HUNTSVILLE — Sam Lyles has returned to Scott County Commission’s Budget Committee.
Lyles, who represents the 2nd District on County Commission, was appointed to the committee Monday, replacing 4th District Commissioner Rick Russ, who resigned.
Lyles is a former chairman of the committee, which dictates the course for county finances by going through the tedious process of departmental budget hearings and working with the Department of Local Finance to prepare a budget — and recommend a tax rate to fund it — that is presented to the full commission each summer.
Russ is a candidate for county mayor in the August general election.
Lyles chaired the Budget Committee through the contentious budgeting process in 2015, and later resigned in apparent frustration upon the resignation of Finance Director Brian Strunk. During his tenure on the Budget Committee, the county was credited with reducing its debt from $44 million to $35 million as of 2014.
Lyles’ appointment, which had been recommended by the committee, was approved by an all-aye vote of his fellow commissioners Monday evening.
The only other matter of significance in the commission’s March session was the final vote to authorize space in the old county courthouse for the Scott County Historical Society.
While the historical society, in which the late Howard H. Baker Jr. played an integral role in its early days, is not an entity of local government, the non-profit organization serves a key role in preserving writings and documents of historical significance. The organization is currently housed in the historic Doisy House and an archives building next door, which are located just off the courthouse mall and across from the First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville.
County Commission’s unanimous vote gave formal approval to a recommendation by the commission’s Building & Grounds Committee that the historical society be granted occupancy of the upstairs courtroom and office space in the courthouse.
The same vote at Monday’s meeting authorized the county’s support for grant dollars that — if received — will be used to provide a chair lift for the courthouse. The Industrial Development Board of Scott County, which has been working to facilitate the change of location for the historical society, will apply for the grant funds through the Tennessee Three-Star Communities program.
In a separate order of business on Monday, commissioners approved a fundraising road block for the Pine Hill Volunteer Fire Department.