Proposed modifications to the Lincoln County Jail will not move forward, decided the Lincoln County Commission in its March meeting, noting that bids came in significantly over budget and that the need for modifications, originally aimed at accommodating a growing female population, have been eased with the transfer of 57 state inmates out of the facility.
Sheriff Murray Blackwelder had recommended that the county not proceed with the project in light of the high bid and due to the fact that the need is not as urgent now since he has moved the large number of state inmates. The commission had budgeted $160,000 for the project, but the lone bid submitted was for $290,000.
At the same time, however, the commission gave its approval to a general fund budget amendment that included $116,727 for overtime to staff the correctional officer shortage at the jail, with the understanding that the amount is only an estimate and additional funds might be needed. The amendment will be funded with line item transfers within the sheriff’s department and jail’s current payroll-related budgets, according to discussion. Overall, the general fund budget amendment amounted to $368,316, with the difference of $251,589 consisting of the county’s annual payroll line item adjustment amendment and distribution of a cost-of-living adjustment.
Runway Centre rezoning
Commissioners voted to call for a public hearing on the rezoning of Runway Centre Industrial Park from I-2 (heavy industrial) to I-1 (general industrial). The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.
Nancy Harris, director of planning and zoning for the county, noted that the rezoning will be more in keeping with the use of the property, which will accommodate the location of a new industry announced earlier this year, as well as a possible substation to serve the sheriff’s department and volunteer fire department.
The rezoning is being requested by the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board.
Zoning Resolution change
Officials also called for a public hearing for the purpose of considering an amendment to the Zoning Resolution of Lincoln County. The amendment relates to fees for building permits and includes the $88 modifier adopted by the commission earlier this year.
That public hearing will also be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16.
In other business, commissioners:
ü Approved a 10-year payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreement for Project Green Eagle, the name given to an industrial prospect expected to locate in the Nippon Steel building in the Winchester Highway industrial park. The project is expected to represent a $14 million investment and create 70-plus jobs with an average wage of $20 an hour.
ü Approved a $63,966 general purpose school fund budget amendment to reflect insurance recovered, less a $500 deductible, for a school bus totaled as a result of being involved in an accident last fall.
ü Approved resolutions for adoption of several international codes, to include those for residential, fuel gas, plumbing, building, mechanical, property maintenance, ADA standards, and energy conservation. That action followed extensive discussion and a 13-7 vote, with two abstentions and two absent.
ü Approved Lea Anne Grissom’s request for the rezoning of 1.03 aces on Highway 64 West, near the McBurg Dollar General Store, from A-1 (agricultural) to C-1 (commercial) zoning to accommodate the location of a beauty shop there. There was no opposition voiced during a public hearing held on the matter just prior to the commission meeting.
ü Approved a text message notification system for county firemen via a five-year subscription service to be paid annually.
ü Approved an agreement for the services of a delinquent tax attorney.
ü Reappointed Dr. Kyle Spears, Dr. Theresa Morrison, Vickie Groce, County Mayor Bill Newman, Dr. William H. Kidd, and Dr. Bill Health to the Lincoln County Health Department Board.
ü Were informed that the county mayor is working with South Central Tennessee Development District to see if the county can qualify for an historical grant to renovate the old city police department, and in a separate matter, that the mayor had been approached by the owner of the cosmetology building off the square to see if the county would be interested in purchasing the structure for office space.