During the Cheatham County Commission’s April 20 meeting via web teleconference, members voted eight to four to defer a vote on a resolution that would put a proposal for liquor-by-the-drink sales in the county before voters in the General Election in November. After much discussion by commissioners, District One Commissioner Gary Binkley proposed the delay until the general public could attend and voice their opinions about the measure.
Commissioners Chris Gilmore, Connie Mayo, Donnie Jordan, and Walter Weakley voted against the deferment while Binkley, Diana Lovell, Ann Jarreau, Tim Williamson, David Anderson, Eugene Evans, Randy Liles, and Ed Greer voted for the deferment.
Commissioners also discussed social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures for attendees of county public meetings, which were expected to resume in May after Governor Lee’s announcement of phased reopening. Further discussion is expected before the next regular commission meeting on May 18.
County Mayor Kerry McCarver updated the commission on the status of CARES Act funds used by the county, and of about $809,000, about $800,000 remained, which could possibly be used for updating county facilities’ lighting and HVAC systems.
Members approved a resolution for the county to withdraw from a state retirement program contracted out to Empower, a Colorado-based company, which is not associated with the county’s retirement program. McCarver said that eight county employees had signed up for the program about a year ago, and the county had learned in the fall that funds needed to be deducted from each employee’s paycheck. The mayor explained “the county was not liable for payments that we did not know we were supposed to be withdrawing,” and that the eight in the program can cash out and go to another program without any taxes incurred or they can get their money back.
Commissioners revisited the discussion over a new transportation complex for the school system with Cheatham County Schools Director Cathy Beck, and potentially moving forward on the plans, with more discussion scheduled for the May commission meeting.
Members discussed the potential renovation of the Tucker – Empson Building into the Sheriff’s Office, with more discussion planned for future meetings.
Commissioners approved a contract with Mobley Lawn Care for grass cutting for county properties, including two fire halls at Petway and Two Rivers.
In other business, B. J. Hudspeth was officially named the new Cheatham County Emergency Medical Services Director. Hudspeth had served as interim EMS director since the former Director Danny Shaeffer resigned earlier this month.