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Hawkins to use savings in facilities budget to complete roof, ADA entrance

Jeff Bobo • May 12, 2020 at 2:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County facilities manager Sarah Davis asked the County Commission’s Public Buildings Committee (PBC) on Monday to let her use part of $114,802 in spending cuts she enacted this fiscal year to address some overdue projects.

Among those projects are a new roof for the Church Hill Health Department building, restoring the H.B. Stamps Public Library’s reading room, and the last of the required ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) upgrades, which must be in place by 2023.

Last year the County Commission approved $936,157 in the 2019-20 fiscal year budget for public facilities, but is projected to spend $821,157 — coming in $114,802 under budget.

On Monday, Davis presented the PBC with a 2020-21 proposed facilities budget of $845,977, which is $90,180 less than was approved for the current fiscal year.

“I’ve got that money spent”

But Davis was quick to point out that her proposed budget doesn't include any additional capital outlay projects.

When asked about turning those savings back in to the county coffers, Davis told the committee, “I’ve got that money spent”.

Davis' proposed 2020-21 public buildings budget shows several spending reductions, including most notably $33,000 from the contract services line item, and $16,000 in phone/Internet communications savings.

On Monday, the PBC approved Davis' request to transfer a total of $18,000 from the communications line item, and $30,000 for the contracted services line item, to the building improvements line item.

Davis noted that some of those transferred funds will be combined with $50,000 already budgeted to replace the roof at the Church Hill Health Department. The contractor who replaced the Rogersville Health Department roof offered a rough estimate on the cost of Church Hill's roof at $70,000.

More projects proposed for 2020-21

In addition to the Church Hill Health Department roof Davis plans to use those savings on the following projects:

In the Administration Building (county mayor's offices) the side entrance and ramp will be upgraded to meet ADA requirements for approximately $25,000.

Another $7,524 would be used to install two additional security cameras and an intercom so that the side door where the ADA entrance is located can remain locked.

The restoration of the H.B. Stamps Library front “reading room.” The county shares the library expense with Rogersville, and the county portion of that project is approximately $15,000.

Converting one of the existing public restrooms in the Administration Building into a unisex ADA accessible restroom for $2,600.

Justice Center’s leaking roof

The county has received an estimate of $817,000 to replace the roof on the Hawkins County Justice Center, which had 10 leaks in 2018-19, and another 18 leaks in the first seven months of 2019-20.

The roof is 10 years old and has a 15-year warranty. That project is on proposed list of 2020-21 projects.

Davis said the roof warranty representative and a roofing contractor inspected the roof last week, and she hasn’t yet received their report.

Other pending projects which are on the 2020-21 schedule, but aren’t yet budgeted, include $197,296 to pave the Justice Center parking lot; $123,880 to complete the Laurel Run Park shoreline erosion project (possible grant application and TVA assistance); $30,000 to put a new roof on the Airport Terminal (pending grant application); and $21,500 to modernize HVAC controls at the Courthouse, which is estimated to save $10,00 annually.

An additional part-time employee

The county maintenance department is budgeted for two employees, although it currently only has one. Mayor Jim Lee requests an additional $13,650 to help pay for a new-part time maintenance employee who would work up to 1,300 hours for $10.50 an hour.

The committee voted 5-2 in favor of Lee's request, with committee members Charlie Thacker and Raymond Jessee voting no.

“I think this person is needed,” Thacker said. “The only thing is, I don't know what our revenue is going to look like.”

All of the PBC’s actions on Monday will be forwarded to the Budget Committee for further consideration to be included in the county’s overall 2020-21 budget.

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