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November County Commission Recap

This month’s County Commission meeting found unanimity across the board from changing the reappraisal cycle to handling the recent temporary closure of the Recycling Center.

The Commissioners Packet can be found here. Let’s take a look at what happened in this month’s commission meeting.

Five Year Re-Appraisal Cycle

At last month’s meeting, Paul Braden, Assessor of Property, and Mark Bolner, Director of Tennessee Property Assessor’s Office, presented the commission with information on moving from the county’s current six-year appraisal cycle to a five-year cycle. Lincoln County is in the minority of counties using a six-year cycle with 76% of other counties using either a four or five-year cycle.

Bolner laid out several advantages of the change, most notably that is keeps properties better in-line with current market values. Braden said, “We’ll get a much better grip on what’s going on” in the market. Right now, Braden’s office estimates that county properties will be 14% to 16% undervalued by the end of the year.

Both Bolner and Braden pointed out several times that re-appraisal doesn’t mean a higher tax rate. “The tax rate could even go down like it did in 2013,” said Braden. “I’d logically think it would happen this time as well.”

Commissioners had tabled that issue but brought it back up for debate at this month’s meeting. The change to a five-year cycle passed unanimously.

The Recycling Center

Commissioner Doug Cunningham updated the full County Commission on both short-term and long-term plans. The Commission approved Richardson Waste Removal to temporarily run the recycling operations.  Existing funding to the Center will be used to pay for that service.

Richardson Waste Removal aim to use the rest of this week to clean up the existing backlog of recyclables. Normal service resumes on Monday November 26th.

Longer term, county officials plan to continue work started at today’s meeting by exploring a range of options. The next meeting will be at the Solid Waste Committee meeting on December 4th at 5pm.

Bond Update

Finance director Cole Bradford presented the commission with an update on the $32 million bond approved last month. The county holds an AA3 rating, which indicates a solid financial position and leads to lower interest rates. After receiving 10 bids, the county chose the lowest true cost bid with a 3.67% interest rate.

The bonds were closed on November 16th and the money is in place to begin the school facility projects.

Other Voting Motions

The Commission voted unanimously on the following motions:

  • A resolution of respect honoring the memory of the late James (Jim) Kidd.
  • A proclamation honoring the memory of the late John Meadows.
  • The appointment of Vicky Hamilton to the Buffalo River Regional Board.
  • The appointment of Steve Guntherberg, Steve Spray, Kate Guin, Ben Brown, and Glen Douglas to the Law Enforcement Committee.
  • The appointment of Stephanie Britt and Mark Mitchell to the Adult Oriented Establishment Control Board.
  • The scheduling of a public hearing on December 18th at 5pm for public input on the proposed amendments in the Zoning Resolution and a rezoning request for Sunnyvale Investments, LLC. The rezoning request property is at 641 Old Huntsville Road and is being purchased by the commercial business next door for expansion plans.

With the Zoning Resolution amendments, those are changes to the fees involved with rezoning requests. The planning commission currently loses money with the current fee schedule. This amendment increases those fees to cover the current actual costs.

The full county commission meeting can be seen below. Mark your calendars for next month’s meeting on December 18th at 6pm.

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