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Sequatchie County Commission views final draft of budget
Karen House
July 17, 2018, 3:46 p.m.

July 17, 2018 – The 2018-19 proposed budget for Sequatchie County is “balanced,” with “revenues over expenditures,” Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Barger told the county commission Monday night at their regular quarterly meeting.

There's no tax increase,” Barger added.

The final draft of the budget for the upcoming year was presented to the commission at the July 16 meeting, and they will vote to adopt the budget at a special called meeting Monday, July 30.

The ending balance for the General Fund is estimated to be almost $2.1 million, Barger said.

Monday's meeting opened with a group of 4-H members leading in the Pledge of Allegiance.

County Executive Keith Cartwright then told a full house that the “sole function” of the meeting was to present the 2018-19 budget.

Barger also presented a request to the commission for $21,865.50 be transferred from the Fund Balance to Drug Seizures. The sum was the Dunlap Police Department's share of $43,000 cash confiscated in a major drug bust last December in Dunlap that involved local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Once the money was released by the courts, it was divided between the police department and the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Department for their use.

The vote was unanimous, with Commissioner Clint Huth – who is also the chief of police – abstaining due to conflict of interest.

Director of Schools Pete Swafford told the commission that the year just ending “was a better year than anticipated,” and that the school system is not asking for a tax increase for the coming year.

Will Pitt of Puckett EMS reported 413 calls in the second quarter of 2018, with 120 of those taken to Erlanger-Sequatchie Emergency Room and four being transported by Life Force helicopter.

Pitt also said the local ambulance service had passed a reaccreditation process “with flying colors.” The voluntary review occurs every three years, he said.

Pitt also commended the Lone Oak first-responders, who answered 62 calls in their community in the past quarter, with an average response time of 9 ½ minutes.

We want another first-responder training program in the county by the end of the year,” Pitt said, “for firefighters and individuals who would like to receive it.”

Cartwright recognized Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock in his last appearance at a commission meeting before his retirement. Hitchcock has served as sheriff for 16 years and announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection this year.

In other business, the Sequatchie County Commission:

  • Received a report from Sherry Johnson of the Audit Committee that Fund Balances for all departments “are in very good standing.” Auditors are currently going through all departments in the county. “With regard to Erlanger, there is little or no movement on Erlanger,” Johnson said. Negotiations between Sequatchie County and Erlanger Health System for building a regional hospital in Dunlap have been stalled for the past several months.County Extension Agent Sheldon Barker introduces 4-H members before they lead in the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Approved names for three new roads in the county – two on Cagle Mountain and one on Lewis Chapel Mountain – presented by Emergency Management Director Winfred Smith.
  • Appointed five notaries.
  • Heard Comm. Ed Nunley report that the annual Hee Haw show took in around $30,000 for the Sequatchie County Cancer Support Network.
  • Set their next meeting for Monday, July 30, at 7 p.m., for presentation and final adoption of the 2018-19 budget. It will be preceded at 6:30 p. m. by a Budget Committee meeting.

All votes were unanimous, and the only member of the commission absent was Bobby Sherman.

The proposed 2018-19 budget for Sequatchie County.