BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Landair Ladies Classic Basketball Tournament will celebrate its 25th year in Greene County this December with the aid of local funds.
The tournament draws 16 teams from numerous states, and is considered one of the largest sporting events in Greene County.
All five county high schools participate in the tournament.
As chairman of the Greene County Budget & Finance Committee, County Mayor Alan Broyles on Wednesday recommended approval of a resolution requesting $3,000 in supporting funds from the Greene County Hotel/Motel Tax.
His recommendation came during Wednesday's meeting of the committee.
"Since the funds are there, I think it certainly does qualify," Broyles told the committee.
The 7 percent Hotel/Motel Tax is added to local room bills and split into the following allocations, in accordance with a private act of the Tennessee General Assembly:
* 3 percent to be divided equally between economic development and tourism-related uses;
* 2 percent for general debt service;
* 1 percent for capital projects relating to recreation; and
* 1 percent for local support of the performing arts.
The committee voted to recommend to the County Commission the funding of this request from the percentage related to tourism.
HOW IT WORKS
Tournament Chairman Ron Metcalfe presented the request as a means of defraying the costs associated with the annual Ladies Classic tournament.
Metcalfe explained that teams planning to obtain overnight lodging must do so inside Greeneville in order to fulfill the tournament contract.
The non-profit Ladies Classic committee, organized under the Greene County Partnership, collects sponsorships for the tournament. The committee then uses these sponsorships to provide a "standard fee" to the teams for their participation.
This amount covers lodging and some incidentals related to their travel, Metcalfe said.
In addition, he noted that teams bring family and friends that are not covered under this fee, thereby increasing the tourism benefit from this event.
In other business, the committee also voted to recommend to the County Commission reimbursing the Greeneville Police Department $23,502 for the use of cruisers during the 2011 tornado disaster.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sets the rates at which agencies are reimbursed, according to county Budget Director Mary Shelton.
Shelton reported that the county has still not received all the FEMA reimbursement and is awaiting a final verification of all submissions from the federal agency.
The committee also voted to recommend the following to the County Commission:
* movement of $303,182 previously budgeted within the Road Department's Highway and Bridge Maintenance category into the Asphalt Plant Operations category for reimbursements related to work performed under the State Aid Program, per recommendation by county auditors;
* authorizing submission of an application for a litter and trash collection grant from the state Department of Transportation;
* budgeting $11,000 from the sale of equipment to the Sheriff Department's motor vehicle line item;
*budgeting $11,200 from the sale of equipment to the Road Department's building improvements line item; and,
* budgeting a $1,500 increase to the Civil Defense Reimbursement Grant made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to the Greeneville-Greene County Emergency Management Authority.