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Rhea County Commissioner Bill Hollin

DAYTON, Tenn. - Rhea County commissioners on Tuesday night unanimously approved a resolution allowing the county to take part in the state's RetireTN program intended to attract retirees.

Commission Chairman Jim Reed said after the meeting that the county "wasn't putting any money into" the grant-funded program.

During commissioners' reports, Commissioner Bill Hollin briefly mentioned a request for $6,000 in lighting work for a baseball field in Spring City, Tenn.

"I can't stand to turn anyone down," Hollin said.

Reed explained the lighting would help the Spring City Dixie Youth league's 501c3 organization, and funding would come through the hotel and motel tax. The commission approved the expenditure.

The meeting marked the debut of commissioners' decision to restrict the comment period for members of the public and limit the topics discussed at meetings.

Commissioner Bill Hollin had suggested limiting comments to three minutes per person, and Reed added the limitation on discussion to agenda-specific items.

Fewer than 15 residents, along with the commissioners and three county government employees, attended the meeting. The location for the meeting was changed from the county courthouse to the courthouse annex across the street just before the scheduled 7 p.m. start time.

Signs at the courthouse announcing the move were not posted until after the meeting began.

"I was not the one to move it," commission Chairman Jim Reed said Wednesday morning.

County Executive George Thacker changed the location at the last minute because of a rehearsal for this weekend's Scopes Festival play, his office confirmed.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@