BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
10 JANUARY 2022
Chairman Erin Curry asked for a motion on the 1 November 2021 minutes. Roger Reedy moved they be approved with Larry Worsham seconding. Motion approved.
First agenda item: School BLI 141 Amendment just discussed in previous meeting – Judy Pruett moved for approval and with Larry Worsham seconding, the motion was approved.
Second agenda item: County 101 Amendment which addressed Archives donation, COVID grant, Planning Commission funding for assistance in Land Use Management, New vehicle for Animal Control (funds from sale of two older vehicles) no funding required/and placing $995 in donations into veterinarian services, Increase in General Sessions judge’s salary based on state direction, another grant for audio and sound system, and $550K for the OEM renovation from hotel/motel tax. In addition Beth Moore-Sumners discussed moving $1.398M from debt service LI to Probation LI because as soon as the judge signs, she will need to immediately write the check for the judgement. The Planning Commission’s request of $5K was questioned as to why now and was told required for some preliminary discussions with a known expert. David Wamble declared tying the hands of committee if don’t. Stoney mentioned on the judge salary increase that he had been in contact with CTAS about raising litigation cost to cover this additional salary requirement. Roger Reedy moved to approve the amendment with Judy Pruett seconding. Motion approved.
Third Agenda item: Internet – Melissa Greene had mentioned in the ARP planning session that the grant being pursued by county and PES appeared to be in conflict with an ongoing loan effort by the Ardmore Telephone Company. Both had representatives at the meeting with Scott Newton from PES and Trevor Bonnsetter and Stacy Riley from the Ardmore Telephone company to explain their respective approach. Scott discussed searching the website for any “competition” in the area chosen for the grant and finding none pursued the grant with the county as the responsible government entity submitting the grant. He indicated 90% of the funding would come from the grant and PES adding another 10% for the total effort (with no funding from county although the responsibility for the overall build of the service lies with the county). Even with the overlap of the Ardmore Telephone company he stated that a small breakeven point for PES and an estimated 44% uptake would still make the effort profitable. For the county’s overall liability, the grant would be on a cost reimbursable basis and on the build of the capability only, and not on in the future how many customers would avail themselves of the opportunity. Trevor Bonnsetter for the Ardmore Telephone company said they had filed a protest which may make the PES request null and void. From their viewpoint they had already invested in fiber optic across a significant piece of the proposed grant for PES and funding came from a USDA loan. Ardmore’s breakeven point is somewhat higher than PES due to PES’ in place poles. A question on whether we could cancel by not accepting the grant was raised as well as what happens if the RDOF is included (PES would not be included). After much discussion and a failed motion to pull the grant (5-2 vote with Erin Curry and David Wamble voting against), the decision was to let events continue to full Legislative body. In addition Melissa will meet with both PES and Ardmore Telephone to discuss how to get all of Giles County covered. Both PES and Ardmore expressed a desire to work together and to provide needed services to Giles County residents.
Old business – None
New Business – Melissa asked for approval to increase a previously approved $1M to $4.5M to go toward internet and other grant efforts, and expects to have more details in February. David Wamble made the motion to set aside the $4.5M to do preliminary efforts toward the grants, with Tim Risner seconding. Motion approved.
Roger Reedy and Tim Risner moved for adjournment. Motion approved.