JONESVILLE – The Lee County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the General District Courtroom at Lee County Courthouse in Jonesville for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting and for a public hearing on the proposed 2017-2018 fiscal year budget. All supervisors were present for the meeting, as was Mr. Dane Poe, County Administrator and Ms. Jeny Hughes, Administrative Assistant. County attorney Stacy Estep Munsey was absent.
Board Chairman D. D. Leonard called the meeting to order at 6 p.m. Mr. Leonard then opened the floor for public comment on the proposed 2017-2018 budget. Before public comment, County Administrator Dane Poe stated that there were some changes to the budget from the Board’s last budget meeting: all of them positive. Mr. Poe said that about give fine items needed adjustment, yielding a $164k increase in revenue. He added that final adjustments in expenditures related to constitutional offices and associated salaries, based on discussions with the compensation board, netted a reduction in cost of about $360k. All told, Poe said, “The last time we [Poe and the Board] met, the proposed deficit was approximately $1.1M. With all these changes, we are now looking at a proposed deficit of only about $700k.” Funds from reserve were brought in to balance the budget as it was presented to the public in this meeting. Poe added, “This [budget proposal] was as close as they could get it for public comment at this point in time.”
Public Hearing On Budget – Public Comment
Two people offered comment and questions: Ms. Rachel Helton and Mr. Woodrow W. Grizzle III.
The first was from Ms. Rachel Helton, Development Director at The Health Wagon.
Ms. Helton spoke about the funding request to the Board and what services that would translate into for Lee County residents. Ms. Helton passed out copies of the 2016 annual report for The Health Wagon. Six county service area for uninsured and under-insured residents as well as all those who are underserved.
Ms. Helton noted that Lee County RAM project is a partnership between both RAM and The Health Wagon. RAM 2016 saw 260 dental patients, 171 general medical patients, and 228 vision patients from Lee County for a total of 522 according to Helton’s report.
The value of services provided to Lee County residents, Helton said, was $206,588 for dental, $31,001 for medical, and $61,550 for vision for a total RAM impact of $299,139.
Helton said that their calculations show that every dollar donated translates into one-hundred dollars in medical services. With that calculation, the $5k donation Helton requested from the Board would translate into $500k in services.
She added that The Health Wagon saw 278 Lee County patients last year independently of RAM.
She noted that these services were all provided at no cost to the patient and were made possible by volunteer health providers and generous financial and manpower support from local governments, community and faith-based organizations.
Mr. Woodrow W. Grizzle III asked two questions. The first was if any proposed expenditures or revenues in the 2017-2018 budget were allocated to or from Lee County Hospital Authority (LCHA), the hospital, or Americore Health. Mr. Poe answered that nothing was budgeted.
Mr. Grizzle followed up by asking the Board for an update on the status of the $1.7M loan that the Board extended to LCHA a number of years ago. Mr. Poe stated that that loan had been extended, and that it will be due next April (2018).
During Regular public expression time, no one offered any additional comments or questions.
The Board agreed to table the United Way funding request to further discuss the contribution, if any, they will give for the Ignite event to be held in Kingsport this fall.
In new business, the Board voted to appoint/re-appoint a number of people into various positions.
Community Services Board, Susan Widener
Lonesome Pine Regional Library, Ruth Gilliam
Mountain Empire Regional Business Incubator, Paul Johnson
Southwest Regional Recreation Authority, Jack Hall
Dryden Water Authority, Bill Mullins
The Board also approved both the six year plan and construction budget and the purchase of new solid waste containers.
Reports of the County Administrator
Mr. Poe requested that the Board meet on June 22nd to discuss the budget, and he stated that budget adoption can happen as early as next Tuesday, June 27. The Board voted to meet on June 22 for this purpose at 4:30 p.m. to allow time for any Board members who wish to attend the Hospital Authority meeting that same evening at 6 p.m. to do so. The Hospital Authority meeting is no longer a joint meeting with the Board, and there was some confusion about the time that the Hospital Authority meeting was to meet.
Mr. Poe also reported on theft that occurred this past Sunday afternoon up at the landfill property. Thieves stole many big ticket items, including a pickup truck, a trailer, a SCAG mower, and a code scanner. The thieves also stole some ice cream and food that they had up there for the trustees, as well as ice from the ice machine and a cooler. Mr. Poe reported that the sheriff told him just before the meeting that the pickup truck had been found abandoned in Pennington Gap. The trailer, mower and other items have not yet been recovered. The Thieves were up at the property for about seven hours on Sunday afternoon beginning about 2:30 in the afternoon and leaving sometime after dark. We have a still from the video footage of the robbery. If you have any information about the robbery or if you can identify the person in the photo, please contact the sheriff’s office at (276) 346-7777.