Unemployment up in every Tennessee county
government released the June unemployment rates on
July 27, and the numbers show that unemployment
increased in all 95 Tennessee counties.
Haywood County hit double-digits with an unemployment
rate of 10.3 percent. That’s up from May’s 9.8
percent, and the rate is 3 percent higher than a year
news is worse, though, for Lauderdale County where
11.4 percent of their workforce is jobless. Lauderdale
has the distinction of having the second worse
unemployment rate in Tennessee. Only Perry County was
higher at 14.8 percent.
counties of interest are Crockett at 8.5 percent,
Hardeman at 8.6 percent, Fayette at 7.5 percent and
Tipton at 8.1 percent. Shelby County’s rate for June
was 7.4 percent, and Madison County’s rate was 7.0
Williamson County registered the state’s lowest county
unemployment rate at 4.8 percent.
unemployment rate in Tennessee is 6.5 percent, and in
the nation, 5.5 percent.
Kids Day is a huge success
year’s Third Annual Kids Day celebration, held on July
16 at Volunteer Park, was a huge success. The
Brownsville/Haywood County Chamber of Commerce and
Haywood County Parks and Recreation Department
coordinated the event. According to chamber director
Joe Ing, more than 800 attended.
City honors clean-up workers with a luncheon
Men from the First United
and Union Grove United Methodist churches in
Brownsville did the cooking for the big lunch that
workers, who helped clean up after the Memorial Day
storm, enjoyed. Pictured are Lucion English, Jack
Fletcher and David Hooper, Sr., cooking country ham
donated by Tripp Country Hams for the occasion.
Lunch was provided by the
City of Brownsville and Tripp Country hams for all who
participated in clean up operations after the Memorial
Day storm, including city and county elected
officials, workers, staff, and department heads.
Ladies from Union Grove
United Methodist made sure everything was ready as the
table was spread for the lunch provided by the City of
Brownsville for all workers and parties who worked
during the cleanup after the Memorial Day storm.
few hours on July 18, the Brownsville City Shop
changed it’s appearance and took on a camp
meeting-type atmosphere with people sharing great
fellowship and deliciously prepared food.
a feast of country ham and other foods, the City of
Brownsville thanked all the workers and volunteers who
joined together to clean up the town after the
Memorial Day storm.
Charlie Tripp provided the ham and the City of
Brownsville took care of the rest. The men of First
United Methodist Church did the cooking, and the
ladies of Union Grove United Methodist Church prepared
the tables and provided the service.
and county officials praised everyone for their
assistance, including city, county, and state workers
and volunteers who sacrificed time with family and
worked around the clock in a united effort.
the volunteers, the Memphis Conference Disaster Relief
Team of the United Methodist Church, under the
leadership of Bill Carr spent, about a month in
Brownsville. Using their own machinery and equipment,
the volunteers worked in 134 yards while recording
more than 1,110 man-hours.
Budget makers moving forward
County government’s budget committee has been meeting
often, hammering out a budget that’s expected to be
ready for adoption in August. At the July 21 county
commission meeting, Budget Chairman Allen King said no
decision has been made about tax rates, or whether
county workers will get a 3 percent raise.
“We’ve been working with the intent of not giving a
raise, but we’re taking a look at that,” King said.
of the county departments are presenting budgets that
are typical of years past, but budget makers didn’t
comment on how they may fund debt being incurred for
the new criminal justice complex.
are also worried about a proposed 49 percent increase
in health insurance premiums proposed by the county’s
insurance carrier. It’s the county’s insurance loss
experience that has the state insurance program’s
underwriters asking for more. County Mayor Franklin
Smith said through the end of the first quarter of
this year, county workers had filed claims totaling
$530,000. The county had paid only $340,000 in
Court fees going up
August 1, it will cost more to use the county’s court
systems, and the funds may help relieve property tax
increases. County Commissioners agreed Monday night to
raise the litigation tax on both criminal and civil
cases from $10 to $50.
County Mayor Franklin Smith says he believes the
increase could net the county up to $320,000 annually
based on past history. The money is earmarked,
according to state law, for the purposes of “jail or
workhouse construction, reconstruction or upgrading,
or to retire debt … on construction … or for
courthouse renovation ….”
says $320,000 is the equivalent of 10 cents in
property tax income.
MTD/Cub Cadet expanding
County Commissioners have agreed to sell a private
investor 6 acres of land in the industrial park. The
investor will build a 100,000 square foot building
that could be used by utility vehicle and light
tractor maker Cub Cadet.
According to Mayor Franklin Smith, Cub Cadet is
considering adding a line to their manufacturing
operation in Brownsville and needs the space for
warehousing and assembly.
week’s announcement that Volkswagen will build a huge
manufacturing plant in East Tennessee, is raising
hope, locally, that our megasite could be next.
