County Commission Votes To Give Hwy. Dept. $311,000 in Additional Funds

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The Wayne County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, October 18th, 2021. County Executive Jim Mangubat presided over the meeting. Commissioners in attendance were Tom Mathis, Stephen Pevahouse, Tim Prater, Kathryn Staggs, Tim Powell, Katherine Reeves, David Martin, Phillip Casteel, Vickie Petty, Herbert Brewer, Mary Lauren Garner, Sherrie Powers, and Rickey Kelley. Also in attendance were County Clerk Stan Horton and County Attorney Andy Yarbrough. Commissioner John McDonald was absent.

Commissioner Kelley first made a motion to approve the minutes of the previous commission meeting. Commissioner Prater seconded, and the minutes were approved. Commissioner Kelley then made a motion seconded by Commissioner Prater to approve the minutes from the various committee meetings, and those minutes were approved as well.

County Clerk Horton presented John Hickman to be approved as a notary with an approved bond. Commissioner Powell made a motion to approve, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Prater. The motion carried unanimously.

Next on the agenda, County Executive Mangubat gave an update on the water project. He said that he had contacted John Greer, and due to a lack of staffing, they were behind on a lot of projects. Greer told Mangubat that this would hopefully be resolved soon. County Executive Mangubat then announced that the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ag Center would be held on Monday, October 25th at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioner Reeves next presented an Award of Service to the Community to Mrs. Dean Stegall is involved in many clubs, foundations, and projects, and always is willing to give her time in service for others.

Commissioner Mathis made a motion to approve the budget amendments as presented by the Budget Committee. Commissioner Prater seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

Department reports were next on the agenda. Road Superintendent Chuck Moser gave a grief update on his department, stating that bridge work has started on Cromwell Ridge Road. He went on to say that the plans for the bridge on Double Branches were in Nashville, and that site should be started soon. Moser also said that all the chip and seal projects were completed for the season.

Commissioner Casteel then made a motion that the county should give the Highway Department additional funding. Commissioner Prater seconded the motion. Following further discussion, Commissioner Casteel tabled the motion until later that night so that revenues could be studied further by the County Executive’s Administrative Assistant. Commissioner Kelley seconded the motion to table.

Next was a report on the Solid Waste department. County Executive Mangubat first announced that Lindsay Ross, who is with the Wayne County Solid Waste department, has received her certification as a Certified Landfill Operator. Solid Waste Director Robert Hayes followed with an oral report as follows: Mileage report – 3,850 miles; construction and demolition revenue from July 1 — October 18, 2021 – $8,600.43.

Wayne County Sheriff Shane Fisher next recognized Wayne County E-911 dispatcher Bobby Simmons for receiving the award for Dispatcher of the Year from the Tennessee Emergency Number Association. Simmons talked 911 callers through an accident which could have taken the life of a young child. A standing ovation was given in honor of Simmons. Sheriff Fisher then presented a brief oral report on his department.

Next, Commissioner Garner made a motion to approve the installation of the Life Check system at the Wayne County Jail. The system will cost $6,000. Commissioner Petty seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.

Commissioner Powell next made a motion to approve the bid from Summertown Metals for the Wayne County Forestry Classroom, which will be located at the Ag Center. The bid was $50,490.17. Commissioner Prater seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously on roll call vote.

Commissioner Garner then gave a brief presentation of the Ayers Foundation. The Foundation has now added services to Wayne County High School, Collinwood High School, and Frank Hughes High School. The Foundation counselors, including Garner, focus on formal training after high school for universities, community colleges, trade schools, or the military. They work with each individual student that will be graduating high school to make sure they have all their paperwork completed, help find financial aid, and ultimately ensure that students are prepared for their futures. They continue their services after students are enrolled in college or other secondary studies, and they work to make sure barriers are knocked down so the students can be successful.

Next, Wayne County Election Commissioner Lillie Ruth Brewer briefed the commission on the last Election Committee meeting that was held. She stated that some had been removed from the second district and some were added to the first district. She said that more changes will be made as the committee works to get the project completed, hopefully by the end of November. The goal is to be prepared for the 2022 election year.

Commissioner Casteel next made a motion to remove the previously tabled motion in order to discuss additional funding for the Highway Department. Commissioner Reeves seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Commissioner Casteel made a motion to give the Highway Department $400,000.00 in additional funding, and Commissioner Prater seconded the motion. The motion failed on roll call vote with Commissioners Casteel and Prater voting yes, and Commissioners Brewer, Garner, Mathis, Pevahouse, Powell, Petty, Powers, Martin, Kelley, Staggs, and Reeves voting no.

Commissioner Powers then made a motion to give the Highway Department $311,000.00 in additional funding, and Commissioner Powell seconded. The motion passed on roll call vote with Commissioners Powers, Powell, Brewer, Mathis, Pevahouse, Prater, Casteel, and Martin voting yes. Commissioners Garner, Petty, Kelley, Staggs, and Reeves voted no.

Next, Commissioner Garner made a motion to oppose the federal COVID vaccination decision. Commissioner Mathis seconded, and the motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.

Ed Stansell gave a presentation on making Wayne County a “Constitutional County.” Commissioner Kelley made a motion to place this decision on the next meeting’s agenda so the commission can review the document further. Commissioner Garner seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

The speed limit on Kilburn Hollow Road was the next item on the agenda. County Executive Mangubat stated that this would be placed on the agenda for the November meeting.

Commissioner Powell then asked the commissioners to let Mike Gambrell know he is appreciated for the work he did and the money he saved the county by helping clean the coils at the jail. With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner Kelley made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Tim Powell, and the meeting was adjourned.

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