Road Department gets bumper crop of state-aid funds

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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The Claiborne Commission unanimously adopted a resolution last week to accept some $304,615 in state-aid funds that are over and above those monies initially budgeted for the Claiborne Road Department. It appears the IMPROVE Act is working according to former Governor Bill Haslam’s plans.

The money, which is 100 percent funded by the state, is a result of the ‘Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy’ Act – first proposed by Haslam in an effort to help fund the state’s $10 billion backlog in road projects.

The revenue was placed into the Road Department Bridge Program after passage of resolution 2019-065. It is mandated by the state that these funds be used for state-aid bridge projects.

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This money is not the only recent influx of funds. The commissioners also chose to accept $20,000 in Bike Share Program Grant money, which requires no matching funds by the county.

According to resolution 2019-062, the state auditor recommended the county equally divide the grant money into’ travel’ and ‘contracted services’ which was accomplished by the passage of this resolution.

The purpose of the grant funds is to “encourage the citizens of Claiborne County to become more active,” according to the resolution.

The Claiborne County Health Department is also a recipient of grant money. Some $200,000 in state funds will assist in building improvements and projects. No local match is needed for this ‘new’ money.

The commission unanimously approved a request by the Arthur Community Center to be included in the list of Charitable County Contributions. According to resolution 2019-064, the facility is regularly used by members of the Arthur community. Classes have been held inside the building for Adult Education, Head Start and The Alpha School as well.

The commissioners agreed to donate $5,000 to the use of the facility. The money will be taken out of the Undesignated Fund Balance.

In other action, commissioner Zach Mullins asked that a letter be drafted and sent to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Mullins said he was concerned about the parking conditions at Baylor’s Bridge boat access ramp and would like the TWRA to evaluate the situation.

In another matter, the commission agreed to donate $500 to the Cumberland Gap Golf Team, if the team wins a spot at the state competition.

A Tipprell resident asked that the commissioners look into an apparent problem with school bus pick up and drop off locations. The resident said children were being dropped off at different areas from which they were picked up each morning.

The commission suggested the resident contact the Claiborne School Board about the issue.