JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Newly elected Mayor Jack Lynch told county commissioners Monday night that he wants to place a new emphasis on economic and industrial development by having two members of his office staff devote a third of their time to industrial recruitment. Watch the meeting on demand HERE.

Lynch proposed to have his deputy mayor devote a third of his work time to economic development efforts, along with an assistant deputy mayor who would also devote one-third time to support services related to economic development. The Mayor proposed a pay supplement of $2,150/month for the deputy mayor and $1,325/month for the assistant above their regular annual wage to cover the additional duties.

The commission’s Economic Development Committee unanimously approved the proposal, and it was also approved during the budget & finance meeting that followed. The pay supplements would amount to $55,000 which would be subtracted from a $122,625 appropriation that the commission had previously approved for the purchase of industrial property.

“This will save a little money,” Lynch pointed out, comparing the costs of the pay supplements to the cost of hiring a new full-time industrial recruiter.

In the budget & finance meeting, commissioners also approved $50,000 to pay for for rental of equipment and contracted services to help clean up the accumulation of trash at the Towe String Road transfer station. The “one-time, non-recurring” costs are due to a shortage of drivers to haul waste to the Scott County landfill and equipment break-downs that have hampered the clean-up efforts.

The committee also approved a $1,000 transfer from the school system to the Highway Department to cover the use of county vehicles and equipment to maintain the private Shady Cove Lane road to meet turnaround requirements in order for a school bus to serve the students living along the route.

That small commitment did not satisfy many of the residents who live along the road, however. During the public input portion of the commission workshop, Katie Gick, the spokesperson for a group attending the meeting, accused Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck of lying, insisted that the road was a county road and promised to defeat Dilbeck in the next election.

Commissioners did not seem impressed. “Let’s keep it civil, Chairman Johnny Bruce warned at one point, while Scott Kitts observed, “Your road is the only one I’ve ever heard that Ron Dilbeck was not doing a good job.”

Another citizen, Sarah King, addressed the commission about problems with the ambulance service, telling them that she suffered the loss of a family member who may have been saved if not for unexpected delays in ambulance transport to the hospital. Mayor Lynch responded that he has some plans that “I hope will help that out,’ without going into any details.

The commission also heard from a representative of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, who was present to answer any questions they might have about the THDA’s Home Program. Campbell County has qualified for a Home grant for $750,000 to be utilized for homeowner rehabilitation of low income families. The grant will cover the cost of rehabilitating ten homes of qualifying low income owners. The commission will vote on the contract at next week’s regular meeting.

Newly-elected General Sessions Judge Bill Jones also addressed the commission, urging them to find enough money to fund a full-time youth service officer. Jones pointed out that Campbell County only has a part time officer to review complaints involving juveniles who are thrust into the court system.

“Every county around us has at least one full-time youth service officer. Anderson County has six full time officers, three of them doing drug screening,” Jones stated. “We need to increase our ability to work with young defendants.”

“We just completed our budget. It may be hard to find the additional $9,000,” Rusty Orick observed, “But we will help any way that we can.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/13/2022-3PM)