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Pay Raises, Sanitation Truck, New Police Officer Position, Sewer Plant Rehab Included in New City Budget

June 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mayor and Three Aldermen

The new budget for the City of Smithville includes pay raises for employees, a new sanitation truck, the addition of a new full time officer in the police department to help cut down on overtime, matching funds to replace the Holmes Creek Bridge, street paving including on the public square, new equipment for the fire department, and an upgrade of the waste water treatment plant, among other projects.

The aldermen voted 3-0 Monday night to adopt the new $6.6 million budget ordinance on first reading. Second and final reading action will come at a special meeting on Tuesday, June 28 at city hall. Aldermen Shawn Jacobs, Josh Miller, and Gayla Hendrix voted for the budget. Aldermen Danny Washer and Jason Murphy were absent.

Under the new budget, city hourly and salaried employees will get a 3% pay raise except for any police officers who are due to get an increase in pay under the department’s wage scale for all hourly employees. However the police department wage scale, which has been an eight step plan, will stop at six steps hereafter. The last two steps are being eliminated to keep police department salaries from getting too far out of line with other city workers.

In an effort to reduce overtime within the police department, the city is changing the officers shift schedules and creating a new full time officer position. With the new hire, the police department will have fourteen full time members including the chief, captain, one lieutenant/investigator, two sergeants, an investigator, and eight full time officers, plus two clerks.

The city is also increasing its contribution to Justin Potter Library from $500 to $5,000.

General Fund Capital outlay projects for 2016-17 total $692,000 including the following:

*Fire Department equipment- $116,000

*New sanitation truck and trash containers- $350,000 (unspent from 2015-16 year)

*Street Department-Holmes Creek Bridge Project & Unspecified- $60,000

*Police Department Car & Unspecified- $30,000

*New Animal Shelter- $75,000 (unspent from 2015-16 year)

*Airport: Taxiway Initial Design & Unspecified- $20,000 (Mostly funded by grants)

*City Hall Building (Unspecified)- $25,000

*Public Works-Buildings & Grounds (Unspecified)- $5,000

*Parks and Recreation- $5,000

*Financial Administration- $1,000

*Legislative-$5,000

State Street Aid: Paving-$350,000

Water and Sewer projects including the following:

*Sewer Plant Rehabilitation- $2,750,000

*Tube Settlers for Water Plant- $40,000

*Backhoe-$80,000

Council Adopts Budget on First Reading with No Tax Increase

June 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Council Adopts Budget on First Reading with No Tax Increase

The Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday night approved on first reading the new 2016-17 budget ordinance on first reading.

The vote was 3-0. Aldermen Shawn Jacobs, Josh Miller, and Gayla Hendrix were present. Aldermen Danny Washer and Jason Murphy were absent. Second and final reading action will come at a special meeting on Tuesday, June 28 at city hall.

The new budget totals $6-million 608-thousand 981 dollars. Under the new spending plan, the property tax rate will remain the same at 64.9 cents per $100 of assessed value. The city property tax rate is budgeted to generate $820,000.

Water and sewer rates are to remain the same. City water customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are $7.50 per thousand gallons. City sewer customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons plus the flat usage rate of $3.62.

The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District will increase from $2.67 per thousand gallons to $3.00 per thousand gallons.

The city is expected to wrap up the 2015-16 budget year June 30 in the black in both the general fund by $153,724 and water and sewer fund by $76,399.

Total general fund revenues for 2016-17 are projected to be $3,127,010, not enough to cover total estimated expenditures of $3,976,981. The city plans to appropriate $849,971 from the general fund surplus if needed to balance the budget.

The water and sewer fund is expected to show a surplus of $157,925 by years end with total revenues at $2,622,600 and expenditures of $2,464,075. But the 2016-17 water and sewer fund is supported by a $500,000 grant for sewer plant rehabilitation which is counted as income to the city for just one year .

The city will also lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue when the DeKalb Utility District launches its new water plant, which could come before next summer. In the budget the city has reduced projected revenues from the sale of water to the DUD from $765,000 for the year ending June 30, 2016 down to $400,000 for half the year 2016-17. City officials say such a loss of income may eventually force the city to look at ways of cutting spending or raising new revenues to make up the difference.

*Other interesting facts:

According to the budget the city is projected to take in a total of $2,303,160 in local tax dollars in 2016-17 including:

Property Taxes- $820,000

Wholesale Alcoholic Beverage Taxes-$230,000

Wholesale Liquor Tax-$80,000

Interest, Penalty & Costs on Property Taxes-$5,000

Payments In Lieu of Taxes-$60,000

Local Option Sales Taxes-$980,000

Business Taxes-$75,000

TVA Payment In Lieu of Taxes-$53,160

City Awards Bid for Milling and Paving Around Public Square

June 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
City Awards Bid for Milling and Paving Around Public Square

The City of Smithville plans to begin a milling and repaving project on the public square later this summer or early fall.

