ROGERSVILLE – The Hawkins County ad hoc committee meeting on May 12 to determine the wisest way to spend $ 11.1 million in federal stimulus funding now has an additional $ 509,000 to work with.
Hawkins County Mayor Jim Lee returned from Nashville last week with some good news from the governor’s office.
Governor Bill Lee last week announced to a group of northeast Tennessee County mayors his plan to allocate $ 100 million as part of his direct grant for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the local government for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Governor Lee originally offered $ 200 million in infrastructure grants, but in light of the federal stimulus funding cities and counties are receiving, he has agreed to cut that spending in half.
Each county would receive an allocation of $ 250,000, with additional funding based on population as of July 1, 2019. In Hawkins County, this amounts to $ 509,858.
Other allocations proposed for northeast Tennessee include $ 974,615 for Sullivan County; $ 842,032 for Washington County, $ 547,144 for Hamblen County; $ 566,066 for Greene County; $ 508,050 for Carter County; $ 331,834 for Unicoi County; $ 331,399 for Johnson County; and $ 565,984 for Hancock County, which receives a higher allowance than its population demands because it is a struggling county.
The only restriction for these funds is that they cannot be used for recurring expenses such as salaries.
Hawkins County EMA Director Jamie Miller last week reported to the County Commission Public Safety Committee that only one bid had been received for the impending emergency radio system replacement project. county on the three antenna sites. This offer must be approved by the state before reaching the County Commission for approval.
Mayor Lee told The Times News on Monday that he hoped the commission would choose to use the local government’s direct recovery and reconstruction grant funding to meet other emergency radio needs in the county.
“The funds budgeted by the governor should be used to purchase all portable and mobile radios for the public security services,” said Mayor Lee. “This would complement the new repeater system that we are about to build and which will be purchased with a grant from CDBG. Some of these radios are over 20 years old. “
The ad hoc committee appointed by Budget Committee Chairman Mike Herrell meets on May 12 at 6 p.m. to begin discussing the best uses of the $ 11.1 million in federal stimulus funding Hawkins County will receive in 2021 -2022.
Mayor Lee said Monday he also had some suggestions for federal funding.
“I would love to see the county buy a truck and hire a full-time waste control officer,” Mayor Lee said. “This officer could also work with inmates in prison, if necessary. The waste problem in Hawkins County is spiraling out of control. This officer could also investigate illegal landfills and prosecute violators in court. “
Mayor Lee added, “We need to strengthen our fire, EMS, EMA and rescue team. Some of these departments are in desperate need of new equipment. We have to invest money in the homelessness and drug problem that we have in Hawkins County, and the money that is left over is to be put into the general fund for future needs.