A committee of the Jefferson County Quorum Court on Tuesday recommended allowing County Judge Booker Clemons to apply for a grant from the State Parks and Tourism department to pay for improvements to a community park at Tucker.
The Youth and Recreation Committee of the county’s legislative body made the recommendation even though District 13 Justice of the Peace Brenda Bishop-Gaddy, who represents the area, said she had not heard anything about the request before the resolution was included in the packet of proposed legislation sent to members of the court.
“I might have had some input because that is my area,” she said.
A representative from Tucker who attended the committee meetings Tuesday said that in previous years, the county road department cut the grass in the park area, but so far this year, area residents have taken on that job.
The proposed resolution requires that the county sign a contract agreeing to maintain the park and facilities for a period of 25 years — a condition that Justice of the Peace Dr. Conley Byrd questioned.
County Attorney Jackie Harris said the resolution, if adopted, is non-binding and when the grant is approved, the state will be able to provide more information on exactly what will be required from the county.
Byrd, who favored adoption of the resolution, said the county had a “moral obligation” to take care of the park.
In other business, a resolution endorsing Western Foods’ participation in the state’s Tax Back program was recommended for approval.
The company announced last year that it was going to open a facility in the former U.S. Sugar building in the Jefferson Industrial Park to establish a “gluten-free rice flour and ancient grain milling business.”
In July 2017, the Economic Development Corp., of Jefferson County, commonly known as the tax board, approved a $280,750 incentive for Western Foods, which will receive a $5,000 credit for each job created, up to 50 jobs within a five year period at a salary of $18 per hour plus benefits.
The tax-back program allows Western Foods to have the sales taxes they paid for construction and equipment to be refunded by the state.
Also Tuesday, a proposed $30,731 appropriation transferring funds from the juvenile court division to the FINS (Families in Need of Services) and Truancy division, along with an additional $1,200 transfer from the juvenile division fund to the Circuit Court Sixth Division Fund, was discussed.
In the case of the first transfer, the money will be used for teen court, juvenile drug court, other professional services, fuel, oil and lubricants and general supplies; in the case of the second transfer, the funds will be designated for training and education.
An ordinance dealing with an agreement to help cover costs associated with the cleanup and remediation of the recycling and tire shredding facility in the event that it were to be closed was tabled until next week. The ordinance is required by the state.
Harris said that after conversations with the State Department of Environmental Quality, the language dealing with requirements for the tire shredding facility have changed since the county last adopted a similar ordinance several years ago. He said he would be preparing new paperwork to match the required changes and present it prior to the regular meeting of the Quorum Court Monday.