published Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Rhea County chief wants TVA legislation

DAYTON, Tenn. — Rhea County Executive George Thacker is seeking state legislation to provide for TVA impact payments to counties where the federal installations are located.

Thacker told county commissioners Tuesday that he has talked with state officials "and I'm going to keep meeting with legislators to get this to happen. If the law is changed to consider [TVA] assets rather than construction, as long as a plant is in operation we will continue to get money" from TVA.

He reminded commissioners that under current law, once construction on the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor is completed in the next few years, TVA impact payments to the county will end.

With the county facing significant increases in its debt service budget to pay for construction of a new high school, "I think there will be enough money to help us," he said.

On another matter, Thacker reported he has been looking into the number of fuel cards and credit cards that have been distributed to county employees.

"We have 450 fuel cards assigned to county employees," he said, "but we only have 200 employees. How come we have 450 fuel cards? You need to look at that -- and credit cards, too."

He pointed out that the highway department has just 20 of the fuel cards.

Commissioner Bill Hollin asked, "Do we have 450 vehicles?"

"No," Thacker said.

He said he does not know how many vehicles the county owns, but is researching that.

"Some of our vehicles get only nine miles per gallon. I think we need to look into whether we could include four-cylinder" vehicles in the county fleet.

He also told commissioners a new recycling program will begin this week at the Morgantown convenience center, then be expanded to Frazier, Wolf Creek and Evensville. Paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and steel will be recycled at the centers, he said.

Hollin commended his efforts. "I think we ought to congratulate George for his work in solid waste. We can take a lot out of the landfill, and maybe sell a little of" the material.

Thacker said officials at the Dayton La-Z-Boy plant have been encouraging recycling efforts, and have been working with Dayton city officials to this end, as well.

Tom Davis can be reached at tsdavis@volstate.net.

about Tom Davis...

Tom is the director of public information at Bryan College and has been in the Dayton community for 30 years.

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