During Monday night’s meeting, the Aldermen voted to award a bid to Tinsley Asphalt Company of Tullahoma for $203,460, which was the lowest of the three bids submitted. The other bids came from Rogers Group of Cookeville for $254,910, and LoJac Enterprises at $432,500.

“They will be milling up around the public square from Highway 56 on Walnut, Main, and Market Streets all the way to College Street and around the square,” said City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson.

Milling is a process of removing at least part of the surface of a paved street in preparation for repaving.

Meanwhile, the city plans to pave a few other city streets (yet to be identified) later this summer or fall.

The aldermen awarded a separate bid to Tinsley Asphalt for that project at $70.40 per ton, which was the lowest of the three bids submitted. The other bids were from Rogers Group of Cookeville for $75.25 per ton and LoJac for $93.50 per ton. The bid prices are good for a year.

The city’s 2016-17 State Street Aid budget has $350,000 for paving including $250,000 for the streets around the public square and $100,000 for other city streets.

In other business, Mayor Jimmy Poss re-appointed Hilton Conger to a new four year term on the Smithville Electric System Board of Directors. The aldermen approved the reappointment.

Conger serves with fellow members Walter Burton, Anthony Hagan, John R. Nixon, and Mayor Poss.

City to Close Portion of West Main Street to Replace Sewer Lines

June 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville has announced that a portion of West Main Street will be closed Mondays through Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. starting June 13 in order to replace sewer lines in the area between Juniper Lane and Caldwell’s Drug Store. Residents who live inside the closed area will be allowed to pass through to get to and from their homes. All other motorists entering or leaving town will have to take an alternate route until the work is completed.

DCHS Pitcher Selected to Represent Team Tennessee in Sunbelt Classic

June 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Steven Jennings

DCHS Baseball standout Steven Jennings has been selected by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association to be a member of Team Tennessee in the Junior Sunbelt Classic this weekend in Mcalester, Oklahoma.

Jennings is among 20 high school players from across the state who will represent Tennessee in the Classic.

The Junior Sunbelt Classic is hosted by the Mcalester High School Dugout Club in Mcalester, Oklahoma. The tournament consists of 10 teams of players who have just completed their junior year in high school. Teams include Oklahoma Gold, Oklahoma Blue, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Arizona, Colorado and Canada.

The format is a round robin with seeding to determine placement for the Championship competition. Play begins on Friday, June 10 with Championship play on Wednesday, June 15.

The Team Tennessee will travel by bus this week to the University of Memphis for a workout then to Arkansas State University before getting to Mcalester, Oklahoma for the Classic. Team members will stay with host families while in Oklahoma.

Jennings told WJLE that he is looking forward to competing in the Classic as a member of Team Tennessee where he is expected to pitch and play shortstop.

Early Voting Hours Set for August Elections (VIEW SAMPLE BALLOT HERE)

June 6, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Early Voting Hours Set for August Elections

The early voting hours and ballot have been set for the August 4 elections in DeKalb County.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW SAMPLE BALLOT)

DekalbTN-PG6-InfinityNewspaper.pdf (37.26 KB)

Early voting will be held from July 15 through July 30 and the election commission has set the following hours for those dates:

Mondays—1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesdays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wednesdays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursdays—2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturdays—9 a.m. to Noon.

Early voting will be held on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Smithville.

On Election Day, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the 15 precincts located throughout the county.

A list of the election day polling places can be found at www.dekalbelections.com.

Voters will be casting ballots in the DeKalb County General Election, the Tennessee Republican or Democratic Primary and voters in Smithville, Dowelltown and Liberty will be electing city leaders.

Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections, said voters need to make sure their address is up to date with the election office prior to going to the polls.

“Throughout the petition process we discovered numerous voters signed a petition with an address that was not the same as in our database,” Stanley said. “It is important that voters notify us when they move. If not, when they go to the polls the voting process will take longer and, in some cases, they may have to go to another location to vote.”

“Now is a great time to make sure your registration is up to date by contacting our office, or by visiting GoVoteTN.com, or by visiting www.dekalbelections.com,” he continued. “If you are not registered and would like to vote in the August election, the last day to register is July 5.”

Voters who vote in person during early voting or on Election Day must present a photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government. These IDs may be current or expired. College student IDs and photo IDs issued by cities, counties and other states will not be accepted.

Meanwhile, voters are also reminded of a state law regarding cell phones in the polling place.

