More money approved for Planning Commission

Author: Mary E. Hinds News Herald
The Loudon County Commission approved several fiscal matter including approval of contributing an additional $14,200 to the planning office for fiscal year 2008-2009. 

The planning office is funded by the county (71 percent), Lenoir City (17 percent) and by the City of Loudon (12 percent). This arrangement will end at the end of this fiscal year since Lenoir City has already voted to withdraw from the planning office and handle their own planning services in house. 


County Planner Russ Newman addressed the commission asking for the additional funds to finish the fiscal year. The office’s budget for 2008 was approximately $221,000 but budget shortfalls forced Newman to request the additional funds. The Planning Office has also asked Lenoir City to pay an additional $3,400 and the City Of Loudon to pay an additional $2,400 to address the budget shortfall.

“I have a problem with this,” said Commissioner Earlena Maples adding Newman should have know about this problem sooner. 

Newman said he had “been aware for some time” that there would be a budget shortfall. He explained that the planning office budget is dependent on fees collected making it hard to project a budget. He said the estimates have been good for 14 years but given the slow economy and the slow down in development, “this past year it didn’t happen that way.”  


Commissioner Austin Shaver noted that expenses at the planning office had gone up. Newman acknowledged that but added, “this new budget makes adjustments” including a reduction in staff and “cutting operating expenses where we can.” 

The commission voted to give the planning office the additional funds with Maples and Shaver voting against the measure.