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TMCNet:  Panel OKs $1.1 million in capital outlay

[June 06, 2013]

Panel OKs $1.1 million in capital outlay

CROSSVILLE, Jun 04, 2013 (Crossville Chronicle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Nearly $1.1 million of capital requests were approved by members of the Cumberland County Budget Committee during last week's meeting that reviewed departmental capital requests.

Among the bigger priced ticket items were a new fire truck for the Cumberland County Fire Department at $284,000; two new ambulance units for the EMS department at $160,000; a new building for storing vehicles and equipment for the county fire department at $111,279; four new vehicles for the sheriff's department at $157,000; and lighting and thermostats at the Community Complex at $105,602; and radio replacements for the P25 communications system at 90,000.

However, some of the budget decisions could be reversed.

Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock said, "Just as a reminder that everything the budget committee does or passes during this meeting is tentative. Approval is tentative. These decisions in this meeting are not absolute until the final roll up and final approval by full commission has been made. I don't want people leaving and thinking everything is approved and they are going to get the new unit and then the committee may come back later and remove it." Committee members debated over many items at the lengthy meeting. With the exception of the new fire truck, the other vehicle purchases are part of a rotation plan for the county's EMS and sheriff's departments that the county implemented several years ago.

"What we will do is try to give a tentative approval, or not, tonight so that you may have some idea," said Harry Sabine, budget chairman and 1st District commissioner.

Jeff Dodson, Cumberland County Fire chief and EMS director, said the new fire truck was to replace unit number two at the main station and that the current unit number two would go to the Peavine station and replace a 1978 unit.

"We're due to have a full inspection next year and I'm afraid that unit, it's the oldest one we've got and it's got a lot of problems. I'm afraid that one will fail," Dodson said. "It's not a class A pumper." "Is that required?" Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner asked.

"It is for the ISO exam," Dodson said.

The new building for the fire department came in two options, option one is a 48 foot by 112 foot building with no doors at $46k plus the site prep for a total of $52,500 "to get in the dry only with no doors." That option would protect the vehicles and equipment from the weather, but not from potential vandalism.

Option two is the same size building at $109,675 and addresses all aspects and provides protection from both weather and vandalism.

Daniel Coleman of the county fire department gave a PowerPoint presentation and said the county currently has $519,000 worth of equipment that is being subjected to all of the elements of weather and vandalism.

"There is a great need to have this equipment protected," Coleman said.

Mike Harvel, 7th District commissioner, said, "It sounds to me like the building is more important. It's more practical. I say for now we leave them both in and see what happens at the end of the budget, but if we have to cut, Jeff, I'm sorry, but this is one of the first places I'm going to go." Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner, asked Chief Dodson if he had applied for a grant for the building.

Dodson said he did apply for one last year and the county did not receive it. The request to build the building has been recurring for the past several years, but it has been cut from the budget each time.

An animal control truck request that was budgeted at $25,000 was reduced by Harvel to $8,000. Harvel is involved with county animal control and litter pickup through the county recycling center.

"We can reduce that to $8,000 and I'll go get something used from the state surplus vehicles," Harvel said.

Other capital requests include: Cumberland County Jail, food service equipment at $42,000 and $46,300 for new AC system and other equipment for computer server room, Election commission, $3,000 for new furniture, Maintenance department $10,800 to replace water pumps at the county jail, Vehicle maintenance department, $7,000 to replace oil heater and $3,500 for a new auto lift, Finance department, $2,000 for a new digital scanner for documents, Juvenile court, $525 for a new computer, Veteran's Service office, $1,500 for new computer, and County Commission BIS digital recording system for meetings, $4,442.

The total on the capital outlay list came to $1,080,658.60.

After much discussion the committee unanimously agreed to leave the requests in at this time until the end of the budget process and determine if items need to be cut when they look at revenues verses expenditures.

"Folks, it may better to leave these in at this point and come back and look at these at the end," Sabine said.

The committee agreed to do so by consensus.

___ (c)2013 the Crossville Chronicle (Crossville, Tenn.) Visit the Crossville Chronicle (Crossville, Tenn.) at crossville-chronicle.com/ Distributed by MCT Information Services

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