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Smithville Aldermen Say No to Water and Sewer Rate Increases

June 15, 2009
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night voted 5 to 0 to keep water and sewer rates at their current levels to start the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which begins July 1st.

The proposed 2009-2010 budget for the City of Smithville originally included an overall increase in water and sewer rates of 37%. The city's financial consultant Janice Plemmons Jackson told the aldermen in a workshop last Wednesday that the proposed increase was necessary since the city has not raised it's water and sewer rates in several years and revenues haven't kept pace with costs. According to Jackson, revenues have increased by 28% since 1999 but expenditures have risen by 77%. And while the city ended the 2007-08 fiscal year in the black by $330,384 in the water and sewer department, this year the city could be at a break even point or in the red. The actual net income or loss for the year apparently won't be known until after June 30th.

Jackson says if the water and sewer fund operates in the red for two years in a row, the state could force the city to raise rates to make the utility self supporting.
The alderman asked Jackson to figure the proposed overall rate increase at about 18% so they could make a cost comparison.

During Monday night's meeting, Alderman Tonya Sullivan presented a print out from Caney Fork Electric showing that total electrical usage at the water plant has increased by 31% since June, 2007 and that the average costs are up by 37% over the last two years. Sullivan says she believes this surge may be due to the inefficiency of the existing pumps.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson says officials of Wauford Engineering, who are designing plans for the rehab of the water plant, agree. "I have talked with Greg Davenport and he has come to the conclusion that these pumps may be using excess electricity because of their age. He is going to propose all new pumps instead of using rebuilt pumps. That may be where a lot of this is coming from."

Alderman Sullivan says she believes costs will come down once the water plant rehab is completed, so it may not be necessary to raise rates right now. "I don't think this is something that we need to jump to conclusions and start raising prices based on inefficient equipment. We are already in the process of replacing that equipment. If we repair or replace those pumps, I anticipate that we will continue to be in the black, as opposed to being borderline in the red.."

In response, Mayor Hendrixson said the savings may not be enough. " Greg (Davenport) thought that maybe the inefficiency would be no more than seven percent."

Mayor Hendrixson added that it's important to always have a little money left over from year to year in the water and sewer fund, and not run so close to the vest. "Just remember, over the years we've put a little extra money up (saved) every year, and now we've got the money to do (rehab) our water plant. Otherwise, we'd be floating bonds or borrowing money."

Alderman Willie Thomas made a motion that the water and sewer rates stay the same to start the new budget year, with no increases. Alderman Jerry Hutchins, Sr. seconded the motion. Aldermen Tonya Sullivan, Cecil Burger, and Steve White all voted in favor.

Alderman Sullivan pointed out that the city council could revisit the water and sewer rates at any time during the year "if numbers are not what we anticipate."

City water customers will continue to pay $3.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $3.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are 50% higher. The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District is $1.85 per thousand gallons but will increase to $1.90 for January 1st, 2010 sales.

City sewer customers, under the new budget, will continue to pay the flat usage rate of $3.62 plus $3.25 per thousand gallons thereafter.

The aldermen also voted 5 to 0 to keep the water and sewer tap fees at the same rate, even though Mayor Hendrixson said the fees are not sufficient to cover costs." According to everything I can find out, we're losing money on every tap we make, especially sewer taps."

Water tap fees in the proposed budget for 2009-2010 would have gone from $400 to $1,000 for a 3/4 inch line and from $400 to $800 for a four inch sewer line. Larger lines would have been $2,000 for water and $1,200 for sewer taps. Outside the city limits, water taps would have gone from $525 to $1,500 for 3/4 inch water lines and from $525 to $1,000 for four inch sewer lines. Larger lines would have increased to $2,500 for water and $2,000 for sewer taps.

