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Claiborne budget — no property tax hike

Claiborne residents will not have to scratch up any extra money to cover their property taxes come next fiscal year. The Claiborne Commission unanimously adopted the 2018-19 budget, which includes no tax hike. The county will continue to use the same rate of $2.5777 per $100 of assessed value.

The commission adopted the full budget with no changes to the proposed draft sweated over the last couple of months by the nine-member budget committee.

County employees will be receiving a three percent salary raise.

The adoption of the budget also cements plans to hire, train and outfit nine additional School Resource Officers (SROs), bringing the total to 12 SROs who will cover the 13 campuses within the county.

One of the officers is expected to “float” between two of the schools.

In other action, the commissioners learned during the meeting that the county will be receiving $86,097.60 in grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration. The money from the Section 5310 Program will pay 90 percent of the purchase price of two medium duty accessible vans to be used at the Harrogate and Tazewell Senior Centers.

Each van seats 14 passengers and uses electric lifts for easy entry and exit.

The county will be responsible for $9,566.40, or 10 percent of the 90/10 matching grant, which is already set aside in the budget.

The total grant amount is $95,664.

It appears a larger percentage of county residents might be donning walking shoes and heading out to the park pathways as an alternative to a more sedentary lifestyle.

“Change Claiborne,” the new initiative under the Healthier Tennessee umbrella, now has the county commissioners’ nods of approval.

Commissioner Juanita Honeycutt presented a resolution last week requesting that the county acknowledge and support efforts and strategies to improve health and encourage fitness opportunities, education and healthy lifestyle awareness.

According to the resolution, Claiborne County continues to experience high numbers of individuals who fall into the obese or overweight categories. The resolution also pointed out that many county residents continue to use tobacco products.

With the creation of “Change Claiborne,” the county will likely be in line for some grant monies courtesy of Healthier Tennessee, which provides support and allocates grant funds to those counties that have established initiatives aimed at improving the health and fitness of their residents.

Change Claiborne has created a new Walking Club as one of its first projects. The event kickoff occurred on July 17, with more dates planned.

For more information, call the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce at 423-626-4149.