Franklin Smith says he hopes to learn more about the
prospects when meeting with a law firm and state
officials involved in land acquisition. Smith says his
meeting is scheduled later this week.
says he’s still not sure how many state development
dollars have been allocated to our megasite, but he
thinks land purchases may be imminent.
County to pay two new employees
Haywood County Commissioners agreed to fund a
full-time position in the county juvenile judge’s
office. State funding has ended for the court’s
Intensive Probation Office for the Juvenile Court.
the urging of Judge JR Reid, county commissioners
unanimously approved picking up the $23,000 salary of
Renee Jackson, who has been serving in the position.
County government will also fund a $10,000 part-time
job for the Department of Human Services Family First
City board approves public notice of General
the city board met in special session on Monday, July
21, members approved to give the public notice about
the issuance of General Obligation Bonds they will
approve for no more than $14 million. The funds from
these bonds, if needed, will be for the development of
the new industrial park that fronts on the bypass and
is bordered by Windrow and Shaw Chapel roads. The
reason for this action is to begin the 20-day public
notice clock so that the board can approve the
resolution to get a Certificate of Need from the
state. This certificate is required by the state
before the city and county can receive any funding.
was first brought up in the last city board meeting,
but the mayor and aldermen did not approve the
measure, at the bidding of city attorney Michael
Banks, who was concerned about some of the wording in
the July 21 meeting, Attorney Banks said that the
current wording in the resolution is acceptable for
the notice that will be published in the newspaper,
but in the next few weeks he and state advisors will
be working on making some changes to the wording of
Actually, both City Mayor Webb Banks and County Mayor
Franklin Smith said they hope they won’t have to
borrow any or much money to develop the new industrial
park. Mayor Banks said they have already been approved
for a $750,000 grant to begin building the
infrastructure in the park, but the city can’t get the
money without the Certificate of Need.
at issue is an interlocal agreement between the city
and the county about the repayment of these bonds, if
they are issued and money is borrowed, because the
city and county are partners in the industrial park
project. The city and county have already paid for the
land to establish the park. Attorney Banks says it is
legal for the city and county to enter into this type
of long-term agreement for the life of the project.
Banks said the city has not issued any bonds since he
has been in office. Mayor Smith, who was also at the
meeting, said the current industrial park on Morgan
Street was developed beginning in 1977 when the county
bought the property and the city developed it. Since
then, the city has received 52% and the county 48% of
the sale of all properties in that park.
Balanced budget approved; no tax increase
Brownsville Mayor Webb Banks held a swearing-in
ceremony for the city aldermen at the monthly meeting
on July 8. John Simmons and Leon King were sworn in
for four-year terms, and Carolyn Flagg for a two-year
term. She was appointed to the seat, requiring her to
run in this election, but she will have to run again
in two years for a four-year term. Also sworn in was
Vice-Mayor Joe Taylor, who is appointed by the Mayor
and approved by the board.
the details already settled for a couple of weeks
Brownsville’s aldermen and the mayor quickly adopted
final passage of their budget when they met July 8.
The new budget sets the tax rate at $1.60, the same as
it was last year.
Clerk Jerry Taylor says he estimates the city ended
its fiscal year June 30 taking in more money than it
spent. Taylor says he believes the city’s general
budget collected about $395,000 more than it spent. He
says the solid waste fund likely collected $109,000
more than it spent. But Taylor cautioned aldermen that
the city’s savings account is down to a $500,000
certificate of deposit, “the lowest it’s been in a
city’s general fund spending budget for 2008/2009 is
$145,000 less than 2007/2008.
Clerk Jerry Taylor says city crews are still cleaning
up from the Memorial Day Storm and the clean-up cost
have reached six figures.
Taylor told Brownsville’s city board members that the
city has spent about $100,000 cleaning up behind the
storm. While there was no serious property damage
during the winds and thunderstorms, trees were
uprooted and thousands of tree limbs were broken.
crews have worked thousands of overtime hours clearing
Technicalities delay bond
Attorney Michael Banks urged the city board not to
pass a resolution to start in process a $14 million
bond issue. While Mayor Webb Banks says he doesn’t
plan to actually borrow the money, the financing needs
to be arranged so city and county governments may
obtain a Certificate of Necessity required for
official recognition of the new industrial park. The
park is located on Windrow Road at the Bypass.
engineering firm has estimated the cost of development
of the park at $14 million, but Attorney Banks says he
believes the park can be developed in stages and
probably with state and federal grant funds.
resolution presented to the board Tuesday night
obligated the debt exclusively to city government, but
the city and county jointly own the park. Attorney
Banks also cautioned board members that they should
review costs attached to the resolution that some
estimate to be as much as $280,000.
action was taken.
next city board meeting will be held Tuesday, August
12, at 5:30 p.m.
