The Bradley County Commission passed a resolution Monday night in support of a pair of bills being considered in the Tennessee General Assembly.
If they are passed on the state level, the county would be allowed to use money from its solid waste management fund for other purposes in the event of a budget surplus, as Bradley County has now.
Senate Bill 1172 and companion House Bill 1529 would change Tennessee Code Annotated 88-211-835(e) to allow counties having a population between 98,900 and 99,000 “to use revenue received from any solid waste surcharge collected in excess of a $1 million solid waste/sanitation fund balance for purposes other than solid waste management, if authorized by a two-thirds majority vote of the county commission.”
The bills were introduced by state Sen. Mike Bell and state Rep. Kevin Brooks.
Commissioner Ed Elkins questioned why the population figure was so specific, and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said it was likely made to pertain specifically to Bradley County.
The law currently says a county that operates “a waste disposal facility used by other counties in the same region to impose a surcharge on municipal solid waste received and authorizes the revenue from said surcharge to be expended for solid waste management purposes or for purposes related to offsetting costs incurred resulting for the county being host.”
“A lot of our garbage now comes from outside the county,” Davis said, adding the fund balance has continued to see an increase.
Currently, there is more than $1 million in Bradley County’s fund, he said.
Elkins said it would be “ridiculous to sit on that kind of fund balance” and not use it to fund other necessities in the county.
The Commission passed the resolution recommending the change to state law unanimously, with 11 of the Commission’s 14 members present.