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Ray Evans of Plateau Partnership Park, an industrial development collaboration of Cumberland, Morgan and Roane Counties, gave county commissioners an update on progress this week. Evans reports that out of 25 to 30 prospects, they have responded to 6 that they felt they could adequately provide for. The park is still in development with the biggest drawbacks at this point being access to utilities. Evans says that engineering and design is underway to bring natural gas to the area but no time frame is set for construction. Also, while TVA has indicated they plan to study getting electricity to the area, there has been no commitment as yet to begin any construction on a substation to serve the park.
County Commissioners approved a grant from the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs for computer technology improvements for the Sheriff’s Department. The grant totals over $14,000 with the County matching 25 percent. Other items passed during this weeks County Commission meeting included a resolution approving funding for engineering services to begin the process of enhancing and improving the county wide communications system for the County’s emergency personnel. Earlier in the evening, Sheriff Casey Cox, in his report to the Emergency Services Committee, noted that it was very important to get the radio system working properly, as quickly as possible.
The price per mile for a ride in a Cumberland County ambulance will be increasing. County Commissioners in regular session last evening approved a resolution to increase the billed mileage to $10.86, up from $10.75. The new rate matches the maximum allowed by Medicare. Additionally, County Commissioners approved a resolution writing off over $13 million of uncollectible receivable accounts for the ambulance service. The resolution was recommended by the County’s third party billing company, AMB-MARS. Commissioner Nancy Hyder was concerned that some of the balances could still be collected, but County Finance Director Nathan Brock explained that the accounts being written off had been inactive for over one year. That resolution passed in a 13 to 4 vote with one commissioner absent.
A Tennessee Tech University student is dead after police say he was intentionally struck with a car Saturday. 22 year old Mohammed Albadi was hit in the parking lot of a Cookeville apartment complex around 3 a.m Saturday. Police charged 20 year old Marwan Hanawi of Cookeville with criminal homicide and he was being held without bond at the Putnam County jail. So, far authorities have not released a motive.
ATLANTA – A one-day 2014 farm bill overview and producer aid demonstration and training is scheduled Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 165 Courtland St., in Atlanta, Georgia. There is no cost to attend the training, but registration is required. To register, visit http://bit.ly/1tvEzCp . The training is open to U.S. Department of Agriculture-Farm Service Agency staff, consultants, credit institutions, Extension educators, and farmers. The training is one of four regional meetings co-sponsored with USDA-Farm Service Agency, the National Association for Agriculture and Food Policy (a coalition co-led by the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia), and the National Coalition for Production Education (a coalition led by the University of Illinois). The 2014 Farm Bill introduced two new safety net programs. Those are Price Loss Coverage, which offsets price shortfalls, and Agricultural Risk Coverage, which addresses revenue declines. These programs will be discussed as well as two web-based decision aids developed to help producers choose which program is best for their operations. The NAAFP decision aid can be accessed at https://usda.afpc.tamu.edu. The NCPE decision aid can be accessed at http://farmbilltoolbox.farmdoc.illinois.edu/. Both decision aids also assists farmers in updating payment yields and reallocating base acres. During the morning sessions, national farm policy experts will discuss provisions of the 2014 farm bill. After lunch, the online decision aids will be demonstrated and attendees will be shown several example scenarios for educational purposes. For more information, contact the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M at 979-845-5913.