Newman's Out

At Monday's Lenoir City Council meeting, council voted not to renew an interlocal with the Loudon County Planning Commission. The council is opting rather to take on their own planning duties. Codes Enforcement officer, Lesley Johnson who has a degree in planning will be taking on the city's planning duties and another full time codes officer will be hired to fill the city's needs. The city will remain with the county planning office through the end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2009.

Lenoir City's departure from the planning commission will pose a dilemma for Loudon County and the City of Loudon. Each of the three government bodies had been paying a share of the funding of the planning office based on population with the county paying the lion's share. The county has been paying a little under $90,000.00 per year with the City of Loudon paying around $15,000.00 per year and Lenoir City paying $21,000 per year. With the loss of Lenoir City's funding and the general shortfall in fee revenues for the office, Loudon City and the county will also be faced with dropping the planning commission or anteing up a substantial increase in funding to keep the planning office a float. Both governments could take advantage of the state planning office for far less money.

Whatever the county and Loudon  are planning to do, they've got about six months to get it done.