spoken with Trooper Jeff Webb about his recommendations for speed limits, and Trooper Webb will be glad to answer any questions the commission may have. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to table the posting of the speed limits on county roads until the October commission meeting. Commissioner Prater seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

   County Executive Mangubat next informed the commission that proposals for each city to take over the county water lines would soon be presented to each city’s commission, and would then be discussed further by the County Commission.

   Also under old business on the agenda, County Executive Mangubat said that TDOT is supposed to be cleaning the culvert that runs under Highway 13 near the Franklin Cole property, and that the cleaning of the culvert should help a great deal with the flooding problem on the property.

   Under new business, Commissioner Mathis made a motion to approve the transfer of funds for hotel/motel tax from fund 204 to fund 128. Commissioner Prater seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.

   Next, County Executive Mangubat said that Library Director Kathy Morris had failed to add Katy Wright to the list of re-appointments to the Library Board at the last meeting. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Prater and unanimously passed.

   Tyler Taylor of Wayne Medical Center next presented some statistics from the hospital, stating that the Emergency Room and outpatient procedures, along with gross and net revenue, were still down due to the pandemic. However, the stimulus money that was awarded to rural hospitals and funding from the CARES Act has helped the hospital a great deal.

   Commissioner Powell then made a motion to award $5,000.00 to active fire halls in the county, using OBF Grant monies received from the state. Commissioner Brewer seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   The commission was next updated on the CDBG grant that has been awarded for the rebuilding of the Collinwood Medical Clinic. The grant funds will pay $420,000.00 of the total estimated cost of $576,000.00. No start date has yet been announced for the project.

   Under department reports on the agenda, Highway Superintendent Chuck Moser addressed the commission first, stating that money put into his department’s budget from the commission is going to be used for the purchase of two new dump trucks. He went on to say that some old equipment will be sold as surplus, and the revenue from the sales will be used to keep employees in place.

   Wayne County JECDB Director Rena Purdy then requested that the commission approve the usage of $15,000.00 of Three Star Grant funding for furnishing one classroom inside the Bevis Education Center in Collinwood. $15,000.00 of funding from the grant is already set to be used for the purchase of 15 laptops and a charging station. Commissioner Mathis made a motion to approve, and Commissioner Prater seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved on roll call vote.

   Sheriff Shane Fisher next gave a statistical report from the jail and Sheriff’s Office. He reported that there have been no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the jail. He also requested that the Sheriff’s Office be included in future discussions and decisions regarding speed limits on county roads. He then introduced Colby Staggs as the new Administrative Assistant at the jail.

   Next, School Superintendent Marlon Davis gave an update on the school system. He began by thanking Sheriff Fisher for the well-trained and professional School Resource Officers that are working in the county’s schools. He went on to give current enrollment numbers, stating that there are 2,164 students currently enrolled, which is consistent with last year’s enrollment number. Superintendent Davis said that although school attendance is still on a two-group, two-day per week schedule at this time, the goal is to get all students back in the classroom as soon as possible.

   County IT Director Clayton Cross next addressed the commission, stating that Lutts Fire Hall and Holly Creek Fire Hall are both interested in having Wi-Fi installed so that school children can utilize it for their school work. The cost to the county will be approximately $1,000 per fire hall. Commissioner McDonald said that the request will be brought up at the next meeting of the budget committee.

   Solid Waste Director Robert Hayes then came before the commission and presented the addition of the definition of construction and demolition material to the original motion regarding the fee for disposing of those materials. As the definition reads, construction and demolition is defined as the following: waste generated during construction, demolition, and renovation of structures. These wastes include but are not limited to concrete, bricks, wood or lumber, shingles, drywall, doors, windows, toilets, showers, tubs, tile, blocks, and landscape wastes. Commissioner Kelley made a motion to approve the addition of the definition, and Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously passed.

   Next, Commissioner McDonald stated that someone needs to make contact with a state official concerning the appearance of right-of-ways on state highways in the county, and the poor job the contracted mowers are doing. County Executive Mangubat said that State Representative David Byrd is currently addressing the problem. Commissioner Mathis agreed to write up a vendor complaint to be presented to the state.

   Commissioner Mathis then thanked Ace Hardware and the inmates for the mulching and landscaping at the courthouse.

   With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner McDonald made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Brewer seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.