Lawsuits deductible fund gone
by By JOYANNA WEBER Banner Staff Writer
Jan 10, 2013 | 924 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lawsuits involving county departments have depleted the funds designated for covering the required deductible for each case.

During a meeting of the Bradley County Finance Committee, finance director Lynn Burns said $15,000 had been committed to covering the deductibles. Each deductible can go up to $5,000.

The committee voted to grant an amendment to move $860.85 from the county’s general fund balance to cover a deductible bill.

“And this may not be the last request we get this year. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are going to be some more,” committee chairman Ed Elkins said.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said there was at least one other case pending in which the deductible had not been charged. How to pay for additional lawsuits this year was not discussed at the meeting.

The amendment was passed unanimously.

“Overall, that’s a bad thing because we are lowering the fund balance, but we can’t help it,” Davis said.

Wednesday’s amendment was to cover the deductible for a lawsuit involving the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

- The committee also postponed an amendment from Tri-State Exhibition Center to give a $1 an hour raise to an assistant and increase the funding for utilities and insurance. The $14,918 requested would have come out of the department’s $85,152 fund balance.

Elkins questioned whether the employee had been included in the countywide raise included in the budget. It was confirmed that he or she would have.

Lowe said moving funds for salary would mean less money in fund balance each year. Lowe requested the amendment be deferred so more information could be gathered.

- Amendments were also passed to accept payments from the county’s insurance company. The committee placed insurance money for Bradley County Fire-Rescue in the correct section of the budget to replace a totaled 1988 fire truck with a 1993 truck.

“On the information I received, it is a very nice truck,” Elkins said. “It’s a better truck than what we lost.”

Davis said the truck had approximately 12,000 miles on it and was already the correct color.

“It was low mileage because it had been placed at an industry, like a Volkswagen or Wacker, and it was kind of their standby truck, then they traded it in,” Burns said.

- An amendment for the Emergency Management Agency was passed to accept a donation from SkyRidge Medical Center toward purchasing communication equipment, as well as participation in a regional communication system.

- Revenue from the county’s recycling centers has increased this year. Davis said the county had projected a small amount for this revenue in the budget. The amount is now estimated to be $16,000 more.

“The growth revenue from recyclables has been great this past year,” Davis said.

Part of this money will be used for the Spring Household Hazardous Waste Event. The county is hoping to add this as a second hazardous waste event. In recent years, the event has only been held in the fall.

- The Bradley County Commission will discuss moving forward with borrowing the money for the new fire stations during Monday’s work session. Davis said during Wednesday’s meeting the Commission will also be asked to consider refinancing a current bond to switch it from variable rate to a fixed rate. The updated county long-range financial plan is expected to be complete in early February. The plan will come to the finance committee before being reviewed by the entire Commission.