The first bids to be opened were for the painting of the exterior of the courthouse. There were four bids for the project with a wide range of prices. The highest bidder came from a company out of North Carolina. At first, the commission did not even consider the high bidder, but a representative from the company was present at the meeting and informed the commission that their price included insurance coverage and workman’s comp coverage along with the services they would offer. This resulted in a deep discussion of whether or not the specs of the project had been clearly listed and if the bidders were all “playing on a level field.”
After lengthy discussion and a brief recession, the commission decided to turn the bids over to the grounds and building committee for review. The committee would interview the bidders and get a better idea of what they would be offering in their bid. The committee will report their findings to the commission at the next meeting.
Bids were also opened for the library roofing project. Bids were presented and after brief discussion with a representative from Dixie Roofing, one of the bidders, a motion was made to accept a bid from Dixie Roofing for $36,410. The bid included all details and the roof would be under a 15-year warranty.
Bids were then opened for the third project, heating and air for the old election building. After reviewing the bids, the commission chose to go with the lowest bidder, Raymond Caylor Heating and Air with a bid of $12,780.
Two organization representatives came before the commission to discuss funding for possible projects for Claiborne County. The first organization to approach the commission was Living Waters for the World, a Christian organization that provides water filtration systems for people who do not have access to clean water.
The representative said the organization primarily provides water filtration systems overseas but in the past few years has been providing systems in the Appalachian counties of the United States.
He said he felt the Little Sycamore Area of Tazewell would benefit from the program and was asking the commission for their support financially.
The representative explained that Living Waters collaborates with The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which allows for funding for the various projects. He explained that in order to make it possible to provide the systems local churches and organizations must collaborate with Living Waters. The commission appeared to be interested in the program and invited the representative to meet with the budget committee to see what the commission could do to help collaborate. For more information on Living Waters visit their official website at www.livingwatersfortheworld.org.
The second representative was from the Tennessee Valley Coalition to end Homelessness. She spoke to the board about Claiborne County working with the coalition and developing a Homeless Management Information System. She also informed the commission that the counties who participate usually provide some funding to help the coalition meet a 20 percent match to a grant they receive each year. She was also invited to attend the budget committee’s meeting to discuss the coalition’s needs.
In new business, the commission also voted to select Vaughn & Melton as the project engineer for the new welcome signs for Claiborne County. Other agenda items approved were: two resolutions to amend the Board of Education budget, a resolution providing a Letter of Support for Claiborne County’s schools in the fight against taking money away from small schools, a resolution amending the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office budget and a resolution appointing a board for the Dollywood Imagination Library program.
As a final action item Commissioner Hatfield requested each commissioner sign and send a letter to our senators and congressional representatives discussing “the recent government action that puts at risk more than 77,000 high-paying mining jobs in Appalachia and coal production that provides affordable electricity to 77 million households in the East.” The letter addresses the area citizens concerns with the loss of thousands of jobs in the area. The commissioners agreed to sign the letters and send them to their senators and congressional representatives.