April 19, 2014 - 18:06
Tax rate, budget approved
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Chairman and Vice-chair of the board were also elected and a long-empty vacancy on the Planning Commission was filled.

Polk County’s Board of Commissioners approved the budget and tax rate at last Thursday’s regular monthly meeting. Chairman and Vice-chair of the board were also elected and a long-empty vacancy on the Planning Commission was filled. Isaac Bramblett will serve as chair for the next year; Wendall Lewis will serve as vice-chair. Library Board appointments were also made and a road variance was denied.

The nomination for Bramblett came from Greg Brooks. James Woody asked if it was customary to offer the position to the current vice-chair. Sheena Gaddis, who held the position, said she was not interested in it anyway because of a busy work schedule. Bramblett and Lewis were both elected unanimously, with each abstaining from voting for themselves. Daren Waters was absent.

A vacation pay request from Dwight Ingle, a sheriff’s deputy on workman’s comp after and injury was approved. John Pippenger said the board could not approve any budget amendments until the state accepted their budget, which was passed at the meeting. The tax rate was set to stay the same, $2.18. Commissioners voted to allow Ingle’s request for 18 vacations days to be approved if turned in on the regular payroll sheet as opposed to doing a budget amendment to cover it.

A variance request presented by Attorney Steve Crump on behalf of Richard and Evelyn Fuller was denied. Crump said they lived on a gravel road off Grassy Creek Road that did not meet current road specifications, but wanted a the county to accept the road as it was in order for them to sell part of the

Mark Bishop, Planning Board member, asked the board to deny the request and pointed out the Fullers had enough land to make the road wider to meet the regulations. He said it would destroy the regulations entirely if people could just go over the planning board to the county commission.

Register of Deeds Kandi Bramlett told commissioners the property to be located within the Copperhill City limits and not in their jurisdiction. Commissioners rejected the request.

Ivy Deal was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Planning Board. Commissioner Woody asked if the appointment came from Hoyt Firestone, nothing there was nothing on the form to indicate as such. Bramlett said he asked her to fill it out due to being out for surgery. Bishop said Firestone had told him his intent to nominate Deal to the board. Budget Director Kelly Morgan said she recalled him saying it as well.

Commissioner Randy Collins said the application had also not been completely filled out. Deal said since she was sitting there, she could fill it out the rest of the way. County Clerk placed a phone call to Firestone to ensure the request was coming from him. Bramblett asked Deal if she was interested in being on the board. Deal, who works in the Register of Deeds office, said she had asked Hoyt and others about getting the appointment. Gaddis and Woody voted against the appointment.

Jean Bramlett and Nicholas Lewis were appointed to the local Library Board. Jenny Rogers and Viva Deverell were appointed to the Regional Library Board.

Board members agreed to suspend the rules and vote on three items not included on the agenda. Bonds for Property Assessor Randy Yates and Road Superintendent Roy Thomason, Jr. were approved.

Fire Chief Steve Lofty was given approval for the purchase of a new truck for the Conasauga fire hall. Lofty said they’d had trouble finding a new apparatus that would fit inside the building there because of its height, but one had been found in Ohio. He said they had money already set aside for a purchase, but large purchases required approval from the board. The board approved the purchase.

At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Woody expressed his appreciation to the Buehler family and offered condolences to publisher Cheryl Buehler and the Buehler family due to the loss of long-time editor/owner Ingrid Buehler. “Ingrid was a fixture at commission meetings,” Woody said, adding “I appreciate everything she’s done for the county.”


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