Tag Archives: January 2019

Is Our Retirement Health Insurance Changing? – Feb 2019

{Ron Woody, Roane County Executive}

If you are an employee, elected official, retiree or County Commissioner, you may want to make sure you have read “Impacts of Accounting Regulations” in the January 2019 newsletter. Could our retirement health insurance be changing? That will be a decision that the County Commissioners must make prior to March 31, 2019. The State Department of Finance and Administration in a Jan 18, 2019 letter establishes the deadline along with three basic options:

  • Opt-In: The county continues to offer pre-65 retiree health insurance.
  • Opt-Out: The county no longer offers pre-65 health insurance coverage.
  • Limited Opt-Out: Continues coverage for current retirees but will no longer cover future retirees.

The decisions made will impact employee benefits along with the county’s financial liabilities as noted in the previous article. The County Benefits Committee will meet in the near future to further discuss the county’s options. An executive summary will be posted on the county website.

Earl Duff Subaru & ASPCA’s 5th Annual Santa Paws – Jan 2019

{Stacey McElhaney, Director Roane County Animal Shelter}

The 5th Annual Santa Paws was a holiday success thanks to Earl Duff Subaru, the ASPCA, the Roane County Animal Shelter Staff, Planned Pethood, Santa, and lots of amazing volunteers. Four cats and fourteen dogs met their new families. Thanks to the ASPCA grant All adoptable pets were spayed, neutered, and rabies vaccinated allowing the Animal Shelter to waive all fees. Pet owners paid $5 to get their pet’s photo taken with Santa. There were raffles, door prizes and by the end of the day, they raised $850.

Left to Right Top to Bottom: Jamie Kindard, Amber Cofer, Connie Aytes, Ron Woody, Jack Jinks, Stacey McElhaney, Santa Claus –  Earl Duff Subaru & ASPCA’s 5th Annual Santa Paws – Jan 2019


Economic & Community Development Opportunities – Jan 2019

{Pam May, Interim President & CEO, Alliance}

Tennessee’s Department of Economic & Community Development has established 176 tracts in the state that are qualified Opportunity Zones, providing tax benefits to investors through Opportunity Funds. One of those tracts is in Roane County (census tract 47145030600). Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, established by Congress, Tennessee established these zones that offer incentives to invest in low-income communities. By re-investing capital gains into an Opportunity Fund, three types of tax benefits are available: temporary deferral, a step-up basis, and permanent exclusion on capital gains accrued after the initial investment.

Qualifying investments include multifamily housing, industrial development, brownfield redevelopment, retail development, operating businesses and a variety of other investments. Additionally, these investments can be paired with almost any federal, state or local incentive.

Justin Snow, Director of Economic Development, the Roane Alliance, attended a seminar provided by the state to learn more about the incentives. In addition, developers have shown interest in finding investors for projects within the Roane County Tract.

To learn more details about the opportunities visit tn.gov/ecd/opportunityzones or if interested in investing in Roane County contact Justin at 865.376.2093 x202 or jsnow@roanealliance.org.

What’s up for the New Calendar Year? – Jan 2019

What’s Up for the 2019 new calendar year (Jan-Dec)? We are halfway through our 2019 budget year (07/01/2018- 06/30/19). The six-month offset between our calendar year and our budget year allows us to evaluate the county and understand what is needed to keep Roane County on the right trajectory. For the next several months our Accounting Department with the County Executive’s Office will be working with our departments putting together our capital plans and capital budgets. We are now working out our 20-year capital plans.

The Capital Plan proceeds accordingly: During the first of the calendar year, we began focusing on our capital plans: 1) To understand what assets need to be purchased, maintained or replaced according to local, state, and federal legislation and objectives. 2) Next, we incorporate the capital need with our county operational budgets which are implemented on the first of July. 3) Finally, the Capital and Operations Budgets are adopted.

Here are a few of the capital issues under consideration. You can learn more about them in previous newsletters or read about them in upcoming issues here:

  • Schools (replacement or consolidation of physical assets)
  • Jail Expansion (property is purchased and preliminary designs are being reviewed)
  • Poplar Creek Rd (funding is approved and plans are being designed)
  • Recreation Programs (currently working with a 17-year-old master plan)
  • Caney Creek Bridge Replacement (TDOT project with local impact)

Additional Plans in Development:

  • Riley Creek Campground future plans and operations
  • Courthouse/Jail Parking
  • Ambulance Service Expansion into service area of Rockwood
  • Enhancement of County Fire Services (study underway)
  • Industrial Certified Site Development (reviewing inventory)

Through the planning process, we have identified a few matters which will impact our path forward:

  • Kingston TVA Ash Spill
  • Involvement with the DOEs plans of reindustrialization, future federal missions, community, business, industrial impact on Watts Bar Reservoir
  • Roane Academy, now known as the Youth Opportunity Center for Success and Independence or Youth Opportunity found in the Roane County Industrial Park
  • Asian carp and aquatic weeds
  • Accounting issue with Other Post-Employment Benefit (OPEB) – See “Impacts of Accounting Regulation” 
  • US Census (Roane County must start initial work in February 2019)
  • More to come…

So buckle-up, Roane County ’s, $100,000,000 budget works begin now.

Impacts of Accounting Regulations – Jan 2019

{Ron Woody, Roane County Executive}

What do Employee Benefits and landfills have in common? Impacts of Accounting Regulations. This article may appear boring at first but it is of utmost importance that we understand the major changes that will impact our county’s financial standing. Roane County signed a contract with the State of Tennessee in lieu of performance bond for $4,565,334 in February 1998. To my knowledge, this was the first acknowledgment of our landfill liability for landfill post-closure care costs. The next year the county had to spend around two million dollars to close the landfill. The liability was real and the money was real. Each year, for the past 20 years, the liability is reexamined and the county still has liability around $200,000. Every year the county spends current property tax money on a landfill that is not generating revenue. This year our cost will be around $100,000.

Health Insurance, due to retirees being eligible to continue to participate now the county has a liability noted on the county’s financial records. Current liability estimates the county general government is $4,284,000, school liability is $12,648,000 split with the state portion $4,939,000, and the county portion $8,709,000. The liability will be an outlay of money.

The State’s November powerpoint begins the county’s process of understanding and addressing the issue and can be found in the OPEB Liability and Local Government Plan in Executive Summary #65a. There will be more to come as the county begins considering and addressing this liability.