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Commission to adopt public records policy

State mandated updates regarding the way in which public records are handled will more than likely be adopted by the Claiborne Commission during its next regular monthly meeting on Sept. 18. The new policies follow those spelled out in Tennessee Codes Annotated (T.C.A.) §10-7-503(g). The Tennessee Public Records Act (TPRA) provides that all state, county and municipal records will, at all times during business hours, be open for personal inspection by any citizen of the state. Those in charge of the records cannot refuse any state citizen the right to inspect the records, unless otherwise provided by state law, according to the attached policies spelled out in resolution 2017-061.

The new policies will be applied within the various offices, departments and divisions of county government except the school system, which has a separate public records policy already in place.

Confidential information will be redacted, or blocked out, prior to release.

There will be no charge for inspection of open public records. Fees and charges for copies and labor not exceeding $10 may be waived. The fees are based on 15 cents per letter or legal sized black and white page. Charges for color copies are set at 50 cents per page. Additional charges for ‘labor’ will be applied to the bill once the time involved in fulfilling the records request exceeds one hour.

Payment in advance will be accepted in cash or personal check, according to the new policies.

Resolution 2017-060, if adopted, will grant the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) permission to construct a shooting range inside the Claiborne County Landfill. The CCSO needs a training site that accommodates the 120 yards set for shooting a target with a rifle – something the New Tazewell Police Department pistol range, with a 25 feet clearance, is unable to provide.

If the rifle range is approved, the county will be able to save the expense of traveling to another site to complete mandated training.

The rifle range will cost about $9,500 to complete, if approved. The funds will be transferred from the Undesignated Fund Balance to Capital Projects.

The city of Harrogate is requesting that the county allow them to use the old Shawanee rock quarry for materials storage. If adopted, resolution 2017-059 will allow the city to lease the site for $1 per year, with an evaluation in ten years. Harrogate government agrees to maintain liability insurance, if the request is approved.

Lisa Strickland has asked that the commission allow her to speak on toxicity within the county. This item is for discussion purposes only.

The Claiborne school system has seven resolutions up for adoption. None of the seven require that state or local tax dollars be used.

Among the resolutions is one that will place $502,125 in Lottery After-School Grant funds and $10,000 in Read to be Ready Grant monies into the General Purpose Budget.

If adopted, the General Purpose Budget will be further sweetened by some $80,000 via a Vocational Equipment Grant and another $607,574.58 in Lottery Pre-K Grant funds.

The school system is also in line for a Safe Schools Grant in the amount of $41,130.42.

The Sheriff’s and County Clerks’ offices will present their individual annual reports, for information purposes only.

The third and final reading of the addition to the county road list of Deerwood Lane is also expected to occur.

As is usually the case, the commissioners may add items to the agenda during the opening moments of the meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. inside the large courtroom of the Claiborne County Courthouse.

The public is encouraged to attend these monthly meetings.

Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.