Alderman Steve White initially made a motion to raise those fees as called for in the proposed budget, but his motion died for the lack of a second. Alderman Jerry Hutchins, Sr. then moved that the tap fees remain the same, without any increases and revisit it at a later date. Alderman Willie Thomas seconded the motion. Aldermen Tonya Sullivan, Cecil Burger, and Steve White all voted in favor.

Passage of the proposed 2009-2010 budget was postponed until Thursday night, June 18th at 6:30 p.m. at city hall. Alderman Sullivan said she needed more time to study the document and made a motion to put it off. The motion was adopted unanimously.

The budget includes a two percent pay raise for city employees and a five dollar increase per call for the volunteer firefighters, going from $15 to $20 per call.

In other business, Gary Durham addressed the mayor and aldermen complaining that the city administration decided to increase fees for backdoor garbage pickup from $10 to $25 per month without consulting the aldermen or seeking their approval. "If you want to raise it, that's not a problem, I think the method of your increase is a problem."

Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson says only a few residents subscribe to this service, mostly in the golf course area, and letters were sent, alerting them as to the increase. He says it was treated as a "day to day' operation matter. The aldermen took no action to reverse the decision so the increase will be imposed.

The aldermen voted 5 to 0 to adopt an ordinance on second and final reading amending the city's personnel policy to give city employees with ten consecutive years of service a three week vacation with pay.

The amendment states that "after ten years of consecutive service of full time officers and employees, there will be three weeks of paid vacation."

During the public hearing on this issue, former Smithville Mayor Waniford Cantrell asked that similiar consideration be given to the volunteer firefighters, perhaps in the form of "payment in lieu of vacation."

Cantrell said while city employees have received regular pay raises over the years, firefighters have not had an increase since he was mayor 25 years ago. "We've gone 25 years without giving them anything. All of our employees have been getting their step raises and cost of living raises while our firemen keep coming for $15 per call and on a two hour call that's not even paying them minimum wage. I'm concerned that we're not treating them right. That's shameful."

Mayor Hendrixson pointed out that the proposed budget for 2009-2010 includes an increase in pay for the firefighters.

The aldermen also voted 5 to 0 to adopt an ordinance amendment on second and final reading establishing a flat rate court cost of $85.00 for the Smithville City Court.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson says "the city currently has court costs ranging from $20 to $95. Most towns around us have gone to a flat court cost. This ordinance proposes an $85 court cost straight across the board. It just simplifies the court costs and the record keeping."

The ordinance states as follows: Whereas, the Municipal Court Reform Act of 2004 allows cities to set and collect reasonable municipal court costs in the amounts prescribed by ordinance;

Whereas, the City of Smithville has determined that it is necessary to establish reasonable court costs for the City Court.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Smithville, as follows:

Section 1. The following section is hereby amended:

In all cases heard and determined by him, the city judge shall impose court costs in the amount of $85.00.

One dollar of the court costs in each case shall be forwarded by the court clerk to the state treasurer to be used by the administrative office of the courts for training and continuing education courses for municipal court judges and municipal court clerks. The above amount does not include the $13.75 litigation tax levied by the State of Tennessee.

An ordinance was approved on second and final reading levying a litigation tax for the City of Smithville

Mayor Hendrixson says "On every case that goes before our city court, there's a state litigation tax of $14.75 which goes to the State of Tennessee. Our clerk has to send it to the state. DeKalb County and, as far as I know, everyone around us, has their own litigation tax. It's only people that break the laws of the City of Smithville, who will be paying this, it won't be your taxpayers. It's just a way to help operate the police department without raising taxes on the taxpayers. It will be an additional $13.75 city litigation tax."

