County Mayor Weston Wamp on Wednesday dropped an effort to get $3 million in COVID funds previously allotted to the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA), which ran into County Commission opposition last week.
However, the commission did go ahead and approve one item that was on the Wamp list for use of the money. It approved $400,000 for lights for the East Hamilton High School baseball and softball fields. The county schools will kick in $100,000 on that project.
County Mayor Wamp said some $600,000 remains in the 2018 bond fund after pulling out the money for the ballfield lights. He said that money needs to be spent since it was from five years ago and meant to be spent in three years.
Two Commission members sought to oblige.
Commissioner Warren Mackey asked for $267,750 to complete the track and playground at the Avondale Recreation Center.
Commissioner Joe Graham sought some $300,000 for fixing the parking lot at the Lookout Valley High gym as well as lights and walking track at the John A. Patten Recreation Center.
Commissioner Graham later withdrew his request after some other commissioners said other requests needed to be vetted in the budget process.
The Mackey request was voted down.
Mayor Wamp's office said in a statement, “We are grateful to the commission for supporting our resolution to go ahead and fund baseball and softball lights at East Hamilton High School with hopes that a few night games can be played this spring.
"To avoid further confusion, we have pulled our resolution to reallocate ARP funds and will seek to fund each proposed project separately. Our intent was not to pull funding from WWTA. Rather, we were ensuring all ARP allocated funds would be spent on the required timeline and no taxpayer dollars would be wasted. We will continue to monitor WWTA’s project pipeline and expect them to do everything possible to deploy ARP funds in a timely manner.”