Bradley County Commissioner Mark Hall Questions Denial Of Veterans Home Grant

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - by Tonya Brantley

During the Bradley County Commission meeting Monday evening, Commissioner Mark Hall questioned why the Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Committee recently denied a request of $30,000 for the new veterans home to help pay for startup costs. He said, “I am shocked and very disappointed that this request was denied, this borderlines being offensive to the veterans of Bradley County. I would like to respectfully request that the HCI Committee revisit this decision and come back with a favorable decision for the veterans of Bradley County.

The veteran’s home is a picture perfect blueprint of what falls into the boundaries of the HCI committee.”

In 2011 the HCI Committee awarded $180,148 total in grants of which $60,000 was awarded to the veterans home.

Commissioner and HCI Committee member Adam Lowe responded, “There is nothing about delaying this for six months through the next cycle that jeopardizes anything with the veteran’s home. There was a little bit of money this year for the HCI Committee to work with and they have made their decisions. They are asking for more information on some of those projects. Just because they didn’t invite the veteran’s home back to seek more information means one of two things. Complete rejection, which I can tell you was not the case with the veterans home, it was actually that they fully understood the scope of the project feeling it was appropriate for the next cycle when we had more money. I want to see that veteran’s home happen. It has always been a priority of this commission and we want to see it take place. But right now, that veteran’s home has not become a reality for us. There are a lot of players that have to put their chess pieces in place. There is no reason to believe that this jeopardizes or delays the project at all.”

Commissioner Hall replied, “Even though we might be moving at a snail’s pace, we are still within striking distance. I just want to remind this commission that this is one of the top priorities in Bradley County. We have committed both city and county funding seeing this project through.”

Commissioner Lowe said, “Health, wellness and quality of life are the stipulations regarding the HCI Committee. There was almost $300,000 in requests for about $96,000 worth of grant money this summer. That committee makes recommendations to this commission and this commission decides whether or not to approve or disapprove. It is merely a recommendation. I just ask that Commissioner Hall be very careful before he accuses anybody in public of being offensive to veterans. I think that’s ridiculous, absurd, emotional and without cause to think that anyone on that committee or anybody on this commission is trying to offend veterans on their action to do things for health, wellness and quality of life in this community.”

Commissioner Hall responded, “I think it is offensive to take the interest of the money from the sale of the hospital and try to camouflage it to not meet the blueprint of the veterans home. And to have other projects take precedent over some that are clearly in health and wellness for not only the veteran’s, but all the people of Bradley County. If anybody tries to convince me that it doesn’t meet the blueprint for the HCI Committee, that is offensive.”

In other business, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis announced the county is in need of citizens to serve on the Bradley County Regional Planning Commission. Members are volunteers and are not chosen by district. Those interested are asked to send their information to mayor’s office.

A resolution to request that Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly support the passage of Dustin’s Law relative to aggravated vehicular assault was pulled from the agenda.

A rezoning request on Charlie Swanner Road from R-2 to FAR for the purpose of constructing three chicken houses passed with a 11 to 2 vote.

A resolution on a waterline extension 2013 CDBG Grant and resolution declaring vacancy in the Office of Constable for the 5th District passed unanimously.

The Bradley County Commission will hold its next work session meeting next Monday at 11:30 a.m. at the Cleveland/Bradley Public Library in the community room.

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