The ordinance states as follows: Whereas, Public Chapter 488 of the Public Acts of 1981, which imposed a state litigation tax, has been interpreted by opinions of the State Attorney General as allowing cities to levy a litigation tax in the same manner as the litigation tax now levied by state law in an amount not to exceed the amount of such state litigation tax; and

Whereas, the City of Smithville does not impose a litigation tax as authorized by law and desires to levy such a tax to help pay for court and police related expenses; and

Now therefore, be it ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Smithville that:

Section 1. Effective on the first day of each month following passage of this ordinance, a city litigation tax shall become effective as follows;

On cases in the city court there is hereby levied a city litigation tax to match the state litigation tax of $13.75

Section 2. The privilege taxes levied pursuant to this ordinance shall be paid to the City Recorder monthly to be used to assist in paying for the operation of the city court and the police department.

Section 3. This ordinance shall become effective on the first day of the month following the final passage of this ordinance."

Child Found Floating in City Swimming Pool Sunday Recovering at Vanderbilt Hospital

June 15, 2009
Dwayne Page

A three year old child, found floating in the city swimming pool Sunday afternoon, is recovering today (Monday) at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville.

Kadee Griffith, daughter of Chris and Jennifer Griffith, has been taken off the respirator and is alert and responsive, according to her father.

Chris Griffith told WJLE by telephone Monday morning from the hospital that he, Kadee, and his seven year old daughter were at the Smithville Municipal Pool Sunday afternoon attending a friend's birthday pool party when the incident occurred around 4:38 p.m.

Griffith says he doesn't know what happened. One minute Kadee was standing near the pool, and moments later he looked around and saw her floating face down in the water. Griffith says he picked Kadee up out of the pool. She wasn't breathing.

Kim France, an RN, who was there began performing CPR on the child. Others also rendered assistance until DeKalb EMS arrived. In addition, Smithville Police Officer Scott Davis and members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene. A Life Force helicopter ambulance was summoned and landed at the golf course. Kadee was then airlifted and flown to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, where she remains hospitalized.

Griffith says Kadee has shown signs of improvement this morning (Monday). She has been talking and giving her parents hugs. No word yet on when she will get to come home.

Meanwhile, in his weekly update on crime news, Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that
21 year old Homer Anthony Petty II of Banks Pisgah Road was arrested on Monday, June 8th for driving on a suspended license. Petty's license was revoked for failure to satisfy a citation in Smith County on August 18th, 2008. Having knowledge that Petty's license was suspended, a deputy, while on patrol, stopped Petty's vehicle after spotting it on Short Mountain Highway. Petty's bond is $1,000 and he will appear in court on June 24th.

24 year old Joshua Rhyn Cripps of Hodges Road Smithville was arrested Wednesday, June 10th for possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond for Cripps was set at $3,000. A deputy, while on patrol in the northern part of the county, spotted a vehicle setting on the side of the roadway on Cookeville Highway. While the officer was talking to the driver, he spotted a bag of marijuana lying in the passenger side seat. A box was also found in the driver's side door pocket which contained a set of scales that is believed to have been used to weigh the marijuana.

53 year old Gary Wayne Stockton of Austin Bottom Road, Baxter was arrested Friday, June 12th and charged with driving under the influence and evading arrest. He was also issued citations for violation of the implied consent law and no tail lights. Bond for Stockton was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court June 25th. While on patrol in the eastern part of the county, deputies stopped a vehicle for a light law violation on Highway 70 at Johnson Chapel Road. Upon speaking with the driver, the deputy noticed that he had slurred speech and he was unsteady on his feet. After the man failed field sobriety tasks, officers asked him to submit to a blood alcohol test but he refused and then took off running. The man, Stockton, was caught a short distance down the road.

On Saturday, June 13th, deputies stopped a vehicle for a traffic offense on Highway 56 South and Old Blue Springs Road. The driver, 25 year old Claudie Dewayne Odom of Ash Avenue,. Cookeville was found to be driving on a suspended license. Odom's license was suspended for failure to file insurance after an accident he had in Putnam County on March 10th, 2008. Odom's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on July 23rd

On Sunday, June 14th deputies investigated a complaint about a theft where 45 year old Denise Ann Jauregui of Morgan Drive, Smithville went into a house on Short Mountain Highway, entered a bed room, and took $3,900 in cash from a wallet. Officers located Jauregui and she admitted to them that she had taken the money. Jauregui was arrested and charged with theft of property over $1,000. Her bond was set at $10,000 and she will appear in court on July 2nd. Deputies were able to recover $2,728 in cash from Jauregui.

