Allocation Of Funds
For 'Performing Arts' Is Also On Agenda
BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greene County Commission and the Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen will hold a joint meeting at 10 a.m. Monday to consider a state grant for upgrading the firing range on Hal Henard Road.
The two governmental bodies will meet in the courtroom on the upper level of the Greene County Courthouse. As usual, the meeting is open to the public.
The proposed grant, available through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, would make possible the construction of an educational facility, testing facility, firing range and competitive shooting venue, according to a resolution which the two legislative bodies will consider.
The current firing range is not open to the public and is essentially only for law enforcement usage.
Both Greeneville Police Department, the Greene County Sheriff's Department and a number of other entities (such as the FBI, TBI, National Guard, Army Reserve and federal courthouse employees) make use of the current range, according to Sheriff's Sgt. Nick Milligan.
The county high school's skeet shooting and trap shooting teams use the current range at times as well, through the Tennessee Wildlife and Resource Agency, Milligan added.
If the upgrade is carried out, the expanded venue would include trap and skeet ranges and would feature hunter education courses. Walters State Community College would also have access to the facility for law enforcement certification training.
The facility would be located in the 48 acres adjoining the current firing range on Hal Henard Road.
TWRA's grant requires a 25 percent local match by the town and county. This local match would include the property for the facility, which the town and county now jointly own, and in-kind labor, according to the resolution.
The County Commission will also consider other business, including:
* employing a third-party auditor to review the county's hotel/motel tax collection, at the cost of a percentage fee based on whatever amount the auditor might recover as a result of the review;
* budgeting $30,000 in fines and forfeitures regarding drug violations to the Drug Enforcement budget for HVAC and roof repairs at the Crime Lab;
* budgeting $17,000 in fees from sexual offenders for updating registries to the Sheriff's Department's budget for office supplies to administer the registry; and,
* budgeting revenue generated by the hotel/motel tax that is currently designated to "Performing Arts" exclusively to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
The total amount of hotel/motel tax that the county collects from that 1 percent portion of the tax is almost $60,000 each year, which is currently divided as follows:
-- approximately $30,650 annually in education bond payments to the county's Education Debt Service Fund for the county's portion of the band rooms at North Greene and South Greene high schools, which were made possible through a "Spotlight on Learning" partnership with the Niswonger Foundation. This portion would not go to NPAC until the county has met this commitment;
-- a $10,000 contribution to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center;
-- a $7,500 contribution to the Dickson-Williams Historical Association, for upkeep of the Dickson-Williams Mansion;
-- a $7,350 annual contribution to the Nathanael Greene Museum, used for operating expenses; and,
-- a $1,960 annual contribution to the Central Ballet Theatre.
The County Commission caucus will take place at 9 a.m., followed by the joint meeting of the two governmental bodies at 10.