SNEEDVILLE — A coalition of industries in neighboring Claiborne County is applying for a federal grant that, if successful, would allow them to purchase a 30-passenger bus that would be stationed in Sneedville and used to transport workers to and from several places of business in the Tazewell area.
County Mayor Thomas Harrison said that he was approached by the coalition in December about their interest in applying for a Rural Development grant that would fund two buses, the other of which would operate out of another county.
“They think it would be a good way to keep people from Hancock County working there,” Harrison said, adding that such transportation might be a real blessing to local people who don’t own good, reliable vehicles in which to get back and forth to work in.
If the grant application is approved and a bus for Hancock County is obtained, it will be at no cost whatsoever to the county, Harrison said, and, after five years, would be transferred to the county’s ownership.
A local driver would be hired and the cost of fuel would be paid for by the coalition, he said.
“It’s a colossal opportunity because lot of folks from Hancock County work at those places,” Harrison said. And, he said, “it won’t cost our local government one dime”.
A decision on where to park the bus for people to board, and a process for them to sign up for a seat on the bus, would have to be made at some point if the grant is approved, he added.
In other matters at the board’s Feb. 10 meeting, Commissioners:
• Approved as presented all routine budget amendments.
• Approved Sheriff Brad Brewer’s monthly report for January which showed a total of $12,333.67 was collected for the month.
• Brewer also informed the board that the Jail is now “certified” and that the inspector will be back in early March for a “re-inspection” to complete the process.
• Approved the final draft of a resolution designating Hancock County as a county that supports the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.
A copy of the non-binding resolution will be sent to Sen. Frank Niceley and Rep. Gary Hicks in Nashville, both of whom have voiced their support for such a measure, Mayor Harrison said.
• Discussed, but took no action on, a question for the Mayor from a commissioner asking if the county has any legal authority to ask for a deposit or any type of fee from people who come into Sneedville and set up around town to sell food and other items.
“That would be a city (of Sneedville) thing, we don’t have any control over that,” Mayor Harrison said.
The commissioner said he has received several complaints from established businesses about out-of-county vendors coming in and selling their products without buying a business license or day-to-day permit.
• Heard an update from Mayor Harrison that the long-awaited park improvement project will probably be advertised for bids in April, and that work should begin sometime later this summer.