Qualifying Deadline Thursday for Alexandria City Election

June 15, 2009
Dwayne Page

The Alexandria City Election will be held Thursday, September 3rd. A mayor and three aldermen will be elected that day. The positions are currently held by Mayor Ria Baker and Aldermen, Charles Griffith, Eddie Tubbs, and Tony Tarpley. The qualifying deadline for the election is noon on Thursday, June 18th at the DeKalb County Election Commission Office. Call 597-4146 for more information.

New Bildad Primitive Baptist to Celebrate 200 Years

June 15, 2009
Dwayne Page
New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church

It's one of the oldest churches in DeKalb County and this week, the congregation of the New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church is celebrating 200 years of service to the Lord.

Elder Ricky Arnold, pastor of the church, invites everyone to join them. "Starting this Thursday night, June 18th, the New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church celebrates it's 200th anniversary. The church was constituted in June 1809. It lettered from the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church, which is still in existence."

"The New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church has been in the Seven Springs-Keltonburg community for 200 years now. We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate and to thank God for His amazing Grace. In 200 years, the church has probably touched the lives of a lot of people and families that are here in DeKalb County. We'd love for those folks to come back and visit us."

"The church divided in 1854 and the church that became known as Old Bildad changed their original church covenant but the church that became known as New Bildad still holds the church covenant and the Articles of Faith from 1809 and we still practice and worship as they did 200 years ago. We have a rich history and we want to thank God for that."

Arnold says services will be Thursday and Friday nights starting with supper at 5:30 p.m. followed by services at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday morning service at 10:00 a.m. with lunch to follow; Saturday night supper at 5:30 p.m. followed by the service at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday morning service at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch. The invited speakers are Elders Michael Gowens, Ronald Lawrence, and Jeff Winfrey.

Amy Hollars Appointed Circuit Judge in 13th Judicial District

June 14, 2009
Dwayne Page
Judge David Patterson Administers Oath to Newly Appointed Judge Amy Hollars

Governor Phil Bredesen on Friday appointed Amy V. Hollars of Livingston to the Tennessee Circuit Court for the 13th Judicial District. Hollars will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of her father Judge John A. Turnbull. The 13th Judicial District is composed of Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White Counties.

"Amy Hollars has developed extensive civil trial experience in her career, and I'm confident her skills, education, and practice experience will serve her well in this capacity," said Bredesen. "I am pleased to appoint Amy to this seat, and I appreciate her willingness to serve the citizens of the 13th Judicial District."

Hollars previously served as a solo practitioner in Overton County as well as attorney for the City of Livingston from October 2007 through October 2008. She is a former partner in the Knoxville firm Hodges, Doughty, and Carson.

"I am honored to receive this appointment and appreciate the confidence Governor Bredesen has shown in me," Hollars said. "I look forward to working with the litigants, attorneys, and the public at large, and I will endeavor to do the work of a trial judge with integrity, fairness, and diligence."

Hollars was appointed as special circuit court judge for the 13th Judicial District by Governor Bredesen in October, 2008 after Judge Turnbull, submitted a notice of physical disability. Tennessee law provides a process for the appointment of a special temporary judge in the event sickness or disability prevents a state judge from carrying out his or her duties.

Turnbull, who has held the position since 1989, is stepping down from the bench, effective June 15th. He was last elected in 2006 and his term expires in 2014.

Hollars was one of three persons who applied for the position. The other two were Algood attorney Wesley Thomas Bray and Cookeville attorney and former Criminal Court Judge Lillie Ann Sells.

Hollars will serve until the next regular election, which is in 2010. The person elected then will serve out the remainder of Turnbull's term through 2014.

