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County Commission Needs School Board’s Budget

By DALE GRAHAM

The Cheatham County Commission met in regular session Monday night. All members were present.

A temporary interfund loan of $700,000 was approved. The resolution allows that interest bearing tax anticipation notes will be sold from Education Debt Service in order to fund appropriations made for the County General Fund for the current fiscal year. Those funds must be paid back by June 30th 2014. County Budget Director Tara Patterson explained to the commission, that because the county relies so heavily on property tax collections to operate, and “because of the fact that the county does not have an adopted budget at this time our trustee can not, will not send out tax notices until the comptroller has an approved budget for us”. The county is still waiting for the School Board to present a balanced budget. She added that as long as that situation goes on, “the longer the county goes without receiving property tax money and it creates a terrible cash flow issue for county general”, Patterson added.

Mayor McCullough also explained that “purchasing freeze” notices have already been sent out to the county’s different departments. “We have to be careful what we spend because no new revenue” is expected until December. He added that he is hopeful that the commission will have the school board’s budget in time to vote on it in September. “We will continue to communicate with the School Board, but ultimately it’s in their hands”, McCullough said. The commission is required to receive the school board’s budget at least 5 days in advance of their meeting scheduled for September 16th.

There was further discussion where the commission learned that the school board may if they so choose, take money out of their own fund balance to cover items in their original budget (which included a $5.4million increase over last year). The county commission voted in July to give the school board no increase over last year’s budget.

Commissioner Donnie Jordan made a motion (seconded by Walter Weakley) to approve a resolution requesting the Board of Education to have their balanced budget ready for the September meeting, in the hands of commissioners at least 5 days in advance. The resolution was unanimously approved.

Cheatham County’s Unemployment rate continues to stay below the state and national levels. Of the county’s 21,150 member work force, 19,580 are employed, 1,570 are not, leaving a rate of 7.4% unemployed. As of June 2013, the state rate was 8.8%, the national unemployment rate was 7.8%.

County Clerk Teresa Gupton reported to commissioners that soon you will be able to renew your driver’s license at the Clerk’s office in Ashland City, where the lines will surely be shorter than they are in Nashville. The camera and equipment have been installed, supplies are expected soon, and training of Gupton and other clerks is next. Gupton said she hopes to be ready for operation by September.

Kevin Adams was appointed to a 2 year term with the River Rd. Utility District, which will begin September 13, 2013.

The Cheatham County Commission meets the third Monday of each month at 7p.m. in the Ashland City Courthouse, General Sessions courtroom.

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