Stanton to “Stuff the Bus” again this year
time to kick off the Town of Stanton’s “Save Our
Children” program, (more commonly known as “Stuff the
Bus”) for all the children of Haywood County,
according to Stanton Alderman Emma Delk. “Many of our
children are from homes that need more than just
money. We can’t give them the love and stable homes
some of them need, but we can help send them back to
school with new supplies and clothing for the new
dress code, so they are proud to be among their fellow
students,” she said.
Delk, along with others who are helping her with the
second annual project, are asking churches,
businesses, organizations and individuals to help them
send the neediest children back to school with the
same supplies, backpacks and clothing as their peers.
According to Mrs. Delk, this program is set up to
target children and families that need support the
most, but any child can be helped through this
program. “The youth of the more poverty stricken areas
of Haywood County are falling through the cracks. This
is only one small way we can help. We would like to
invite all residents of Haywood County to join with
the Town of Stanton in this program.”
convenience, stores who have school supplies have
supply lists from which to choose, and there are
several locations where items for the new Haywood
County Schools dress policy are available. Monetary
donations will be used to purchase these items as well
as the supplies needed. The delivery of these items
will be monitored by the Haywood County Board of
supplies will be collected and stuffed in a school bus
on July 26 at the Stanton Farmers Market in downtown
Stanton. This will enable the group to have the
supplies available for distribution to the children by
the beginning of the school year.
more information, call Emma Delk at 731-548-6303,
Debbie Sterbinsky at 731-780-5790, or Linda Barnett,
Town Recorder for the Town of Stanton at 548-2565 from
8-12, Monday through Friday. If you would like to mail
a donation, please address it to the Town of Stanton,
P. O. Box 97, Stanton, TN 38069. Please designate that
your donation goes to the “Stuff the Bus” program.
Three Star Strategic Economic
Development Plan 2008-2012
Sponsored by: Haywood County Chamber
UT Extension Report
governments to improve downtown
and county governments are on track to buy court
square property. The news comes from the June 30
county commission meeting when Haywood County
Commissioners agreed to purchase the vacant lot where
the “Tamm” building once stood.
by historians as Lot #1, the tract is located on the
southeast corner of the intersection of East Main and
Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith won unanimous
approval of the $45,000 purchase from owner Harry
Slayton. Smith says city government will pay half.
Brownsville Business Association members, who promoted
this purchase, say they’d like to see it developed
into space usable for community events.
Commission approves justice complex
Inmate labor could save half-million
County Commissioners approved a budget amendment June
30 that indicates just over $119,000 has recently been
spent on the $15 million criminal justice complex.
Most of the expense, $93,839, is for architect’s fees.
Franklin Smith says county officials are making a deal
with the state department of corrections to use state
inmate labor for some of the construction. Sheriff
Melvin Bond says he expects the deal to shave a
half-million dollars off the cost of the building.
says significant construction on the building may
start in August.
County recycling gets improved
Haywood County’s recycling operations will move right
away. County Commissioners agreed June 30 to lease a
building in the industrial park.
building, located at 415 Morgan Street, most recently
housed Easy Soil, owned by Tennessee Compressed Soil,
Inc. The company is leasing the building to the county
for $36,000. Smith told commissioners that the city
would pay half the expense.
Waste Director Clinton Neal said he would begin moving
equipment to the new building right away.
County budget likely ready in August
County commissioners won’t be asked to vote on a
2008/2009 spending package until August. Mayor
Franklin Smith said June 30 that the budget committee
will likely meet “10 or 12” more times, hammering out
the $30-plus million county budget. Smith did not
provide any hints about what taxpayers may expect.
approves balanced budget; no tax increase June 26,
Aldermen and the mayor have managed to balance the
city’s budget. They did it late Thursday, June 26, in
the second of two specially called sessions to work
on, almost exclusively, the city’s budget.
Cutting more than $300,000 from the original
proposals, aldermen slashed parks and recreation over
$100,000 and decided against an addition to the Delta
Heritage Center. Freezing hiring and reducing from six
to two the number of police cars, made up the bulk of
the spending cuts. The city has set the tax rate at
$1.60 – the same as it was last year.
New beer board goes right to work
city board also gave the nod to a new beer board.
Mayor Webb Banks appointed Charlie Tripp, Linda
Freeman and Clinton Thomas to the board whose job it
is, among other things, to review beer-selling
applications in Brownsville.
board went to work immediately meeting shortly after
their June 26 appointment to review package beer
applications submitted by local grocer E. W. James and
convenience chain Hooper Quick Stops.
The board authorized the licenses for both the grocer
and the convenience stores.
Brownsville Utility now Brownsville
Energy Authority June 26, 2008
Brownsville Energy Authority is in business. You won’t
really know the difference, but Brownsville aldermen
and the mayor gave final approval of the measure that
separates the city’s utility from city government. The
new utility will be known as the Brownsville Energy
change allows the utility board, mostly, to operate
independent of city government.
The city also divorces itself from financial
liabilities of the utility.