The issue was placed on the agenda for next week by 3rd District Commissioner Jeff Morelock after a proposal he made in the finance committee to grant the funds did not pass.
Morelock had made a motion for the Commission to approve $150,000. He placed the same motion on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.
Fifth District commissioner Jeff Yarber asked if Morelock would include in his resolution where the funding would originate.
Morelock said this information would be included, but did not specify where during Tuesday night’s discussion.
The Cleveland City Council and the Charleston City Commission have already agreed to provide additional funding, if all three local governing bodies contribute the needed amounts.
A proposal presented to the Commission at a previous meeting by 911 center director Joe Wilson stated that $173,745 from the county, combined with $173,745 from the city and $3,510 from Charleston, would eliminate the threat of being labeled distressed by putting the department “in the black.”
“They require revenues to equal expenses; in this case, the revenues don’t equal expenses, but they don’t take into consideration a $1 million fund balance,” Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said.
This has to do with how the state requires the department to factor in depreciation of equipment.
Another issue affecting the 911 center is a decrease in funding as more residents switch to cellphones. The 911 fee on a landline brings more revenue to the county than a cellphone does.
“We are one of many counties that this is happening to,” Yarber said.
If these counties agreed not to give additional funding and allow the districts to become distressed, the state might see that something needs to change, according to Yarber.
According to 1st District Commissioner Ed Elkins, approximately one-third of the counties in the state are facing the same issue.
Distressed districts risk having the state step in to run the department. Yarber said if the state had to run 30 centers it would realize something needed to change.
A resolution stating the county could not afford to participate “in any future jointly funded capital projects with the city of Cleveland due to potential loss of sales tax revenues” was also placed on the agenda.
Yarber said he would also like information on what jointly funded projects the Commission has discussed, referring to “which ones we are contractually obligated to continue with and which ones we could chop if we chose to.” He said this information would be important in the future if the Commission does not have the needed funding.
Other items placed on the agenda for next Monday’s 7 p.m. meeting include two rezoning requests, a resolution allowing the Bradley County Board of Education to enter a lease for maintenance of new athletic field lights at Bradley Central High School and Lake Forest Middle School, and a resolution to approve a disposal company location to sort out recycling.
Many commissioners also expressed disappointment in a recent Bradley County GOP resolution which they said proliferated inaccurate information.