Weakley County Commission Applies for Grant Funding for Broadband Expansion in Rural Areas

Weakley County Commissioners approved several items during Monday night’s meeting, including a resolution forming a new standing committee dealing with opening, changing or closing roads not maintained by any other governmental entity.

BY DAVID FISHER

david@dresdenenterprise.com

DRESDEN (September 21) — The Weakley County Commission approved several resolutions, appointments and reports, during its regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 21, which was held in the Seminar Room at the Weakley County Personal Development Center.

The Commission approved a resolution authorizing West Kentucky and Tennessee Telecommunications Cooperative (WK&T) to submit an application to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant for $2 million. The grant is to provide broadband access to an unserved area of Weakley County. The cooperative and Weakley County will match those funds, making the grand total invested approximately $6 million.

Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum stated Weakley County has also applied for a $2 million federal grant for the same purpose. In this manner, it is hoped either the federal or state grant will be approved. Since Weakley County only wishes to obligate itself to contribute $2 million for its share of the grant at this time, if both grants are approved, whichever grant is approved first will be accepted and the other declined.

Commissioners approved a resolution creating a procedure for opening, changing and closing of public roads not maintained by any other governmental entity. Since Weakley County has no regional planning commission, the resolution provides a legal procedure to open, close and change county roads. The resolution, which requires a two-thirds majority to become effective, calls for establishing a standing committee comprised of five county commissioners selected by the chair of the county legislative body each year. The committee shall operate for the sole purpose of considering applications to open, change or close county roads and for no other purpose.

The resolution increases the number of members serving on the Weakley County Library Board from seven to nine. The three new members filling these seats are: Linda Winstead, Angie Hewett and Aldo Aguilar. The seven current members are: chairman – Bettye Legons, vice chairman – Lisa Morgan, treasurer – Julie Cooper, Joyce Haworth, Anna Clark, Kenneth Irvine, Thomas L. Moore and Nancy Hinds.

The purpose of the Library Board is to direct the affairs of the library system, including the appointment of a librarian and such assistants. The resolution stipulates “the County Library Board shall consist of nine members appointed by the county legislative body for a term of three years. Not more than one official of the county legislative body may serve on the board. The members shall serve without salary. Board members may serve two consecutive terms and may be reappointed after a minimum three-year break in service.”

The Commission also approved several financial resolutions. A couple of them deal with the General Purpose School Fund; another focuses on Special Education; others involve the Weakley County Highway Fund, Library Fund and Election Commission. (See article “Finance, Ways And Means Budgets COVID Grant Funding” for a detailed description of the financial resolutions.)

Under new business, the Weakley County Commission approved the following:

  • A Fiscal Strength and Efficient Government Fiscal Confirmation Letter to meet the ThreeStar Program requirements for Weakley County Chamber of Commerce.
  • County Coroner Rick Workman’s official statutory bond with term beginning September 1, 2020, and ending September 1, 2021.
  • Weakley County Surplus Auction items listing www.weakleycountytn.gov

Under elections, appointments and confirmations, the Commission approved the following actions:

County Mayor Jake Bynum was reappointed chairman of the Weakley County Commission.

Commissioner Dennis Doster was elected chairman pro-tempore.

Some of the commissioners were moved from one committee to another as follows:

  • Commissioner Steven J. Totty was appointed to serve on the Health, Education and Economic Development (HEED) and Public Safety committees.
  • Commissioner Mary Beth VanCleave was appointed to the Finance, Ways and Means; and Public Works committees.
  • Commissioner Gary Eddings was moved from the HEED Committee to the Finance, Ways and Means Committee.
  • Commissioner Colton Nanney moved from Finance, Ways and Means to HEED.
  • Commissioners Dale Overton, Eric Owen and Eddings were reappointed to the Weakley County Beer Board.
  • Wendell Verdell was appointed to the Weakley County Board of Public Utilities to fill the unexpired term of a former board member. Ronnie Bates was also nominated to the position, but Verdell had the most votes.

The next regular Commission meeting is Monday, November 16, 2020, at 5:30 p.m.

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