The Bradley County Finance Committee voted Wednesday to have the Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services, Circuit Court Clerk, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Bradley County Justice Center, Parks and Recreation, Bradley County 911 Center, Misdemeanor Probation and Property Assessor further explain requested increases.
Committee member Jeff Morelock made a motion to have all departments requesting more than $15,000 in increased funding, except for the Coroner’s Office (Medical Examiner), to discuss the increase requests. The motion passed.
Although the Coroner’s Office (M.E.) is requesting more than a $15,000 increase, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis recommended not asking the department to come in. He said there had been a change in leadership since the budget request was made, and those there now would probably not be able to give specific explaination.
“The Coroner is one that needs it (funding) desperately,” Davis said.
He said eventually the county will need to build a morgue rather than depending on funeral home morgues.
Many departments did not request increased funding this year. Davis said those that did still requested smaller increases than in the past.
Budget hearings will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Also during the meeting:
n A motion was passed to recommend the Commission approach the city of Cleveland to enter into a year-long agreement to replace the current animal control contract. The agreement would decrease the amount paid for service. It would also stop animal pickups by Animal Shelter employees of strays outside the city limits. Morelock passed on voting on the motion.
Elkins said he would also like documentation on the animals that are dropped off. Alford said under the current contract the county pays 60 percent of the budget “and getting nothing in return other than they pick up and take care of our animals.”
Alford highlighted that no information about the animals or operations are given to the county.
Under the proposed agreement, a portion of the payment would go toward the Animal Shelter. The other portion would be calculated based on animals dropped off from outside the city limits.
Commission chairman Louie Alford said there may be other options if the city does not accept this option. The Cleveland City Council has already voted in favor of continuing the current contract.
n The committee accepted donations to Bradley County Fire-Rescue and insurance payments for Emergency Medical Services.
n Amendments concerning Healthy Community Initiative grants were postponed because committee members felt they needed more information.