Several items of note from Monday night’s Anderson County Commission meeting, including a possible plan for high school graduations, great news for continuing to feed students in the Anderson County School system, courthouse security, and approval of a contract for the new senior center at Mariner Pointe.
Though not scheduled to give a report to County Commission Monday night, Anderson County Director of Schools Dr. Tim Parrott did inform commissioners that, “We have now a plan for graduation.” Parrott said commencement would not be held at Thompson-Boling Arena.
He said the system would reveal the plan, “tomorrow.” As of press time Tuesday a request for that plan had not been answered.
Parrott also advised commission the school system received a $10,000 grant from Y-12 Federal Credit Union to be used for feeding students whose families are in need.
Parrott said that with the Y-12 Federal Credit Union grant and the efforts of Second Harvest, these meals will continue.
“If any family (of a student) needs food, contact your school principal,” Parrott said.
Anderson County Commission Chairman Tracy Wandell told Parrott he would like to see some of the county’s school bus drivers deliver meals, especially to families who may not be able to make it to the schools.
Wandell said, “I bet those drivers know where those families are. If that could happen once or twice a week, that would be great.”
County Commission voted to set up a committee to study keeping a single entrance to the Anderson County Courthouse after the pandemic restrictions loosen up.
Commission learned there are eight registered bidders for the property that once housed the Glen Alpine Convenience Center. That property — located close to Ray Varner Ford — is set to be sold May 16.
Going forward with the contract for the new senior center at the former Life Point Church at Mariner Pointe generated some discussion.
District 6 Commissioner Catherine Denenberg said she had two issues with going forward: The lack of a special warranty deed, she said, made her “nervous.” Denenberg also said she didn’t feel comfortable “purchasing anything large” during the pandemic when sales tax revenue is uncertain.
“I just don’t see where we are in a situation right now where we can go ahead with a $500,000 purchase,” she said.
District 7 Commissioner Theresa Scott also voiced concerns about the purchase.
“People are a little bit stressed right now,” she said. “The end of this year and the beginning of next is supposed to be the worst for bankruptcy. Ever. I don’t this it’s right to spend the taxpayers’ money (on this).”
District 7 Commissioner Jerry Creasey echoed Denenberg and Scott’s concerns about the purchase.
District 6 Commissioner Steve Mead said the county has been trying to get a suitable senior center for “years and years,” and the county now has an opportunity to purchase a piece of property for “hundred of thousands of dollars” below market value.
“Not to take advantage now would be foolish,” Mead said. Then he added, “The three opposed are Oak Ridge commissioners who have a $2 million senior center in their neighborhood.”
The resolution to go forward with the contract passed 12-4 with Creasey, Denenberg, Scott, and District 3 Commissioner Denver Waddell voting, “no.”