On Monday night, the County Commission voted to appropriate $53,985 to purchase three virtual welders for use by the Senator Frank P. Lashlee Career and Technical Center. These state of the art welders will provide cutting edge training for area students to develop the skills needed to be job-ready by graduation.
“This is a great opportunity for the county to support our students,” said Commissioner Rachelle Hill. “Anything we can do to further the education of our young people to help them to be job-ready with real skills, we should do. I fully support this purchase.”
In collaboration with the Career and Tech Center, the Benton County Board of Education, and the Benton County Mayor’s office, the Benton County/Camden Chamber of Commerce applied for and received a reimbursable 95/5 Asset Based Planning Grant to purchase these welders. Nearly 95 percent of the money appropriated by the county to make this purchase will be reimbursed by the grant, meaning that $47,500 will be returned to county coffers. Of the balance, the county will fund $2,500, while the remaining $3,985 will be paid from the schools budget.
Despite the absence of Commissioners Angie Hern, Ronnie Hopper, and Chairman Ward Plant, who was unavailable due to the recent death of his son, the body was able to complete the night’s agenda in record time. Led by Chairman Pro Tem Rosanne Ward, the commission took the following actions:
• Re-appointed David Tuck to the Civil Service board and appointed David Anthony Brewer and Douglas Vickers to the Joint Economic Development Board and to the Industrial Board, Ronnie Hopper to the Solid Waste Board, and Gary Furr to the Agriculture Extension Committee to fill recent vacancies on these boards.
• Agreed to send a letter from the county urging the Tennessee General Assembly to support restoration of the registers commission.
• Within the budget of each department: Budgeted funds received of $2,060 to the Animal Shelter, $3,200 to the Health Dept., $1,682.58 to the Library, and $5,689.97 to the Sheriff’s Dept.
• Transferred the litigation funds recently budgeted to the jail budget into county buildings.
• Appropriated $7,500 from the Litigation Tax Reserve and budget to County Buildings Engineering Services.
• Appropriated $2,298.26 from the Unassigned Fund Balance (UFB) within the County General Fund (CGF) for the pauper burial of a Benton County citizen.
• Appropriated $13,923.10 from the UFB within the CGF for the software and hardware upgrades for electronic purchase orders and payroll direct deposit.
• Appropriated $4,500 from the UFB within the CGF to hire a cleaning service for the courthouse for the remainder of FY2018-19.
For anyone unable to attend, County Commission meetings are broadcast live on WRJB 95.9 FM radio. Most meetings also can be viewed live on the Facebook page “We the People of Benton County” (www.facebook.com/WeThePeopleBCoTN). An audio recording of commission meetings can be obtained after the meeting from the County Clerk’s Office via transfer to a USB storage device.