published Friday, February 18th, 2011

Rhea leaders OK loan for road work

By Tom Davis/Correspondent

DAYTON, Tenn. — Rhea County commissioners took initial steps this week to secure a $2 million loan for the highway department and a $300,000 loan-grant combination for fire departments.

County Highway Superintendent Tommy Snyder asked commissioners at their workshop a week ago to approve the loan to allow him to pave about 30 miles of county roads this year, rather than a mile or so based on current revenue. The loan would be paid back over 10 years from existing revenues, he said.

Snyder told the commission's Budget Committee on Tuesday that he planned to borrow the money from the state municipal bond fund at an interest rate of about 3.5 percent.

The decision to borrow money for fire protection came on a recommendation from County Executive George Thacker, who has made support for fire departments a priority since he took office last September.

Funds would be used to buy equipment and make improvements to county departments in an effort to improve the county's fire protection rating from its current Class 9.

In other matters, Commission Chairman Ronnie Raper appointed Commissioners Jim Reed, Bill Hollin, Doyle Montgomery and Grover Parks to a committee to study the need to adopt a county nuisance ordinance.

Hollin, citing a situation with garbage and rats in the Valley Brook Village community in his district, had recommended adopting the existing state law and developing local enforcement provisions afterward, but his motion died for lack of a second.

The committee will review the law and recommend whether to adopt its provisions locally.

Tom Davis is based in Rhea County. E-mail him at tsdavis@volstate.net

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