By DALE GRAHAM
The Cheatham County Commission continued their recessed meeting from July 15th. All members were present.
First up for discussion was a motion from the floor concerning the reduction in the Privilege tax down from $3750 to $50. When it was approved at the July meeting, it came with a 2 year time limit, when it would go back up unless the seated commission in 2015 decides to retain the lower rates. Sanders said that she had spoken to several of the county’s builders who were “thrilled to death” with the lower fees, but told her that 4 years would be better than 2 years, since the process of building a home or homes can take a while from start to finish.
Commissioner John-Paul Wood stated that it made better sense not to limit the time period, and allow the county’s planning and zoning board to guide if and when the change needs to be made. “I think we should put some trust in our planning and zoning board and let them advise us”, he said.
Mayor McCullough agreed. He said that he had spoken with bankers and developers who said that there didn’t need to be any stipulation as to when the rates will go up. “Quality growth takes time”, he said, “we don’t want to tie the hands of a quality developer, unless growth gets out of hand”. The motion was ap- proved, and the change is in effect now.
The change was approved by a vote of 10 yes to 2 no: Dale McCarver (3rd District), David Davidson (5th District) voted no.
Also approved was removing the time constraints from the lowered Adequate Facility Tax as well, down from $1 per square foot, to .10 per square foot. That motion was approved by a 9 yes, 3 no vote: Doris Sanders (1st District), Dale McCarver (3rd District), David Davidson (5th District) voted no.
Next up was a continuing budget resolution in order for the county to continue spending money until the budget is approved. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mayor McCullough then presented the School Board’s budget, which he received earlier in the day. The budget requested an additional $1.8 million. The county has already approved their budget keeping the school board at the same $1.145 as last year, as well as keeping the county property tax level at the $2.78 per $100 of assessed value. A 27 cent tax increase would be necessary to float the school board’s requested $47.2 million budget.
There was a large audience in attendance, and Commissioner Rob Meyers asked that the rules be suspended in order to let some of them speak in a public forum, (which already occurred at the beginning of the meeting in July. That motion failed.
McCarver made the motion that “we send that budget back to the School Board to bring us a balanced budget, seconded by Davidson. The vote was approved unanimously.
The school board was scheduled to meet in a work session on Thursday, August 1st, but as of press time the budget was not on the agenda.
The commission also approved a contract with Williamson County to house juveniles. Cheatham County has no such facility, and currently has a contract with Davidson County, but is reaching out to secure contracts with other counties (currently Madison County) in case of overcrowding.
The Cheatham County Commission meets the third Monday of each month at 7p.m. in the General Sessions Courtroom in Ashland City.