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AC Commission forgives EMS debt, moves forward on auction of 205 Main

The Anderson County Commission met Monday night for its regular May session.

Early in the meeting, County Mayor Terry Frank announced that Art Miller, Health Department Director since 2004, will be retiring June 30th. Charles Turner, who currently leads the Campbell County Health Department, will serve as director in both counties.

In other business, the Commission voted 9-7 to proceed with auction of 205 Main with understanding that if the Commission ends up rejecting the high bid for the property during an auction expected to take place in July, it will reimburse auctioneer Bear Stephenson up to $5000 for advertising the sale and other associated costs.

Commissioners were told last night that Stephenson has estimated that $390,000 might be the ceiling as to what the county could get for property that was infamously purchased in 2017 for $600,000 for use as a new Senior Center, but was later found to have mold and other issues that prevented it from being used as such. Rejecting the motion would have halted the auction process, so commissioners, in a narrow vote, opted to move forward.

Commissioners voted 13-3 to resolve an audit finding that resulted from the EMS ending the last fiscal year with a negative fund balance. The state had said that it would not approve this year’s budget unless the finding was addressed and corrected. Members of the Budget Committee recommended what was identified as the most expedient way to do that, forgive $1,026,786.70 loaned to the EMS over the past two years, wiping away their liability and leaving them with $414,258 in its unassigned fund balance, and removing the deficit in that fund.

Commissioners noted this is not a long-term solution, but addresses the finding. Discussion came around to possibly bringing EMS back under the county general fund, but that discussion will likely take place at the committee level before coming back to the full Commission.

No other significant budget discussions took place Monday, but commissioners were reminded that there is still work left to do, and that the Budget Committee will meet again on Thursday, June 6th, at 4 pm in room 312 of the Courthouse. The rest of the budget process will include the Budget Committee finalizing its recommendation to the full Commission, followed by advertising, and then holding, a public hearing on the budget. A formal presentation will then be made to the full Commission, which will consider it on two separate readings. As soon as that timeline becomes clearer, we will let you know about it on WYSH and online.

Commissioners also approved a recommendation from the Intergovernmental Committee to ask Law Director Jay Yeager to prepare a resolution asking TVA to not expand its fly ash deposits or storgae areas when the Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton closes in 2023, and set a meeting with the state’s Department of Environment and Conservation, in order to find out more about what their plans are for the site. Commission Chairman and District 1 (Claxton) Commissioner Tracy Wandell indicated that both he and Mayor Frank had spoken separately with a high-ranking TVA official, who had pledged to “do right by the community” as far as the closure and disposition of Bull Run is concerned.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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