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County commissioners narrowly approved a re-zoning of property near the Hickory Ridge subdivision on second reading during Monday night’s meeting.

The decision, which came by a 10-6 margin with two abstentions, puts two parcels at the front of the subdivision and adjoining Highway 25 to commercial status for future development.

A similar request had been voted down in 2019, something resident Ed Royals pointed out during a public hearing prior to the vote.

“Our concerns remain the same,” he said. “There is no limit of what type commercial business could go there.”

Commissioner Gary Walsh asked why the property had been zoned residential in the first place and was told it had been at the owner’s request prior to the construction of the first Hickory Ridge homes.

A second re-zoning request was denied on first reading, which would have changed two lots on Dalton Hollow Road from residential to commercial. That one failed by an 11-4 vote with three abstentions.

Neighbors spoke against that proposal as well, citing traffic concerns on what they described as a small, country road.

Two other re-zonings were approved on second reading with no opposition. One moves property on Highway 141N and the other on Highway 10 to residential, both for future development.

Commissioners also approved six budget amendments:

$54,753 (fund balance draw) for a required pay raise for the county’s general sessions judge;

$17,984 (fund balance) for the Election Commission to hold a judicial primary in May 2022;

$5,000 to fund a memorandum of understanding with Sumner County to provide veterans services;

$8,070 in grant funding for the County Archives;

$7,800 in grant funding for the Senior Center; and

$9,120 in bonus pay for EMT workers.

The increased judge pay is required by state law after the 2020 census moved Trousdale into a higher classification and is retroactive to April 1, 2020. The judicial primary, which will be for the Circuit Court judge’s seat currently held by Michael Collins, is required after both the county’s Democratic and Republican parties requested such an election.

The EMT bonuses are intended to make up for a shortfall in recent amounts paid to county employees to compensate them while Trousdale government transitions to direct deposit of pay. EMT workers received bonuses based on an 80-hour pay period, when they regularly work 24-hour shifts.

Commissioners also approved the establishment of a select committee to examine the best option for veterans services, extending the county’s COVID leave policy through the end of 2024, repealing part of the old Hartsville water code that conflicted with Water Board policy, declaring various county vehicles as surplus and a proposed charter amendment relating to the Volunteer Fire Department. That amendment must pass one more reading in order to appear on the ballot next August.

Two notaries were approved: Robert Thurman and C.R. Watts.

The County Commission is not scheduled to meet in December unless it becomes necessary. Their next regular meeting will be in January.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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