Under state law, you may use a mobile electronic or communication device for information purposes to assist in making election decisions in the polling place. You may not use a mobile electronic or communication device for telephone conversations, recording or taking photographs or videos while inside the polling place.

Woman Uses Stolen Debit Card at Five Local Businesses

June 6, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jessica Lauren Shaffer
John Stanley Riley, Jr.
Virginia Dianne Presnell
Andrew Wayne Parker
Pamela Ann Jordan

A Smithville woman who allegedly stole a debit card and forged the card holder’s signature to make transactions at five local businesses will be in General Sessions Court on Thursday, June 9

25 year old Jessica Lauren Shaffer of Robinson Road, Smithville is charged with nine counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and three counts of forgery. Her bond totals $52,500.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Shaffer forged the card holder’s signature in order to authorize the transactions at Walmart, Save-A-Lot, and at DeKalb Market on Tuesday May 31 and made purchases with the stolen debit card in amounts of $83.73 at Walmart; $22.49 at Save-A-Lot; and $13.15 at DeKalb Market.

The nine counts of fraudulent use of a credit card were for purchases made with the stolen debit card on Tuesday, May 31 at Walmart in the amount of $85.73; Kwik-N-Ezy for $24.74; Walmart for $29.10; Walmart for $40; DeKalb Market for $9.68; DeKalb Market for $3.17; Jewel’s Market for $20; DeKalb Market for $3.15; and Save-A-Lot for $22.49.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

48 year old John Stanley Riley, Jr. of Tabernacle Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on June 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 3 Riley allegedly assaulted his girlfriend by shoving her down on the ground and holding her by one arm which caused bruising to the woman’s arm and a small cut on her wrist.

63 year old Virginia Dianne Presnell of Morgan Drive, Smithville is charged with filing a false report. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court June 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, May 30 Presnell filed a report with a deputy stating that her car had been stolen. The automobile was later recovered. After speaking with Presnell, officers learned that she let the driver, her son, borrow the car. The case was investigated by a sheriff’s department detective.

24 year old Andrew Wayne Parker of Lebanon is charged with failure to appear. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on June 16. Sheriff Ray said on February 5 Parker failed to report to the jail to serve a weekend sentence as ordered by the court.

56 year old Pamela Ann Jordan of Coo Coo Lane, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will make a court appearance on June 16. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 3 an officer was called to check on a woman who was spotted sitting on the side of the roadway with her head in her lap. Upon arrival the officer awoke the woman after several attempts and found a bottle of liquor in her purse. She was identified as Jordan. She did not know what street she was on and her speech was slurred. Jordan told officers she was intoxicated. She was placed under arrest.

Miss Jamboree Pageants Coming Saturday, June 25

June 5, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Katie Sue Haggard was the Miss Jamboree winner in the age 17-20 category in 2014

The Miss Jamboree Pageants are set for Saturday, June 25 at the DeKalb County Complex starting at 11:00 a.m. sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women’s Club.

All Tennessee girls, babies, and toddlers may enter by June 11th.

Katie Sue Haggard was the Miss Jamboree winner in the age 17-20 category in 2014. No pageant was held in 2015.

The entry fee is $25.00 per contestant. A People’s Choice Award will also be given in each category and there are optional awards of prettiest eyes, hair, attire, and photogenic. The entry fee for optionals is $5.00 in each category. All winners in the 11-13, 14-16, and 17-20 are required to be present during the Fiddlers Jamboree July 1 & 2 to help present awards to the music and dance winners.

Age groups are as follows:
Boys and girls- one day to 6 months
Boys and girls- 7-12 months
Boys and girls-13-24 months
Boys and girls-25-48 months
Girls-4-6 years
Girls-7-10 years
Girls-11-13 years
Girls- 14-16 years
Girls-17-20 years

Entry forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce Office in the Courthouse or at www.facebook.com/bpw.smithville

Free Fishing Day Saturday, June 11

June 5, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Free Fishing Day Saturday, June 11

Tennessee’s annual Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 11 when anyone may fish free without a license in the state’s public waters.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provides the annual free day in hopes of increasing interest in fishing. The day allows anyone the opportunity to try this great outdoor sport, especially children. In addition, children ages 15 and younger may fish without a license beginning on Free Fishing Day through the following Friday (June 17).

Meanwhile, the annual Pea Ridge Kids Fishing Rodeo will be held at the big pond in the Pea Ridge Wildlife Management Area on Saturday, June 11 from 7:00 a.m. until noon. Kids through age fifteen may participate. Lunch, soft drinks, and prizes will be available for the kids.

The day and week are annual events in Tennessee and are great opportunities to introduce children to the enjoyment and excitement of a day on the water catching fish. The TWRA is among several organizations planning special fishing events, primarily for youngsters. The TWRA annually stocks several thousand pounds of fish for various events.

