Union County Commission

Eight absent at August meeting: Commission unable to perform duties

Commissioners ask Dr. James Carter about plans for the middle school and the colleges.

Only eight of the 16 commissioners attended the Union County Commission meeting on August 22. All in attendance will serve another four years except Commissioner Janet Holloway, who ended her term with this meeting. But the absence of the other commissioners who lost their seats but were still acting commissioners caused the county business to be postponed until September. Nine members present are needed for a quorum to take any action.

Union County Commission lowers tax rate to 1.5899

The Union County Commission took two meetings and over 20 votes before agreeing on a reduced tax rate of 1.5899. County Mayor Jason Bailey, partly recovered from a serious automobile accident in May, chaired the meeting. He urged and coaxed the commissioners to meet the July 1 deadline to submit the FY23 Budget to the state comptroller.

Commissioners concerned about impact of property reevaluation

The state's reevaluation of property stirred concerns over property tax increases by many commissioners at the Union County Commission meeting on May 23. Even though County Mayor Jason Bailey and the finance department proposed a balanced budget, questions arose regarding inflation, salaries, insurance, and taxes.
Commissioner Bill Cox asked if the state had sent a recommended tax rate. Bailey responded that the state would certify a reduction in the tax rate to 1.58 from 2.13 due to the fact that the county cannot receive more revenue from the state reevaluation alone.

TVA presented $30k grant at commission meeting

Two ladies talking at a meeting

Aurora Pulliam and Tina Guinn presented a $30,000 grant check to the Union county Commission for shoreline stabilization at Beech Island.

Aurora Pulliam and Tina Guinn from the Tennessee Valley Authority presented Union County with a grant check for $30,000 at the Union County Commission meeting on April 25, 2022. The grant will address the erosion at the campground on Beech Island that could negatively impact the environment.
Pulliam, who manages the recreational agreement between TVA and Union County explained that Union County Mayor Justin Bailey had initiated a request for a review by TVA after the marina discovered a concerning erosion problem in the campground area in 2020.

Commission moves toward new middle school

The Union County Commission brought the dream of a new middle school one step closer to reality at its March meeting.
Commissioners approved the Union County Board of Education (BOE) contract with Lewis Group, the architectural firm that will design the school on a motion by Commissioner Jessee and a second by Commissioner Keck.

A packed house for February commission meeting

Man talking at a meeting

Mayor Jason Bailey and Commissioners listen as James McGuire represents Mildred Ousley to relate her concerns about the factory chicken farm in Sharps Chapel.

Hardly a seat was vacant at the February Union County Commission meeting. Several citizens from Sharps Chapel attended. Four representatives from Friends of Sharps Chapel appeared before commission to make public comments regarding the organization and the factory chicken farm.
Jim Johnson related that the next meeting for the group would be March 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sharps Chapel Senior Center and more information would be available on the Sanford Project.

Cheryl Walker elected 2nd district commissioner

The Union County Commission elected Cheryl Walker to fill the second district vacancy at its January regular meeting. Sidney Jessee Jr. nominated Walker. No one nominated the other qualifying citizen, Lance Grigsby.
Commissioner England asked that nominations close and that Walker be elected by acclimation. Commissioner Jessee, the other second district representative, provided the second. Then County Mayor Jason Bailey administered the oath of office, and Walker took her seat on the Union County Commission.

County Commission rejects redistricting proposal

Woman at a screen explaining a map to people at a meeting

Candy Booker explains the redistricting proposal that was rejected by County Commission.

Union County Commission rejected a proposal developed by the Election Commission and reviewed by the Redistricting Committee.
The proposal would have reduced the 19 percent out of compliance to being in compliance of 10 percent or less variation for district representation.

Some in Chapel concerned over chicken farm

Mary Johnson with Friends of the Chapel speaks about pharmaceutical chicken farm

Mary Johnson addressed the Union County Commission at its September 27 meeting regarding the construction of a pharmaceutical chicken farm by Alpes Sanfer, Inc., in Sharps Chapel.
The company would place eight barns with 9,000 chickens in each barn on one of the oldest farms in Sharps Chapel, according to Johnson. Sanfer will be developing pathogen-free eggs to be used in making vaccines. The facility will employ approximately 30 people at an hourly rate of $13 to $17 but have made no promise to hire Union County residents, according to Johnson.

Union County is growing

Growth was the theme of Mayor Jason Bailey in his report to Union County Commission at the regular August meeting.
Union County has grown by more than 500 according to the 2020 US Census. The growth of internet or broadband service will be the focus of the American Rescue Plan money in the amount of $1.9M.
Bailey is partnering with the Ayers Foundation, a non-profit, to work with Clinton Utility Board and LaFollette Utilities Board to provide broadband in Big Ridge and Speedwell with the goal of providing fiber based internet throughout Union County.

Commission ends budget struggle

Fourteen of 16 county commissioners attended the called Union County Commission meeting on June 14 to approve a budget for FY 22.
Following the lead of the Budget Committee, Commissioner Jody Smith offered a motion to accept the FY22 Budget as recommended by the Budget Committee, and Larry Lay provided a second.
Several commissioners commented on various aspects of the budget. Debra Keck, Janet Holloway, Earl Cox, Bill Cox, Sidney Jessee Jr. and Kenny Hill voiced concerns about cutting the funding for the Union County Historical Society as well as some fire protection.

Eddie Thompson recognized for service to veterans at commission meeting

Man giving a plaque to a veteran

Mayor Jason Bailey recognizes Eddie Thompson for his many years of outstanding service and dedication as the Union County Veterans Service Officer.

With the budget issues resolved, the regular Union County Commission meeting on June 28 covered a special recognition, a contract extension, and some 20 pages of FY 21 budget clean up to close out the fiscal year.
Mayor Jason Bailey awarded Carson “Eddie” Thompson a plaque for his years of dedicated service as the Veterans Service Officer.

Commission approves money to help expand Maynardville water and sewer

Mike Chesney, Maynardville City Manager discusses water and sewer grants

At the March meeting, Union County Commission unanimously approved a budget amendment to allow the county to pay $45,000 toward the match for two Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants.

County Commission appoints K. David Myers as tax attorney

At the regular February meeting, the Union County Commission continued to prepare for the next fiscal year. Each spring the County Commission approves the appointment of a tax attorney to carry out the procedure for collecting delinquent property taxes in arrears by more than two years.

County Commission voting virtually transparent

Mayor Jason Bailey unveiled the new voting technology for Union County Commission at the regular meeting on January 25, 2021. The mayor, his staff and Maynardville Librarian Chantay Collins assisted the commissioners in a practice session to learn the process of clicks to make motions and vote on business items.

Union County Commission supports TCAT curriculum addition of meat processing

Union County Commission closed out its final meeting for 2020 by supporting a couple of changes with huge local impact.
It seems that local cattle producers are enduring a waitlist of 18 to 24 months to get their beef processed.
Commissioner Jeff Brantley brought the issue to Commission's attention and introduced James Acuff, a Grainger County Commissioner and President of Grainger County Cattle Association to explain the issue.

County Commission resolves farmers market grant oversight

With energy, enthusiasm, and vision, the Union County Farmers Market, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, applied for a Tennessee CARES Act Grant with a very limited window of opportunity.
The vision was for Union County farmers to be able to sell their end-of-season produce as a food product that was produced in a commercial kitchen.

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