See below for Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason’s March 2021 County Commission Report.. You can follow Mayor Mason on Facebook and see reports on the Smith County Government’s website at https://smithcotn.com. You may also view the full April Commission meeting here
A big congratulations goes out to members of the finance department and the trustee’s office for completing and graduating the comptroller’s county finance officer training. Mrs. Sherry Davis, Mrs. Ginger Ramsey, Mrs. Amanda Dillard, and Mrs. Julie Wright graduated last week as County Financial Officers. Every member of the finance department has achieved this recognition, and now the deputy trustee has as well. We thank you for your hard work and dedication.
County Clerk Clifa Norris was able to save several hundred dollars by working with her software provider to get a new scanner purchased. I always like to brag on elected officials and department heads that save money or find better ways to serve our citizens.
This week is designated as Public Safety Telecommunications Week by Governor Lee. Thank you to all our dispatchers that work every day with our first responders to make sure our citizens are safe and the responders are as well.
American Recovery Act Funds
Estimated that we will receive just shy of 4 million dollars from the federal government through the American Recovery Act. The items it can be spent on are very limited, and complete direction has not been provided yet. The comptroller’s office is cautioning not to spend any until the details are worked out.
We used some of these funds to replace tires on all fire engines.
The legislature and governor are proposing another round of funding for the next budget year. We will not know officially until the legislation is passed and signed.
Baker Industrial Property
We are still working through the best options for moving forward with the property. We have had several, as I would call them, tire-kicking inquiries lately. The real estate market is hot for land and houses, and the industrial side is heating up as well.
Thompson and Associates are sending me preliminary numbers this week. This being done to see where our pay rates compare to like size and neighboring counties.
The data has been pushed back to September or October. This is going to make the process and timeline for redistricting very short in completing the process before election 22 deadlines.
Active cases have been trending downward as of the last few months.
6329 total doses have been administered. 12.46% of our population has been fully vaccinated, and 19.3% have been administered at least one vaccination dose.
Availability is now for anyone over 16, and you may get vaccinated by calling the health department.
County Commission Actions
The commission approved a resolution creating the Smith County Probation and Drug Recovery Court program at the regular meeting on April 12th. Currently, this service has been provided by the private sector. Over the past few year’s lawsuits have been filed and settled with counties across the state and their private services for various reasons. We took the initiative to start this as a county department and be proactive. It will be funded through grants and probation fees with a minimal investment of taxpayer funds. The director will report to and be under the county mayor’s office. The commission also approved the appointment of Mary Lynn Bush as the director. Mary Lynn is a Smith County resident and brings the education requirements, probation experience, and passion that fits the need for this position very well. We had several highly qualified candidates that we interviewed before selecting Mary.
Thank you once again for allowing me to serve as County Mayor of the greatest place in the world. May God bless you, and may God bless Smith County!