Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Jackson Commissioners Voice Disappointment In T-CAT Merger Talk

Jackson County Commissioners passed a resolution Monday night against a proposed merger of T-CAT Crossville and T-CAT Livingston.

A Tennessee Board of Regents Committee will discuss the idea Thursday of merging the administrations of the two facilities, but keeping the individual campuses, according to the board agenda. County Mayor Randy Heady said a legislator contacted him several days ago about the proposal.

“The driving force was the saving of some funds by doing the pulling the two together,” Heady said. “Of course, they did not call it a merger. I want to say that even though that’s what it seems to be to me, if you pull two and make it one, even if it’s on the finance side and you’re trying to save. A million dollars I was told that instead of having two audits, you have one. I’m sorry that an audit cost is going to drive this. I really hate if that’s the case.”

Heady told commissioners the county had worked hard with T-CAT officials to bring programs to Jackson County High School. That includes a recently-launched HVAC program designed for both high school students and adults in the community.

“A local community, a small community rule, we have just fought so hard to have what we have here in a T-CAT facility,” Heady said. “And we’ve just fought really hard to bring services to our students here locally and them not have to be bused.”

Heady said he wanted to make sure commissioners showed their support for the school system by passing Monday’s resolution. Heady said he hoped Board of Regents officials would take into account the potential damage that could be caused with a regional approach.

“When you start trying to save resources and you start regionalizing, that’s a worry for a small community,” Heady said.

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