Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to formally propose providing space for the National Resources Conservation Service.
NRCS had been sharing local office space with the Farm Service Agency on East Lane Street. It is now left without a co-tenant and will be giving up its rental space.
NRCS has asked the county to consider building it a new office on the grounds of Bedford County Agriculture and Education Center, and local officials have suggested that the lease could be structured so that the lease payments to the county would be enough to cover the county's costs for constructing the building.
Tennessee Division of Forestry is also seeking space and might be folded into the project as well.
The county would technically have to go through the federal bid process, the same as a private developer, to bid on providing space to NRCS.
Some commissioners expressed concerns that NRCS, like FSA, might leave the community if space is not provided.
A rules suspension was required to consider the item since it was not on Tuesday night's published agenda. Once the rules had been suspended, Commissioner Bobby Fox moved for the county to make a proposal to NRCS. The motion was approved 14-1-3, with Joe Tillett opposed, Jimmy Woodson, Denise Graham and Mark Thomas abstaining.
In other discussion, commission approved budget amendments for the school system and the county general budget, and approved the financing for 10 new sheriff's department vehicles, the purchase of which had already been approved at previous meetings.
The commission also approved a zoning change from A-1 (agriculture) to R-1 (residential) at 4360 U.S. 41A in Rover, so that owner Benton Poore can convert a home into a duplex.
The commission approved the appointment of Amanda Floyd to a District 1 seat on the Emergency Communications District board. The seat had been vacant for months while County Mayor Eugene Ray searched for someone in the district who was interested in serving.
The commission also approved Ray's nominations of John Jones, Charles McDonald and Thomas Smith for one open seat on the Duck River Agency board. The state asks the county to submit three names in nomination and will select one of them for the seat.
Commissioners approved surplus property declarations from the county-owned medical building on Union Street, from Bedford County Animal Control, and from the Circuit Court Clerk.
This was also the month for quarterly department reports.
l Trustee Tonya Davis said that county revenue is running positive and that the county's acceptance of partial payments for property tax, as opposed to the old policy of only accepting the entire amount at once, has helped with collections.
l Veterans Service Officer Gordon Warren reported that his department's van, used to transport veterans to medical appointments, is not running well. Commissioner Linda Yockey suggested that Warren get a price quote on replacing it and submit it as part of the budget process for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
l The county is now officially a part of the Interlocal Solid Waste Authority, but Lynn Wampler of ISWA has suggested that the county not disband the Bedford County Solid Waste Authority board just yet.
l Yockey said that closing schools during elections is an inconvenience and suggested that the county consider moving away from school-based precinct locations.
l Register of Deeds Johnny Reed repeated his warning about direct mail solicitations offering to provide property owners with a copy of their deed for $84 or $89.
Reed can provide those copies from his office in the basement of the US Bank buildiong for 25 cents per page, with a typical deed costing only 75 cents. Reed said a second vendor is now sending out the solicitations.