HUNTSVILLE — Scott County and Oneida have received Community Development Block Grant funds, State Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, announced Monday.
Yager, who was in town to attend the monthly meeting of Scott County Commission, had left the Scott County Office Building to return to Roane County when he received a telephone call announcing that the two local grants for CDBG funding had been approved.
Scott County’s application was for $315,000, which will be used for ambulance purchases. Oneida applied for $525,000, which will be used for improvements at the town’s wastewater treatment plant.
Yager said both local grants were among a minority of applications approved by the state.
“We were able to fund only about 38 percent of the applications we received this year. Last year it was 50 percent,” Yager said.
Yager returned to the conference room of the Office Building, where Monday’s meeting was still in progress, to make the announcement, which was met with a round of applause.
Jail proposal officially rejected
Scott County Commission has not taken action on a proposal by the Town of Huntsville to acquire the old county jail for preservation purposes, but it has rejected a proposal by an Indiana start-up firm to purchase the jail.
By a 9-1 vote Monday, with 2nd District Commissioner Sam Lyles casting the lone dissenting vote, County Commission rejected a proposal by Indiana’s Dann Allen to purchase the jail at a cost of $25,000. Allen, whose start-up firm purchases old properties for restoration, had pledged to turn the jail into a tourist attraction, including a facility that would attract paranormal enthusiasts.
Huntsville Mayor Dennis Jeffers approached commissioners earlier this month with a plan that would see the county transfer ownership of the jail to the town for preservation. Jeffers said the town does not have exact plans for what uses the jail would see after it is restored, but pledged to see the effort put into the dilapidated structure to restore it to its original form, in order to preserve the facility’s history.
The jail was built in 1904 and has set empty since 2007, when the county began housing prisoners at the Scott County Justice Center on Scott High Drive.
Repeater covered by insurance
A fire service radio repeater in southern Scott County that was damaged by lightning this summer is covered by the county’s insurance policy, commissioners learned at Monday’s meeting.
The repeater, which will cost $1,500 to repair, was taken offline by a lightning strike during a recent thunderstorm. South Scott County Volunteer Fire Department’s Tracy Jeffers told commissioners earlier this month that the repair was needed, adding that the Scott County Fire Association, which has traditionally paid to maintain the repeaters, cannot afford the cost of repairing the damage.
The county’s insurance policy carries a $500 deductible, but paid for the remaining $1,044 in repairs. The county has issued a purchase order to Overbay Communications to repair the repeater.
In a related matter, a resolution that would formally place Emergency Management Agency director Wendy Walker in charge of checking and maintaining the repeaters was tabled amid confusion over exactly which repeaters her office should be responsible for.
Perdue reappointed chairman
By unanimous votes at Monday’s commission meeting, Scott County Mayor Dale Perdue was reappointed chairman of the commission, while 7th District Commissioner Mike Slaven was reappointed chairman pro tem, allowing him to chair meetings in Perdue’s absence.
The appointment process takes place each September, and is the last before the August 2018 general election. A new term begins September 2018.