Lisa Atnip


Farm Service Agency to Host Two Informational Meetings

January 24, 2020

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency, has announced that the DeKalb-Cannon County Farm Service Agency is hosting two Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC)/Price Loss Coverage (PLC) informational meetings at the following dates, times, and locations:

Thursday, January 30, 2020 1pm- 2pm Smithville USDA Service Center
647 Bright Hill Rd, Smithville, TN. 37166

Friday, January 31, 2020 1 pm- 2pm Woodbury Lions Club
634 Lehman St, Woodbury, TN. 37190

These meetings are intended to provide producers with information to help them make a choice between the ARC and PLC programs.

Signup is underway for the 2019 and 2020 ARC/PLC programs. The deadline to make program elections and enroll for 2019 is March 15, 2020. The enrollment deadline for 2020 is June 30, 2020.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in these meetings should contact Donny Green at 615-597-8225, Ext. 2, or Federal Relay Services at 1-800-877-8339.
These meeting are free and open to the public and will provide an overview of the 2018 Farm Bill ARC/PLC program election and enrollment process.

Shannon Cantrell and the DeKalb County Assessor’s office have been recognized with 2019 Three Star Certification from the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers

January 24, 2020

DeKalb County Assessor of Property, Shannon Cantrell, was presented the 2019 Three Star Certification before the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers at the fall regional seminars. The certificate was presented on behalf of the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers by the executive director, Will Denami.

“The Three Star Certification is a professional standard of operations recognized by the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers. The certification represents an operational analysis for compliance in the numerous standards monitored by the division of property assessments, as well as, a demonstrated commitment to continuing education. Shannon Cantrell’s focus on maintaining best practices and increasing professional development is serving the citizens of DeKalb County well,” said Will Denami.

“The mass appraisal industry undergoes changes on an annual basis. To do a good job, you have to commit to learning every day. We have a good team in the DeKalb County Assessor’s office, and I am humbled to serve as Assessor. Our goal is to make sure all taxpayers are treated fairly and equitably,” said Shannon Cantrell.

The Three Star Certification is an annual certification process where each office of the Assessor of Property is independently reviewed for technical compliance by the Comptroller’s division of property assessments. Each office must successfully complete the monitoring process and complete the necessary continuing education requirements for the Assessor of Property. Once the standards are met, the Assessor of Property submits application to the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers for verification.

The Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers (TNAAO) is a professional organization composed of the elected officials serving as Assessors of Property in Tennessee. The TNAAO’s purpose is to work on behalf of the people of our great state to ensure fairness and uniformity in statutes regarding the assessment of property, as well as, to promote excellence through best practices and professionalism amongst those charged with this vital task.

County Commission Seeks More Specifics from Board of Education on Proposal for New Schools

January 24, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Don’t expect the county commission to act on funding for new schools anytime soon.

During a committee of the whole meeting Thursday night, the county commission made it clear that more specifics are needed from the Board of Education on its plan for new school construction before moving forward on a funding request.

Earlier this month Director of Schools Patrick Cripps delivered a letter on behalf of the school board to County Mayor Tim Stribling and the County Commission making a request for funding of at least a minimum of $48,685,000 to build 2 Pre K-8 schools and to make renovations to Northside Elementary converting it a Pre K-8. “ We are seeking your approval of funding to proceed with land purchase and the school building project,” said Cripps in the letter.

County Mayor Stribling placed the board’s request on the agenda for Monday night’s regular monthly county commission meeting.

“The reason I put this on the agenda is to see if the commission wants the budget committee to look at funding and determine exactly what it is going to cost for what they (school board) want,” said County Mayor Stribling at Thursday night’s meeting.

“My question is what is this? They (school board) need to come up with something official. They need to give us figures with a breakdown of what the schools are going to cost and where they are going to put them. They are asking us to make a decision for them,” said Commissioner Bruce Malone.

Although the board’s request is for a minimum of $48 million the actual cost could be exceedingly more.

“Our (county commission) only role is to decide whether we want to issue a bond. If we were to issue a bond of $52, 750,000 on 25 years our debt payment would be a minimum of about $3 million a year depending upon the interest rate at the time of issuance,” said County Mayor Stribling.

Available money or new revenue needed to pay off that debt is also something the county commission must consider.

The county is already paying debt on other bond issues including for expansion of DeKalb West School and for school energy conservation work done by Johnson Controls several years ago and for the purchase of the county complex and post closure of the landfill. Those debts are expected to be paid off by 2025 and 2029.

“It seems to me if we are to decide whether to issue a bond we need to know what we are issuing it for. We need more information than a one paragraph statement (from the school board) that says we are requesting $48 million dollars. My thought is let’s not rush anything. Let’s get together and talk,” said Commissioner Dr. Scott Little.

Commissioners Anita Puckett, Sabrina Farler, and Beth Pafford suggested that the board’s request should at least be sent to the budget committee for further study.

“We know schools are going to be coming when they (school board) find the land,” said Commissioner Puckett. “Should we not start looking at ways to raise revenue because we know it’s coming?”

“My concern is we have all (county commission and board of education) waited over a year and nothing has been done and (construction) prices have gone up,” said Commissioner Pafford. “I can’t tell you how much our county can afford to spend on schools. My concern with waiting is it continues to get pushed down the road. I wonder if referring this to the budget committee for them to study and find out what we can do is something that we should do”.

“The problem is this request is open ended. It is not specific enough. I think its in the county commission’s best interest and the school board’s best interest for it to be rejected for lack of information. That word “minimum” in reference to their request for $48 million is a big word. We don’t do open checkbooks. We do specific financing. For us (budget committee) to meet and discuss this would be a waste of time. If you send this back to them (school board) and let them know it is insufficient they will provide us with the details,” said Commissioner and Budget Committee Chairman Dennis Slager.

Commissioner Janice Fish-Stewart suggested  the commission send a letter to the Board of Education that is supportive but seeks more information.

“I think we need to be very specific in our response to the school board. I think we should draft a letter and tell them that the county commission stands ready and willing to entertain their request for funding but in order for us to do so we need a specific request for funding with a building plan and for land. If there is no land we have nothing to talk about. We need to know where the land is, where the schools are going to be built, what they are going to build, and how they are going to build them. We need a plan and a quote that says we need “x” number of dollars and then let the budget committee and county commission consider it. We don’t want to play games and we don’t want our constituents to believe or even think that we are not interested in schools. We need to get serious and we need to say nothing to them (school board) that indicates that we don’t have an interest in schools. That’s the worst thing we could do for ourselves and the image of this commission,” said Stewart.

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