Litigation tax’s future still on hold

Litigation tax’s future still on hold
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
A decision on the future of Obion County’s litigation tax will wait a little longer.
The litigation tax was adopted by the Obion County Commission in September 2000 specifically for jail or workhouse construction, upgrades or debt retirement.
It set a tax of $10 per case on litigation in all civil and criminal cases instituted in the county, other than those instituted in municipal courts, to help pay for the Obion County Law Enforcement Complex which opened in November 1998.
The jail note will be paid in full May 1, and members of the Obion County Budget Committee had voted earlier this month to recommend to the full county commission that the litigation tax continue for the jail fund to help with ongoing expenses.
During its session Monday at the Obion County Public Library, the Obion County Commission rolled over action on the litigation tax until its next term in May.
The budget committee, which met in called session prior to the commission meeting, received infor-mation from the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) indicating the county cannot collect the fee unless it has jail construction or upgrades at this time.
The matter and possible options are being further reviewed by county attorney Steve Conley.
In other action during Monday’s 11⁄2-hour meeting, which was opened with prayer led by Second Baptist Church minister of education and outreach Joseph Brasher and with the Pledge of Allegiance, the Obion County Com-mission:
• Approved the second and final reading of a resolution to remove law enforcement powers from the county’s constables. The first reading was heard at the commission’s January session, where the commission also approved a resolution to set the county’s number of constables at seven — one from each of the seven county commission districts.
Commissioners Allen Nohsey and Dwayne Hensley voted against the resolution approved Monday.
• Voted to rescind a previous motion to place proceeds from the highway department’s surplus equipment auctions and sales into the county’s General Fund and to follow an opinion from a legal consultant with CTAS, who cited a 1910 legal decision.
The consultant gave the opinion that proceeds from the sale of surplus highway property which was purchased with highway funds must be deposited in the highway fund for continued use by the highway department.
• Voted to accept amendments as recommended by the Obion County Fire Committee for some wording changes in the county’s rural fire subscription agreements and the existing interlocal agreement.
After hearing some concerns from county clerk Vollie Boehms, whose office collects the county’s rural fire fees, the commission also voted that a problem with database look-up for dispatching purposes and any possible computer programming problems be resolved as soon as possible by those involved.
• Approved a Tennessee Department of Transpor-tation proposal for a project for U.S. 45 West from near Allie Campbell Road to U.S. 51.
• Heard a report from finance committee chairman Tim Doyle. He reported the committee unanimously accepted a high bid from Heritage Bank for hospital CDs and postponed until May the issue of loan repayment from the Industrial Development Board on the spec building.
• Voted to fund one-third of the cost — about $2,100 — for the drilling of a four-inch water well at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport for ag services pilots. The City of Union City offered to pay one-third of the estimated $6,300 cost and it was proposed to seek one-third from Weakley County.
Commissioner Jerry Grady voted against the action.
• Tabled until the May term action on a resolution to amend  the Inter-Departmental Agreement previously approved between Obion County and the Obion County Board of Education for the construction of the vocational training facilities at Obion County Central and South Fulton high schools.
• Approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of an equipment and courthouse roof capital outlay note, not to exceed $150,000, to purchase law enforcement equipment, replace the courthouse roof and purchase computers, copiers and a water heater for various county offices.
In related action, the commission also approved a resolution to amend the General Fund $53,025 pertaining to the capital outlay note.
• OK’d a resolution to amend the county General Fund in the amount of $16,627 to reflect an adjustment to the current budget for two revenue items received after the last fiscal year ended.
• Approved landfill agreements between the county and ECM of Ridgely LLC and between the county and Northwest Disposal Corp., with an amendment that the proposed contracts be for 10-year periods rather than open-ended. A representative from Northwest Disposal Corp. verbally agreed to the specified period of the contract Monday, but the action is contingent upon ECM agreeing to the period.
• Rolled over to the May term an appointment to the Museum Board to replace Tracey Batey.
• Approved the appointments of Kathy Forrester, Dan Boykin and John Horner to the Emergency Communications District Board; David Fowler, John Snead, Billy Clark and Diane Sanderson to the Board of Equalization; and Dave Frankum to the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority.
• Approved the appointments of Jerry Lamastus (District 5) and Baxter Sanders (District 6) to the Highway Board.
• Approved the appointments of commissioner Norma Fowler to the Courthouse Committee, commissioner Paul Albright to the Asset Study Committee and commissioner Terry Dwyer to the Delinquent Tax Committee, each to replace Hensley on those committees.
• Approved several notary public applications.
• Expressed appreciation to the Obion County Public Library and its board and support organization for their hospitality in hosting Monday’s meeting.
Published in The Messenger 3.20.12

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