Three of the four amendments were for Bradley County Fire-Rescue.
The committee approved an amendment to accept $4,000 in donations for a company vehicle for the department’s chaplain as well as a $500 donation for the department’s “Bears to Hug” program.
“The vehicle that he was currently driving was a vehicle that he solicited donations for, so it was a donated vehicle to the county. We still own that vehicle,” Interim Fire Chief Troy Spence said. “It was time to upgrade that vehicle to another vehicle that actually had four-wheel drive. He solicited the money and had 100 percent donations.”
The vehicle has already been purchased.
“It was a surplus vehicle from TVA, so we got an extremely good deal on it,” Spence said.
Finance committee member J. Adam Lowe said the Commission should review the current policy for soliciting donations in the near future. However, he did not have an issue with accepting donations in this case.
The committee also passed an amendment accepting insurance money for damage to a rescue squad vehicle.
A second insurance-related amendment was postponed until clarification could be given. There was some confusion as to whether the insurance payment had been put in the budget line the department was requesting to move it from. The original money was to pay for extensive damage to a rescue squad trailer.
An amendment to pay an outstanding invoice from Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute for court-ordered evaluation of a misdemeanor offender, whose case wound up in state court, was also passed. The amendment had been postponed previously because committee members felt the county was not required to pay for both evaluations.
Bradley County Attorney Crystal Freiburg said each evaluation followed a separate court order. She said this is a rare case, but based on state law it seems the county is required to pay the full $23,850 amount.
Finance chairman Ed Elkins said he would talk to the judges who were involved for further clarification on why a second evaluation was needed.
“I will also talk to the public defender, because those motions come out of the public defender’s office,” Elkins said.
Lowe asked Freiburg to contact Moccasin Bend to try to negotiate a lower price. Freiburg said she was unsure how the daily rate is determined, but she would look into it.
Committee member Jeff Morelock made a motion asking the attorney to do that, and take funding from the Bradley County Commission’s portion of the budget and the general fund balance. Lowe was the only dissenting vote.