NO Daytime Commission Meetings!

By Pat Hunter

Commissioner Wayne Gardin made a motion to alternate commission-meeting times, one evening and one day meeting, as per Mayor Doyle Arp’s earlier request. Mayor Arp said that when meetings were held, the meetings were held at 9:00 AM. Commissioner Gardin was the sole vote in favor of changing the meeting time but his motion failed.


Mayor Arp said that he placed this matter on the agenda because he had requests from individuals on 2nd and 3rd shifts. He commented how he didn’t want to spend allot of time arguing about it.


At least two commissioners Earlena Maples and Chris Park said that they worked during the day. Commissioner Miller commented how alternating meetings from evening to days might just add to confusion. Commissioner Franke said that he supported keeping the meeting at night. Commissioner Marcus agreed with Franke. Commissioners decided that having day meetings would not best serve the working people of our community.


Here are the rest of the highlights to Monday’s Jan. 7, 2008 Loudon County Commission meeting.


$175,000 Elevator Bid Awarded to low bidder

Commissioners unanimously approved the installation of an elevator for the courthouse Annex. The bids ranged from $300,000 to the lowest bid, which was for $175,000. Leo Bradshaw commented how the county would use a barrel system for the hydraulic system for the elevator.


Previously at the Capital Projects Committee meeting, Commissioner David Meers spoke about his concerns about past flooding to the basement Annex.


Meers asked once more about adding a third floor to the Annex. Bradshaw commented how the expense would be considerable more but he gave no dollar figure. His reasons for the additional cost were a change in building codes since the original construction of the Annex. 


The US Department of Justice informed the county that there were no options or exceptions and that the elevator must be installed by July 1st. Mr. Bradshaw confirmed that the bid was awarded to Johnson Construction and that he would notify them by letter about the elevator bid approval.


Commission approved a recommendation, TASS Waste Treatment Plant Expansion $9 Million TDEC Loan.


Loudon County will be responsible for $4.5 Million, one half of $9 Million and Monroe County will be responsible for the remaining $4.5 Million. According to EDA director, Pat Phillip’s TASS is to repay the loan. Pat Phillips explained how Loudon County will pay the loan and then will invoice TASS for repayment. Phillips commented how a separate grant is pending up to $1 Million. The waste treatment expansion is needed for the Christenson Yacht plant.


Commissioner Franke mentioned how County Commission never received any financial information from TASS and the County was liable for the loan. TASS officials said that they would send information to commission.


$18K Approved for More Renovations to County Office Building

Left Side Must Match Right Side Entrance


Chairman Roy Bledsoe asked if more repairs were being considered and Bradshaw commented that the next phase would be the outside façade (front) area of the County Building.     


With a motion from Commissioner Wayne Gardin, seconded by Commissioner Shirley Reno, commissioners unanimously approved spending an additional $18,000 in taxpayer monies to renovate the left side of the county building to match the side of the mayor’s office renovations.


Presently, the left side of the county building is occupied by the Loudon County Board of Education. The additional renovations will include replacing ceiling tiles, sheetrock, and paint hallway. Buckhead Construction will do the remodeling work because the maintenance Dept is over taxed according to Leo Bradshaw, County Maintenance and Purchasing Director. 


County Headed to Court over Building Permits and TRDA!


Mayor Arp commented how the Tennessee Reservoir Development Agency (TRDA) served Summons to Loudon County, over the issuance of building permits. TRDA has asked for a Summary Judgment. Commissioner Don Miller suggested a meeting between Commissioner Franke, Mayor Arp and attorneys Bud Gilbert and Wayne Henry. Attorney Wayne Henry said that he had possession of court records for 6 days and he welcomed background information about the building permit matter. Henry will represent Loudon County in this legal entanglement.


Commissioners voted that building permits would be issued but will withhold the building permit fee until the matter is resolved with TRDA. Commissioners did not think that it was fair for consumers to pay for two different building permits, one from Loudon County and one from TRDA.


Building Commissioner Bill Cox announced that Loudon County would adopt the International Building Codes and that copies are available for viewing at the Annex. 


In other matters, County Commission approved the appointments to the Construction Board, Eric Good and Gregg Reynolds 2012, Alternates Leo Bradshaw and Andy Huing. 

Capitol Projects Meeting


$10K Study for Tech Center Use, Tabled by Capital Projects Committee


Maintenance and Purchasing Director Leo Bradshaw said that he had a proposal for a Study on the use of the Tech Center on Harrison Rd. in Lenoir City. According to Bradshaw, Cope and Associates would look at the 47,000 sq. ft. Tech Center structure and make a recommendation as to whether the building would be used for classrooms or Board of Education administrative offices. 


Commissioner David Meers said that the EDA and planning office had extensive water damage at the Williamson House and that they wanted to relocate to the County Office Building.


Commissioner Duff asked if the BOE had expressed their views about moving the BOE administrative offices to the Tech Center or using the Tech Center for a school. Luttrell and Ms. Pauley, BOE member commented how the BOE had not discussed the matter. Greenback parent, Ms. Lisa Russell asked if the BOE county offices were required by Tennessee law to be located in the county seat. The Capital Projects Committee decided that they would not make a recommendation at this time and that they would ask the BOE to look into this matter and get back to them.


School HVAC System – Heat and Air Conditioning units

Leo Bradshaw explained that 211 school units needed to be replaced and mentioned how it was a waste of time and money because parts were difficult to get for many units because of the age of the units. Bradshaw said that the units needed to be replaced. Most of the units were 20-years old, and some were 35-years old and at least 30% are not working. Bradshaw mentioned that they were having problems with no heat in some of the classrooms.


Mr. Bradshaw also gave a report about the Loudon High School auditorium. The auditorium is nearly 50-years old and it will cost between $300,000 and $400,000 to repair nearly 200 seats in the auditorium, stage and lighting repairs. The Fire Marshall will have to look at documentation to make a determination as to whether the high school building is a Type 4 or Type 5. 


Bradshaw commented how the BOE Board would be making a decision on hiring an architect firm and how they got the name of a firm from the State Fire Marshall’s office because they worked well with the Fire Marshall. 


There was also discussion about others life safety issues including no fire alarm system in the Greenback gym.

The Capital Projects Committee recommended that Mr. Headlee and Mayor Arp look at their calendars and set a joint meeting between Loudon County Commission and the Board of Education to discuss the school issues.