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Commission completes donation; spends $215 for parking

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Commissioners managed to resolve two issues that have repeatedly appeared on their agenda.

During Tuesday’s commission meeting the group voted to bring some clarity and closure to the $200,000 it voted to give to the Children’s Center in November.

Representatives of the Children’s Center agreed the money would revert back to the county should it ever cease to operate as a child advocacy center. But confusion surfaced when commissioners made a move to place a lien on the property in an effort to protect its interest.

In last week’s workshop, District Attorney General Paul Phillips, requested the commission reconsider its action stating that placing a lien on the property would make it difficult for the Children’s Center to make application for grants and low interest loans.

To clear up what many commissioners felt was a misunderstanding, the group voted to pass a resolution clarifying its intent to give the money unencumbered.

“We have no intention at all to place a lien on the property,” Commissioner Adrion Baird said during Tuesday’s meeting.

The measure, which passed with Commissioners Lynn Letner and Melvin Bosheas casting the only no votes, allows for the immediate release of funds to the Children’s Center.

A resolution requesting the state legislature revisit the issue of elected school superintendents was also passed during the meeting.

Letner made a motion to adopt the resolution that supports placing the choice to appoint or elect school superintendents back into the hands of individual counties.

 “I’m in favor of this (the resolution) because it takes the power out of the people’s hands when you appoint,” Commissioner David Goins said, voicing his support for the measure.

The resolution was passed unanimously by the commission.

To the delight of Commissioner Ann Smith, who has been a long time proponent of more courthouse parking, the group voted to purchase property that may possibly be the answer to some of the facilities parking woes.

Commissioners voted to purchase the nearly one acre tract of land located behind the courthouse at a price of $215,000.

While several members of the group debated the worth of the property, Jeff Marlow, finance director, maintained that the county would be getting its money’s worth with the purchase.

“This property could be sold tomorrow for $215,000 or more like $250,000,” Marlow said of the property.

It was agreed that plans for use of the property will be presented to and approved by the Jacksboro Planning Commission prior to any work on the site.

The evening also brought closure to the issue of Archery Lane.

Commissioners participated in a lengthy discussion of the road that owner’s Bill and Sandy Goss were asking that the county tar and chip in exchange for the property during a recent budget and finance committee meeting.

In December the group agreed to fund the $15,000 in estimated cost for the project, but issues about the road’s location below the 1044’ line and TVA’s control of the property arose during last week’s meeting.

Commissioners agreed to proceed setting aside the money for the project in anticipation of TVA’s approval of the project.  Despite Commissioner Whit Goins’ attempt to overturn the action during Tuesday’s commission meeting, the decision from the previous meeting stood.