Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Fentress Waits To Allocate $642,000 To Highway Department

Fentress County voted to take no action Monday night on allocating all $642,000 of Governor Lee’s Infrastructure grant to the highway department.

The highway department was short $219,000 on gas and motor fuel tax revenue, however commissioners did not want to take action without guidance on how the money could be spent. County Executive Jimmy Johnson said that while state and federal money might be coming for infrastructure, the county needs to make sure money is available for multiple priorities.

“Of course, the commission is going to be faced also with putting up out there for the emergency services department, ambulance and everybody else also,” Johnson said. “To the point of about $300,000-$400,000 possibly.”

It was also brought up during the meeting that this state money had been discussed for the county’s standalone emergency room project. Johnson said the state is waiting to see guidelines on how the federal government is going to allocate money to local governments.

“They’re holding it up,” Johnson said. “They hope that they can issue something no later than January 1, 2022 instead of July of this year.”

Some commissioners did say that they want to help the highway department, but it would be best to wait and make sure all their needs can be covered by the money expected to come in. Road Supervisor Joey Reagan said he was trying to get his foot in the door on the state money, because he was not sure if the $3.5 million in federal aid for infrastructure could be used on roads.

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