County OKs firing range, recycle fees, other items

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Despite split votes at the county commissioners' recent meeting when they defeated a trash disposal fee, they unanimously voted for: tire recycling fees; health care for jail inmates; and a new law to permit a firing range.

Passage of the following resolutions was by 17 commissioners attending. Commissioner Larry McKnight was absent because he could not get back to Lewisburg from his job in Nashville in time for the meeting, according to Commission Chairwoman Mary Ann Neill.


Starting Sept. 1, a tire-recycling fees for buyers and sellers has been proposed.

A $240 tire transportation fee is to be paid to Mac's Tire by state-licensed tire dealers every time they want a trailer load of tires removed. Such tire dealers have had used tires removed that way at no cost to their businesses. The county had selected and paid Mac's Tire for the service with money from a grant.

A 50-cent per tire fee is also to be paid by tire dealers, presumably collected from buyers, and forwarded to the county for deposit into the county's Solid Waste Fund, an account kept separate from the rest of the county's budget. At the Solid Waste committee meeting this week, Neill announced that county attorney Ginger Shofner will be checking whether it is legal to implement this fee. Neill reported that Shofner had a question in her mind about the fee, and would check it out to avoid future problems.

The charges are starting because a state tire-recycling grant has been lowered by $19,600, so it no longer covers the county's cost to recycle tires, and revenue from a host fee paid by Cedar Ridge Landfill has declined with its acceptance of fewer deliveries of trash.


Medical, dental and mental health services for county jail inmates were to be provided by Southern Health Partners at a base compensation of $9,833.50 per month based on an average daily inmate population of up to 90 and $1.35 daily for each additional inmate.

Commissioners voted to amend the contract to reduce the number of hours for nursing services from 36 to 29 each week. While that reduces the cost, inmate populations have exceeded 90, so an annual cost could not be immediately projected.

The reduction in hours was seen as acceptable, according to Commissioner Wilford "Spider" Wentzel, because Chief Deputy Billy Lamb "is happy with what he's got."

County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett was authorized to sign the contract as amended.

Other discussion on the contract was initiated by Commissioner Billy Spivey who pointed out that Southern Health Partners had not submitted a bid for the contract. Instead, Spivey noted, the vendor submitted a proposal for services.

"Everybody knows the difference," Neill replied.

Bids are responses to specifications for goods and services to be procured. Prices on services and goods may also be obtained with the issuance of a Request For Proposals. Responses to an RFP are offers that aren't limited by specifications.

"We didn't have everybody re-bid because (some) had been eliminated ... based on credibility," Spivey said.

Commissioner Jimmy Stitt said, "It was a proposal we need."

County jails are charged with the responsibility of providing reasonably necessary medical care for inmates or detainees. To do otherwise might be deemed unconstitutional by a court.


County planning commissioners received a request to allow firearms training facilities and ranges on county-owned property. In response, the planners recommended standards for such and concluded having them would be beneficial and that the land use zoning resolution ought to be changed to accommodate them.

County commissioners have the authority to make changes to the zoning resolution.

County Register of Deeds Dorris Wayne Weaver has been advocating the establishment of another range to shoot clay pigeons. It's to be used by high school students in a shooting club.

Students and police have been using a firing range at Henry Horton State Park, but officials have explained that scheduling use of the range has been difficult because of demand.

Before the county proceeds with public and private partners for establishment of another shooting range, the county's zoning resolution required changes to accommodate such a land use.

It was, like tire fees and health care services for inmates, approved unanimously during the July 27 meeting of the Marshall County Commission in the Courthouse Annex on Lewisburg's public square.