WECO News: July 31st, 2012 – Morgan County Commission Meeting

There was a standing room only crowd for the Morgan County Commission meeting last night when commissioners voted to approve a budget and set a tax rate.

Eco Heating and Air

Randy Roberts, chairman of the budget committee presented a budget that he says meets the needs of the county during tough financial times.

Roberts: “I’m very happy that we were able to keep the tax rate the same for the taxpayers. Last year was a rough year on all of us, but at least we were able to keep things down this year and hopefully help some people out.”

Roberts goes on to comment on the substance of the budget

Roberts: “There really wasn’t any major cuts. There was just through departments and officer holders and things like that. Most of them came from the recommendations of office holders and elected officials, but there were no major cuts in our proposed budget.”

Morgan County Executive Don Edwards asked commissioners to consider a proposal that he says could have cut the tax rate.

Edwards: “I’m disappointed that they didn’t consider at least my part of the general budget which was very financially sound. Plus it had four cents that we could’ve given a tax rate cut to the taxpayers of Morgan County.”

County Commissioners voted 16 to 1, with one commissioner absent, to approve the budget and tax rate as presented.

Commissioner Tommy Francis was the one no vote

Francis: “Well, here’s the deal, I’m the only commissioner that voted against one of the highest tax rates in the state of Tennessee, if not the highest tax rate in Tennessee. Morgan County deserves better. Morgan County deserves to be able to look at several options when we’re dealing with several options when we’re dealing with the budget instead of just one.”

Bill Podewils, Commander of the American Legion Post in Wartburg, expressed gratitude for an allocation in the budget that appropriates $10,500 for a part time Veteran’s Affairs Officer. Podewils explains why that service is needed.

Podewils: “We have somewhere between four and six hundred veterans that can’t get – they’re homebound – they can’t get to any place to see somebody. We have to have a service officer that can go to them.”

Although county commissioners have approved the budget and set the tax rate, it may not be the end of the story.

Edwards explains

Edwards: “I have ten days to look at this to decide whether I’m gonna let it through or to veto it, so we’ll think and pray and see what we’ll do.”

Friends of the Wartburg Public Library has released information on an event featuring Dr. Bill Bass. He will be speaking on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, at 6 p.m. at the Morgan County Schools Central Office on Flat Fork Rd.

Betty: “We’ve had a lot of interest, especially since tickets will be available to members of the Friends of the Library group from Aug. 1 through Aug. 18, and then if there’re any tickets left they will go on sale to the public Aug. 20.”

Tickets are $10 each and are non refundable. For more information on joining the Friends of the Wartburg Library or buying tickets, call the Wartburg Public Library at 346-2479.

It has been seven years since Correctional Officer Wayne Cotton Morgan was killed in the line of duty while escorting an inmate from the Roane County Courthouse.

Commissioner Tommy Francis, who is employed at Morgan County Correctional Complex presented a resolution to the county commission in Morgan’s memory.

Francis: “We passed a resolution tonight in honorarium for Wayne “Cotton” Morgan to present to his family on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Just a little something that we could give back to what Wayne did and how much he meant to our community.”

A memorial marker will now be placed outside the main entrance of Morgan County Correctional Complex in his honor. Employees of the institution collected funds to purchase the marker. Officer Morgan’s former co-workers, friends and family will gather on Wednesday for a dedication ceremony.

It may not seem possible but summer break is almost over for Morgan County Schools.

Assistant Director of Schools Wanda Lane explains:

Lane: “Morgan County county-wide in-service begins Aug. 1 at Central Middle School beginning at 8 a.m. Followed by a second day of in-service at Central Middle on Aug. 2.”

Students will not report until next week.

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