Archive: February 2007
County plans to help revitalize Stanton
Key to making megasite more attractive
The condition of Stanton may have played a role in Haywood County not making the short list of a major auto manufacturer who reportedly visited our megasite. That’s why County Mayor Franklin Smith is applying for grant funds paving the way for revitalization for the county’s only other incorporated town.
At the February 10 county commission meeting, county commissioners approved a grant application that could bring about $200,000 to Stanton.
Mayor Franklin Smith said prospects took an unescorted and unannounced tour of the city as they reviewed the megasite, and Smith says “because of the condition of downtown Stanton” they were turned off about our site.
Smith said, “The county isn’t trying to take Stanton over,” but he said county government wants to help clean it up, help city government there plan and replace infrastructure.
County workers give helping hand to co-worker
County workers are stepping up to the plate for one of their co-workers, and the county commission is helping them.
Sheriff’s Deputy Darrell McCarley has undergone serious surgery and his recovery time is extending beyond his county policy sick days. So county some county workers are loaning him their sick days so he won’t have to go without a paycheck.
Mayor Smith said this week that fellow county workers have already agreed to give McCarley 60 days and Smith thinks that’s more than he’ll need.
At their meeting February 13, the commission agreed to the loan and Smith said he’s coming up with a plan that could create a sick day loan pool for just such emergencies.
County making moves to assure county jail is up to state standards
A Kentucky based consulting company will help Haywood County’s leaders make an informed decision about the county’s aging jail facility.
The $5,000 study will help County Commissioners and other leaders understand the various options that may include building a new criminal justice complex or just fixing the present facility.
County Commissioner Brad Bishop, who chairs the jail committee, says a recent meeting with General Sessions Judge Roland Reid, Circuit Judge Clayburn Peeples and Chancellor George Ellis found all three judges concerned about their courtrooms and courtroom safety. He said all three “unanimously” are for a new justice complex.
Mayor Franklin Smith said the study will look at all options and includes a cost estimate for bringing the current jail up to standards.
Commissioner Bishop said he hopes to bring recommendations to the commission by July. The jail has come under scrutiny of state jail inspectors.
Cub Cadet generous to local governments
In addition to being a huge local employer, local manufacturer Cub Cadet, is saving taxpayers thousands of dollars by loaning equipment to the city and county parks and recreation department.The manufacturer of power equipment and utility vehicles has loaned parks and recreation everything from utility to tractors to leaf blowers.
County Mayor Franklin Smith estimated the donation of equipment at about $20,000 for 2007 alone.
Sheriff Melvin Bond and Mayor Webb Banks say the factory has made similar donations of loaned equipment to the sheriff’s department and city government.
Liquor by the drink on the way to passage
Brownsville is poised to add liquor by the drink to its city ordinances. The action by the city board comes as voters here approved the new rules last fall.
At a city board meeting February 13, aldermen and the mayor discussed the new rules and passed on first reading an ordinance that also includes beer by the drink.
The city must adopt the state’s rules regarding liquor by the drink, rescinding local rules that prohibit alcohol. The city attorney says the board has no choice. The state’s Alcohol Beverage Commission enforces the state laws.
But there are three other measures that must be hammered out by the Brownsville City Board. License fees must be set. The ordinance presented by Mayor Webb Banks will require licensees to pay a local fee equal to half what they’ll pay the state for a license.
The second issue is fraught with controversy. The mayor’s proposal adds beer by the drink to the ordinance. Beer is controlled by city government and is not included in the liquor by the drink ordinance passed last fall.
Proponents say that if beer isn’t added, the liquor by the drink rules will be ineffective and unlikely to capture the economic benefits of liquor by the drink.
Opponents, such as city aldermen John Simmons and Leon King, say they don’t believe voters knew what they were getting into – so they’ve taken positions against it.
The new rules, including adding beer and the license fees, passed, but the mayor’s vote was required to break a deadlocked two to two vote among the city’s aldermen. Aldermen Joe Taylor and Carolyn Flagg voted for it, and Aldermen John Simmons and Leon King against. Mayor Webb Banks broke the tie, voting with Flagg and Taylor.
Still, not yet
City ordinances must pass by two readings and even though the mayor allowed comment from the public this week (about 30 people attended the session), an official public hearing must still be held. Plans are to hold the public hearing and final vote on March 13 at 5:30 p.m.
No early selling
City board members did agree that alcohol sales should not begin before noon on Sunday. The state’s rules allow it to start at 10. The time change is the only optional rule the state allows local governments. The resolution passed 3 to 1. Alderman John Simmons voted against it.
To read the entire ordinance and resolution governing the liquor by the drink and sales of beer is available here.
Lasco Industries sold
Mayor Webb Banks announced this week that long-time Brownsville manufacturer Lasco Industries has been sold. One of Brownsville’s largest employers, Lasco was sold by parent company Tompkins based in London. Allberts, a company headquartered in the Netherlands, will purchase the manufacturer but terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In a published report, Lasco President Jack Macdonald said he doesn’t expect anything to change in Brownsville as a result of the change. Lasco employs about 600 people. Lasco’s 2006 sales were $104 million.
Housing grant completed
Housing rehabilitation spokesman Randy Nelson said this week the city has just completed spending a half-million dollar grant, rehabilitating homes in North Brownsville. Of the nearly half million dollars, $417,000 was actually spent on construction. Seventeen low-income homeowners benefited from the grant. The homes are located on Rickey, Fleming and Houston Streets.
Sewer funds proposed
Alderman and the mayor have approved the submission of a half-million dollar CBDG grant application. If approved, the Brownsville Utility Department will use the money to upgrade the city’s sewer system.
City board honors workers
Sammie Rogers Eddie Wise Robert Bryant
Brownsville Mayor Webb Banks and Alderman honored three city workers for their long work history with the city at the February board meeting. Receiving special recognition were Sammie Rogers (left) with 41 years, Eddie Wise (center) and Robert Bryant, both with 31 years.