Hollars, 42, holds degrees from the university of the South and Vanderbilt University and received her Doctor of Juridpridence from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. She and her husband James Hollars have three children.

A look at the Tennessee Legislature

June 14, 2009
Terri Lynn Weaver
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

Greetings Folks of the Fortieth…
Well, summer is finally here and I for one am very excited! I am really looking forward to returning home and getting the opportunity to spend some quality time with the fabulous folks of the fortieth!

House passes legislation to encourage energy efficiency
This week the House considered legislation that would require international building codes be met for new home construction. The legislation would not affect every county in the state, as some counties already have more stringent requirements than what is stipulated in the bill. In addition to traditional building codes, the legislation also includes required energy conservation standards that would apply to new home construction.

We debated the bill at length on the House floor, where we shared concerns ranging from increasing the cost of new homes to taking away from the autonomy of local governments. Proponents of the measure said the legislation would make homes safer and more energy efficient, which would ultimately result in cost savings.

After several hours of debate, the legislation was amended to allow for local governments to opt out of the requirements. Each time a new county commission is installed the body will have to pass a resolution by two-thirds in order to opt out. The final version of Senate Bill 2300 passed with an 82 to 12 vote.

House to consider constitutional amendment giving Tennesseans the right to hunt and fish
House Joint Resolution 149 was read for the second time this week in the House, meaning it will be up for final consideration by the House next week. If passed by a 2/3 majority of the General Assembly, the constitutional amendment will appear on the ballot in a 2010 voter referendum. The constitutional amendment gives Tennesseans the right to hunt and fish.

The resolution states that, “hunting and fishing are a vital part of this state's heritage and economy and should be preserved and protected.” The sponsor has said that Tennessee has always enjoyed hunting and fishing as a leisure activity, and the amendment was necessary to clarify that Tennesseans have a constitutional right to pursue wild game that cannot be infringed upon the legislature, courts, or local authorities.

House, Senate pass menu labeling pre-emption
A bill that would bar some local entities from requiring nutritional labeling on menus has passed both the House and Senate. The legislation comes as other states, municipalities and cities are passing or considering laws that mandate chain restaurants put calories and other nutritional information on menus.

Lawmakers arguing in favor of the bill said that mandating chain restaurants to put certain nutritional information on menus places an unnecessary burden on restaurant owners in an already struggling economy and creates an atmosphere that is unfriendly to business owners. They also said that often, the laws are selective, targeting only large restaurant chains.

The legislation was amended to prohibit non-elected bodies from making the decision to require nutritional information on menus. It also specifies that if the federal government passes legislation requiring menu labeling and the federal action specifically authorizes state departments to enforce such action, then the Tennessee Department of Health will be the department that is primarily responsible for the implementation and supervision of the new requirements.

Also this week…
Two new nominees to the State Election Commission were confirmed on Wednesday in a joint legislative session of the General Assembly. The move to place the two members, Kent Younce of LaFollette and Judy Blackburn of Morristown, on the Commission honors a long-standing state law to give the majority party in the Tennessee General Assembly a one vote edge on the State Election Commission.

House Bill 250 passed the House this week, and creates an offense for any owner, occupant, or other person having a lawful right to the exclusive use of property to knowingly allow an underage adult to consume alcoholic beverages, wine or beer on such property.

House Bill 804 seeks to allow a parent that has been granted court-ordered visitation with their minor child or children who has been called to active duty military service, to petition the court for the temporary assignment of that parent’s visitation rights to a legal or biological relative or relatives. The petition must state the relative that the parent is requesting to maintain contact with the child during the parent’s absence and shall include a proposed visitation schedule with such relative. The bill, having now passed both the Senate and the House, is now on its way to the Governor for his signature.

