‘Hide the junk’


County to mull new trash legislation

By Jan Runions - [email protected]



“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” said Claiborne County commissioner William Jessie, seeming to caution his fellow commissioners during the regular November meeting.

Some folks may find themselves scrambling to do away with their ‘treasures’ or face the consequences, if the commission decides to adopt a ‘junk’ resolution, slated for review in December.

County attorney James Estep III was asked to explain the proposed resolution, which had not yet been written at the time of the November meeting. Estep said the resolution would address remedies for the amount of trash, junk and abandoned cars on and alongside properties countywide.

If the resolution is adopted, he said it would provide “a mechanism” that would assist the county in cleaning up the widespread problem. He pointed to the number of tourists who travel through Claiborne as one prime reason for following through with such legislation.

If adopted, the resolution will likely include enough ‘teeth’ to mandate removal or the privacy fencing of properties that now house junk cars, tires and other eyesores. The legislation would go a long way toward alleviating the potential for hazardous fires, as well.

Burning tires, in particular, could bring about a major environmental hazard, Estep said.

In other action, the commissioners adopted a resolution calling for the purchase of a haul back truck for use at the Claiborne Landfill facility. By a vote of 19 to one, the commission approved the expenditure of up to $60,000 – $49,500 of which will cover the truck bid.

Commissioner Bill Keck said the extra funds would be used for repairs to the recently wrecked vehicle belonging to landfill supervisor Mike Russell.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 19 to one. Commissioner Zachary Bunch was the lone no vote. Commissioner Gary Poore was absent from the meeting, due to a death in the family.

In another matter, the commission adopted a resolution allowing road superintendent Ronnie Pittman to purchase equipment totaling some $182,538 from funds generated from the wheel tax.

Keck took exception to the vague verbiage in the resolution apparently referring to the length of time the wheel tax will be in effect. He asked that the language be changed to indicate that future equipment funds would be drawn from the Highway Department monies rather than continuing wheel taxes.

He reminded the commission that the wheel tax had been voted in for just one year.

County finance officer Sam Owens said the equipment leases would obligate the money for one year, only.

“There would be no penalties or indebtedness beyond this fiscal year,” said Owens.

Jessie questioned whether the monies pulled for this purpose from the Highway Department funds would be considered part of the ‘maintenance of effort.’

Estep said the leases would constitute only capital expenditures.

The amendment failed by a vote of 17 to three.

The original resolution was then adopted by a vote of 19 to one. Keck voted against the measure.

Included in the equipment will be the purchase of a Caterpillar CB14B Roller, at a cost of $26,085, and a Caterpillar 420F Backhoe at a buyout price of the original four year lease agreement of $34,511.

The department will also lease a Caterpillar 308E2 Excavator for three years at a cost of $142,802. This lease carries a 2.49 percent interest rate.

During the opening moments of the meeting, commissioner James Hatmaker made a motion to retain David Mundy and Mike Campbell as the chairman and vice-chairman of the board.

The commission unanimously approved the motion.

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

County to mull new trash legislation

By Jan Runions

[email protected]

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