Free Fishing Day and Week apply to Tennessee’s public waters, TWRA owned and operated lakes, and state park facilities. Some privately owned pay lakes continue to charge during this special day and week. Anglers may consult with lake operators if there are any questions about a particular facility

Meanwhile, Edgar Evins State Park Presents the 1st Annual Children’s Fishing Tournament on Saturday June 18th for children 12 and under only! Meet at the picnic shelters, registration is from 7:30 am-8:30 am. The tournament starts at 9:00 am until 1:00pm. For more information email brad.halfacre @tn.gov or call 931-858-2114

Malone Caught Passing Fake Bills to Buy Merchandise

June 4, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sharon C. Malone

Smithville Police arrested a woman last month after she tried to pass counterfeit bills to buy merchandise at the Dollar General Store.

42 year old Sharon C. Malone was charged with criminal simulation on May 13. Malone allegedly used fake bills to make the purchase and was found to have more phony bills on her person when trying to make another purchase at the store later in the day. Her bond is $1,500.

30 year old Matthew Templeton Broadrick was arrested on May 30 for a third offense of driving under the influence, a third offense of driving on a revoked license, and he was cited for simple possession. Police said Broadrick was traveling west on Broad Street when he allegedly passed out at the wheel of his vehicle, ran off the road, and struck the front doors of O'Reilly Auto Parts. Broadrick then left the scene but was stopped by officers approximately two miles away. Police determined that Broadrick had consumed several beers and taken migraine medication. During a probation search of his vehicle officers found a small baggie containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. A computer check revealed that his license were revoked in 2007 and 2015. His bond is $7,500 and he will make a court appearance on July 14.

44 year old Jeffery Banks was arrested on May 13 for violation of bond conditions related to a domestic assault charge against him. According to the warrant, Banks sat in the driveway of the house next door to his residence only 75 feet from where his victims were getting into a vehicle causing them to be afraid. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is June 9.

27 year old Jessica Bain was arrested on May 18 for a domestic assault and during a search of her purse incident to arrest, police found two alprazolem pills, a schedule IV drug, wrapped in a cigarette box plastic wrapper. Bain was further charged with simple possession or casual exchange. In the assault, Bain allegedly pushed the victim during an argument causing the victim to hit her wrist resulting in an injury. Bain will make a court appearance on June 16.

32 year old Steven Bly was arrested on May 17 for violation of bond conditions. Police were dispatched to a residence in reference to a domestic assault. Upon arrival officers heard arguing inside the home. After making entry, Bly was found in a back room. The victim was also there. Police learned Bly had been arrested on April 18 for domestic assault and wasn't to have contact with the victim. Bly’s bond is $10,000.

45 year old Chad Knowles was arrested on May 20 for a second offense of driving on a revoked license. Police stopped a vehicle bearing the wrong plates. After speaking with Knowles, the driver, and making a computer check through Central Dispatch it was discovered that Knowles didn't have a driver's license. Bond for Knowles is $5,000. His court date is June 16.

35 year old Meghann Shipman was arrested on May 27 for disorderly conduct. Officers were called to a residence on Smith Road where they spoke with Shipman. While trying to explain how to resolve her issue, Shipman became belligerent toward the officers and began to yell and use profanity. She was asked to leave the residence but when she walked outside Shipman continued yelling and cussing which caused a public disruption. Shipman had been advised previously to be courteous and stop yelling but she failed to do so. Shipman’s bond is $2,000 and her court date is June 9.

40 year old Angelea Nicole Vallem was cited on May 25 for theft under $500. According to police, video surveillance showed Vallem taking cash from a money bag that was laying on the victim’s desk. Her court date is June 23.

26 year old Joshua L Baxter was cited on May 25 for drug paraphernalia and two counts of simple possession. Police were dispatched to a residence for a vehicle break in and found Baxter still inside the car. During a search of Baxter's person, police saw a purple tube containing white powder residue, 6 pills for which he had no prescription, and a small amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Baxter’s court date is June 16.

49 year old Marty Brent Tallent was arrested May 28 for domestic assault and cited for vandalism. According to the warrant, Tallent assaulted a family member with a guitar several times leaving marks of injury and he continued his violent behavior by hitting his guitar on the hood of another person's vehicle several times causing damage. Tallent was later taken into custody without incident. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is June 30.

44 year old Del Angel Hernandez Eliazar was arrested on May 28 for driving under the influence and cited for violation of the implied consent law. Eliazar was found to be the driver of a vehicle which had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and person. His speech was slurred. He was unsteady on his feet and he performed poorly on sobriety tasks. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is June 23.

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