In closing…
As the Senate remained in session on Friday, June 12 to take up budgetary matters, the House Budget Subcommittee is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to begin their discussions. Although we are hopeful session will adjourn for the year next week, both parties acknowledge that with an unprecedented budget shortfall wrapping up session next week may not be possible.

As always, I am so honored to represent each and every one of you! Please continue to keep me and the rest of the Legislature in your thoughts and prayers. Hope to see you all very soon! Blessings!

DeKalb Little League All Stars Announced

June 14, 2009
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's 2009 Little League All-Star teams and season award winners were announced during a special ceremony Saturday at the Little League Field.

Lance Ball received the Carter Braswell Most Valuable Player award for the Little League division, while Quenton Cook and Lee Randolph each won the award in Junior League and Minor League, respectively. Lane Ball won the Josh Reece Memorial Gold Glove award in Little League, while Brady Hughes won it in the Minor League division. Evan Curtis won the Josh Reece award in Junior League.

Braxton Howell received the Mike Williams Memorial Batting Champion award in Little League, as he hit .805 for the season. Casey Taylor won the Mike Williams award for the best average in Minor League, with a .587 average, while Dillon Roller, who hit .714 for the season, was the Junior League recipient.

The Eric Midgett Memorial Sportsmanship Awards went to Liberty State Bank in Junior League, Baker's Body Shop in Little League, and Love-Cantrell got the award in Minor League..

Southern Landscape & Supply won the Minor League championship for 2009 with a record of 15-0, while Rice's Tigers at 14-2 and DeKalb Community Bank at 10-6 won the league championships in Little League and Junior League, respectively. Taking second place were DTC Communications in Minor League, Center Hill Nursery in Little League, and DeKalb County Kiwanis Club in Junior League.

Named to the 9-10 year-old Minor League All-Star team were: Dylan Stover, Matthew Poss, Gentry Harpole, Lane Poss, Seth Whaley, Jordon Whitehead, Christian Pruitt, Adam Ferrell, Chandler Vinson, Brady Hughes, Casey Taylor, and Lee Randolph. The manager is Tim Jared and the coach is Ryan Hughes.

Members of the 10-11 year-old All-Star team include: Lane Davenport, A.J. Mooneyham, Jacob Washer, Sam McMillen, Cason Oakley, Noah Parsley, Matthew Judkins, Charlie Young, Austin Brown, and Caleb Stanley. The manager is Paul Rowland and Anthony Mooneyham is the coach.

DeKalb County will have two 10-under machine-pitch tournament teams. One team will consist of Jacob Lee Parker, Marshal Evins, Isaiah Jones, Derek Fish, Tyree Cripps, Tanner Poss, Brayden Hart, Noah Gill, Derek Young, Colter Norris, Logan Cornelius, Austin Johnson, and Luke Bryant. The manager is Jonathan Norris.

The other local machine-pitch tournament team is made up of David Herriott, Zach Stover, Luke Oliver, James Stephens, Grayson Redmon, Ethan Martin, Hunter Jennings, Cameron Usrey, Matthew Agee, Joshua Carton, Justin Washer, and Devin Zaderiko. The manager is Russell Oliver.

The 11-12 year-old All-Stars include: Lance Ball, Lane Ball, Corey Ferrell, Hunter Parkhurst, Trey Guinn, Ty Curtis, Justin Bone, Braxton Howell, Joe Driver, Aaron Patterson, John Roller, Nicholas Parsley, and Joey Moon. The manager is Joey Howell and the coaches are Ricky Guinn and Sherman Murphy.

The 13-14 year-old Junior League All-Star team consists of Steven Page, Stephen Howell, Evan Curtis, Evan Cripps, Deshon Reeder, Devin Summers, Jordan Huling, Dustin Cook, Seth Stanley, Nick Linder, Cody Harrell, Chase Hoke, and Brittany Murphy. The manager is David Summers and the coaches are Steve Page and Freddie Curtis.

