On Thursday the Sullivan County Commission approved a nearly $184.5 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, keeping last year’s tax rate of $2.55 and balanced with nearly $7.3 million worth of fund balances.
BLOUNTVILLE — When does recess mean accomplishing a challenging task? When it happens at the Sullivan County Commission. At least on occasion. And one of those occasions came on Monday.
BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Commission is expected to be asked to vote up or down Monday on allowing the school system to use $4.8 million of its estimated $11 million general fund balance to pay for athletic fields at West Ridge High School. The school is scheduled to open fall of 2020.
“If we don’t have some kind of program in place, we are contributing to our own problem,” Commissioner Angie Stanley said.
Sullivan County commissioners will have to “start juggling things around” to balance a 2018-2019 budget without property tax increase. Each penny of the property tax rate is projected to generate $372,439 for the current budget cycle. That equals about $239,000 in new money for the county’s general fund under the current tax rate.
Last week, Sullivan County voters elected a 100 percent Republican county commission. Or did they? Are all 24 commissioners Republican enough? That question seems to be the impetus for the creation of a Republican Caucus of the Sullivan County Commission
Incumbents who survived primaries in May win reelection, but majority of commission will be new come September.
KINGSPORT -- Here's how it looked at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium Friday morning as the first day for early voting in the Sullivan County General Election and Tennessee Primary Election got underway.
Multiple members of the public who spoke against funding the new road said the county needs to abandon the school project, period.
Sullivan County is building a new 1,700-student high school off Interstate 81’s Exit 63 on a site accessible only by winding, hilly two-lane roads.
The new location, on Wilcox Court, is about a half mile from the present EMS station off Wilcox Drive near Industry Drive. That means response times should be similar after the move.
TDOT identifies “basically two options” for design of the road from Highway 357 to the site of the Lynn Road school, projected to open in about two years off Interstate 81’s Exit 63.
“It looks like this is in the county commission’s lap,” County Mayor Richard Venable said. “It’s in the commission’s hands now and we know what the school board thinks about it.”
If it ever comes to a vote, the proposal to go forward with building a new road to provide better access to the new school will need a simple majority to gain approval.
Commissioner Sherry Grubb is primary sponsor of the resolution. And until a few days ago, her co-sponsor was Commissioner Mark Vance. But at the commission’s work session last week, Vance asked that his name be removed.