April 20, 2014 - 06:59
     
Library donation issue resolved
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The fate of a $50,000 donation to Friends of the Library from the county was sealed at last month’s County Commission meeting.

The fate of a $50,000 donation to Friends of the Library from the county was sealed at last month’s County Commission meeting. A resolution was introduced to nullify the original intent of the donation to go toward the building of a new library, changing the intent of the donation to go toward the support of library system in Polk County.

The State Comptroller had called out the county for improperly donating the money initially, and the fact that it was designated toward building funds was called into question once the building of new libraries was not approved by the commission several years ago. A lawsuit over the fate of the money was filed when the county requested the funds be returned.

The resolution says the legislative body understands the construction of new libraries became unobtainable due to circumstances beyond the control of the F.O.L., and the passage of the resolution will rectify previous actions by the board concerning lawful findings or actions to obtain refund or reimbursement of the funds.

Second District Commissioner Greg Brooks asked about the lawsuit that had been filed over the money. First District Commission John Pippenger said voting for the resolution would put an end to any legal proceedings in regards to the donation. First District Commissioner Buster Lewis referred to the resolution as a housekeeping measure intended to clear things up in the books and avoid issue with the Comptroller.

Before the vote, Lewis made it clear his wife was part of the Friends of the Library, but that he reserved the right to vote regardless. The resolution was passed unanimously amongst boardmembers who were present. Buster Bramblett was absent.

In other business, commissioners approved budget amendments for WPFR, the Chilhowee Farmer’s Market, the purchase of a plat scanner and printer for the register of Deeds Office, and the payment of poll workers during the last election. Money for the Farmer’s Market will be reimbursed by the state.

At the end of the meeting, First District Commissioner James Woody tolf the board he was concerned about the rafting companies who were not paying the Amusement Tax. He said there were about three who had paid nothing and half a dozen who had only made partial payments. Brooks asked what the Private Act said in regards to enforcement; Woody said they were to be turned over to the tax attorney to be collected.

Woody said he didn’t want to see anyone get too far behind and that he felt they should all be paid before the start of the new rafting season. Pippenger said it was not fair to those who were paying that others were not. The issue will be on the agenda next month.

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