The 15 & 16 year old All-Star team is made up of Jesse Sutton, Dalton Fish, Matthew Giles, Tyler Kent, McCullough Wallace, Tyler Caldwell, Lance Bennett, Casey Rowland, Destry Wiggins, Quenton Cook, Christopher Powell, Jacob Cripps, and Daniel Stanley. The manager is Donnie Rowland.

Omega Apparel Recognized for 15 Years in DeKalb County

June 13, 2009
Dwayne Page
Omega Apparel Recognized for 15 Years in DeKalb County
Omega Apparel Receives Chamber Milestone Award

Omega Apparel commemorated their 15th anniversary in DeKalb County Thursday during a luncheon at the 303 building downtown, Smithville.

County Mayor Mike Foster and Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson presented an appreciation plaque to company officials of Omega Apparel on behalf of the county and city governments.

Foster said "We really appreciate the industries that are here in DeKalb County, the jobs that they provide, and the strength they add to our local economy."

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce presented a Milestone Award to Omega Apparel.

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director, says "The Chamber would like to offer our appreciation
for the many jobs you provide. Congratulations, Omega!"

Omega Apparel produces military uniforms.

Top Picture: Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson, City of Smithville ; Richard Chase, Omega
President; Brian Roberge, Omega Chief Financial Officer; County Mayor
Mike Foster

Bottom Picture from Left:Suzanne Williams, Chamber Director; Richard Chase, Omega President; 15 Year Employees -- Jed Goodman, Mary Harris, Connie Jolley, Jean Shehane,
Margaret Parker (Patsy Goodman - not pictured); Brian Roberge, Omega Chief
Financial Officer

Webb Competes in Triathlon

June 12, 2009
Bryan Webb

Bryan Webb, grandson of Carl Lee and Ann Webb and Joe and Oleda Stone of Smithville, recently competed in his first Triathlon.

The Mach Tenn Triathlon was held on Saturday, June 6th at the Woods Reservoir Recreation Area at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma. The athletic competition consisted of a 0.6 mile swim, a 16 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. He completed the three challenging events in 2 hours and 54 seconds.

Bryan is the 24 year old son of Rick and Joanna Webb and is a Test Engineer with Aerospace Testing Alliance at the Arnold Engineering Development Center. He is currently a student at Tennessee Tech University pursuing his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Thermal Sciences.

School Board Approves Construction of New DCHS Football Field House

June 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night granted approval for the construction of a new field house for the high school football program.

Plans are to break ground in late fall or early winter on the new field house, which will be built with high school football and Jr. Pro funds.

Concerns arose late last month when Director of Schools Mark Willoughby received a legal opinion from an attorney for the Tennessee School Boards Association warning against possible violations of the federal Title IX law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

The major issue was whether building a new field house for the high school football program, even without school system funds, would constitute a violation of Title IX when there is no similar facility for girls soccer, for example.

Willoughby later contacted Cagle again for his legal opinion as to whether the school system would be in compliance with Title IX by allowing the girls soccer, middle school football, and Jr. Pro football programs to share use of the existing football field house during the fall sports seasons. Since neither of the teams play at the same time, each one could use the facility on their particular game day. Willoughby gave Cagle's response during Thursday night's meeting. "I was asked to get back in touch with our attorney and find out about the use of the old facility (field house) and if that could be used as a ladies soccer locker room, should that be necessary. The answer was yes. There would be a problem with it also being used with the middle school football and the girls soccer team, but that's the information you asked me to find out about and I found out about it. One thing I would just advise us to do is to make sure that all local, state, and federal guidelines are followed and to cross all T's and dot all I's with insurance, engineering, stamps of approval from the fire marshal and all that. I felt obligated to bring it to your attention on the Title IX issue and should that come up in a year or two years we'll end up dealing with it."

The board gave approval for the construction with some conditions. Darrell Gill of the Junior Pro Program said all those conditions will be met."One of the issues was moving the scoreboard. We will definitely move the scoreboard to the other end of the field where we feel like is best suited."

