PROPERTY COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
10 FEBRUARY 2022
Chairman Tracy Wilburn opened the meeting asking Tommy Pollard to offer the prayer and lead the pledge. Minutes of 10 January 2022 were moved for approval by David Adams and seconded by Larry Worsham. Minutes approved.
First item on agenda – Hay Lease. County Executive Melissa Greene provided the following information on the county owned property at I-65, Exit 14: She had been contacted by an individual who wants to lease the property. She stated that the leasing of the property for hay harvesting could be advertised and as has been done in the past on other property would be on an annual basis with a renewal of a couple of years. The lease would also include a cancellation of the lease by either party, if desired. David Adams asked about the length of the contract and suggested the possibility of four years rather than the three years Melissa had suggested. After additional discussion on the acreage, (31 ½ acres with 4-5 acres not usable) the timing of the contract for 3 years was more supported. A motion by Roger Reedy and seconded by Harold Brooks to pursue the lease, by advertising, for three years was approved.
Second Item on agenda – The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) Room. Melissa said based on previous discussion she had met with the UDC Giles County President Cathy Wood and other members as well as Lucy Henson, County Attorney. She complimented the group on their willingness to work with the county on a subject that could seem controversial. They agreed to remove the items to another location so as to have no county issues. However, questions have been raised on how the TN Heritage Protection Act covers five paper items and one door with a confederate insert. Case in point one document speaks to memorials, and the door had been placed in that location by a dedication ceremony. Per Lucy a waiver may have to be requested for all items, or may through a phone call to the state exempt the county from a waiver requirement on the documents. Lucy did not see that happening with the door and expects a waiver will be required. Processing a waiver, per Lucy, is extensively time consuming, e.g. 180 days. Currently the Grand Jury meets in the courthouse annex, with deliberations happening in the courtroom (all others leave), and there is not enough other rooms in the courthouse itself for all to happen there. Lucy said she would be calling the state this afternoon to discuss the documents and whether a waiver would be required for them, or not. If no waiver is required, she would provide that information to the County Executive and the removal of the items could happen within a short period of time. Discussion followed about: questions about where does this type discussion stop, e.g. Sam Davis statue viewed from window; what’s included in a waiver (per Lucy shouldn’t be a problem since a previous court case stated the items were in violation of the constitution as they are in a county courthouse, and another case already in process); other solutions mentioned such as cover all up, but Lucy felt certain a Judge would probably be cautious and not approve that solution; questions about removing the glass insert in the door, or removing the whole door and providing to the UDC were discussed, especially from a cost standpoint on a more historical door, which is oversized. A motion was made for the UDC to remove all items except the door at this time was made, however until Lucy can provide feedback from the state, that motion was amended. Cathy Woods asked that an agreement with the county be made in writing and notarized for the movement of any of the items and that also be included in the conversation with the state. Having both the county and the UDC in agreement should further the conversation with the state, per Lucy. A Motion by Gayle Jones and seconded by David Adams that the UDC may remove the items ASAP, in keeping with the Heritage Act and the state’s determination. A question on where the items would be relocated could not be answered by the UDC at this time, only that they would be in a museum.
Next Agenda Item – the Campbellsville spring property for a UT-Southern classroom. County Executive Melissa Greene stated she had met with the University two times to discuss the use of the property for education purposes. She further stated this was not a “selling discussion”, and that the university had been trying for years to get permission to use property in Giles County for this purpose. Shana Hanes, UT-Southern, who is an Assistant Professor of Biology, spoke on conservation, their current efforts in cleanup of waterways, and how excited she was to see such a virtually untouched area for her students to study. Judy Cheatham, Provost and vice President for Academic Affairs, spoke on their relatively new Ag Program, and how the use of the spring property would give the university some opportunities not available on the campus. Questions about what might be built for this effort, e.g. a gazebo, were raised with concerns about having to remove sometime in the far future were raised, and Roger Reedy mentioned previous interest in the spring property had been self-centered. He saw this as an opportunity for education purposes and preserved – an outside shelter could be addressed when it might come up. The question of insurance liability was raised by David Adams, and Melissa answered with the county already has umbrella coverage on all county property and the UT-Southern representatives said they are liable for their students and generally they are required to sign waivers. A motion by Roger Reedy, seconded by Larry Worsham, to proceed in the next steps to bring together partnerships with UT-Southern for the spring property. Per Melissa there would be no charge for the use of the property (potentially two times a semester), and per Judy Cheatham the University could look at things for the county, for example in testing and that would be at no charge to the county. The motion was approved. Per Melissa this will not go to the full commission next meeting due to some of the paperwork being developed, processed. She expected this to go to the full commission is one to two more months.
Other business – Melissa mentioned the animal shelter and the desire to pour some concrete and do some fencing. This is based on some of the spaying and neutering requiring stitches and for need of a ground covering so as to not infect the animals. The cost is approximately $7K-10K and is part of the budget already. She did comment that most of the surgery is funded through donations.
Additional Business – Gayle Jones asked about discussions with the Baptist Association of the potential purchase of their property for ambulance service relocation. Melissa said the Association had met with a 19-12 vote to negotiate only. The next vote would be after the negotiation for selling if they so desire to do so. Melissa mentioned that some engineering services would be required to make the property usable for the county, if purchased. A question on completion of the contract at the airport was raised but there was no new information on that.
David Adams motioned for adjournment. Gayle Jones seconded. Motion approved.
ATTENDEES: Chairman Tracy Wilburn, Larry Worsham, Harold Brooks, Gayle Jones, David Adams, Joyce Woodard, Roger Reedy Other Commissioners Erin Curry, Duane Jones, Rose Brown, Tommy Pollard, Joseph Sutton, Judy Pruett, Rodney Journey, Stoney Jackson, Brad Butler (by Zoom – Mike Cesarini and David Wamble) Other County Executive Melissa Greene, County Attorney Lucy Henson, UDC Cathy Woods and other members, and UT-Southern Shana Hanes, Judy Cheatham