A couple of the others are making sure that we're up to codes with the fire alarms and that kind of stuff. Mr. Hart has already been in contact with the State Fire Marshal's Office and we're going to get our permits pulled through them and we'll be working with them on that and again Hall and Hart Construction will take care of that for us."

"The agreed upon start date? There's a lot of red tape. After you talk to the fire marshal, you talk to our local inspector, and he's been great to work with but there's things we've got to do locally. Mr. Hart has been speaking with the State Fire Marshal's Office, the architects, and stuff like that, so the time frame is going to be probably six to eight weeks out before all the red tape is taken care of, all the permits, and everything we need to even start breaking ground."

If it is approved tonight, our agreed upon start date would be a date in December, I hope, which would be our last football game because I plan on winning the state championship this year. No pressure! We need to focus on the football team instead of building this project right in the middle of the season. By the time we got our permits pulled, they'd be starting fall practice by the time we'd be breaking ground. Then we would have a construction site with thousands of people out there on Friday nights. That's not a good situation. So it would seem to be the best of everybody's interest if we postpone the breaking ground date until the end of the season. By October 1st, we should have all the permits pulled, we'll have the architect to sign off (on the project). We hope we could be in the building by spring practice, but we're planning for June 1st, to give us some cushion."

The new fieldhouse, a 50 x 70 foot block exterior structure with a metal roof, would be located near the existing facility between the practice field and playing field. It would be for the Tiger football program complete with a dressing room area, locker room, training room, utility room, showers and bathrooms, an office for the coach, and two dry storage areas, one of which would be for the youth football league.

In other business, Director of Schools Willoughby updated the board on personnel moves since last month.

Ashley Barnes, Guidance at DeKalb Middle School
Benita Byars, School Nurse
Heather Cornelius, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School
Pat Barnes, Teacher at DeKalb Middle School (retired)
Dr. Carol Hendrix, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12 (retired)

Leave of Absence:
Candice Scarbro, Teacher at DeKalb Middle School, as requested

Employed for 2009-2010:
Suzanne Williams, substitute bus driver

In other business, the board, at the request of Director Willoughby, voted to create a half time teaching position in health occupations at the high school in the proposed tentative budget for 2009-2010. Willoughby says the school system currently has a health occupations teacher but there is a need to expand the program. "In our health occupations (program), there has been an over abundance of requests for classes in the next school year." Willoughby says funds are available in the tentative budget for this positon.

The board, also at Willoughby's request, voted to change the special education secretary from an 11 month to a 12 month position. Willoughby says there are funds available in the federal programs portion of the budget to make this change.

Meanwhile, sealed bids are still being accepted for the sale of a new house, recently constructed by students in the DCHS Carpentry Class.

The original deadline for submitting sealed bids was Thursday, June 11th but no bids were received. The board, Thursday night, voted to extend the deadline to the next meeting date of Thursday, July 9th. A date for an open house will also be scheduled.

The house, located at 140 Evergreen Lane, Smithville, has approximately 1,652 square feet of living area with an attached 528 square foot 2-car garage, master bedroom with master bath and walk-in closet, utility room with half bath, kitchen with eating area, and downstairs den area. The upstairs includes two bedrooms, sitting room, and full bath, 12 x 20 deck, 2 central heat and air gas units, gas hot water heater, 5' x 22' front porch, concrete driveway, hardwood flooring in the living room and den area, tile in the bathrooms and kitchen, and carpet in the bedrooms.

The minimum bid is $140,000. Bids are to be mailed or delivered to the DeKalb County Board of Education,110 South Public Square, Smithville in a sealed envelope clearly marked as a "Bid" and will be received until 4:00 p.m. July 9th. The house can be viewed by appointment. Call the Board of Education to request a viewing at 615-597-4084.

The sealed bids will be opened at the next school board meeting at 7:00 p.m. on July 9th.


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