David Rutherford, state president of the Col. Robert McFarland Chapter of the Sons of the Revolution and chairman of the committee to erect a Hamblen County veteran’s memorial, asked the Hamblen County Commission Monday for $20,000 to complete the project.
“I come with a heavy heart to ask for money,” Rutherford told the commission.
The Finance Committee approved unanimously giving $20,000 to finish the project on the courthouse lawn. But, Rutherford updated them on the progress and the shortfalls.
The Col. Robert McFarland Chapter of the Sons of the Revolution started the project almost two years ago, but have seen numerous setbacks as completion dates have come and gone. Rutherford said the group has been pushed to the limits on fundraising.
“We didn’t get the reaction from the community we expected,” he said.
For two years, the organization has pushed selling bricks to fund the project. Rutherford said they have sold about 800 bricks and raised $60,000. There’s still a shortfall on being able to complete the project and it has stalled, he said.
The chapter has bought a memorial and also benches. He said they still don’t have enough to buy flag poles and lighting for the memorial, which will be directly in front of the courthouse.
“I can’t do this anymore,” Rutherford said. “I’ve done this for four years. I can’t do this another four years.”
The full commission will now vote on the resolution the Finance Committee approved during the regularly scheduled meeting next week.
The finance committee also approved allowing bids to go out for a recycling convenience center to be placed at the Hamblen County landfill. The bid comes from a state grant and the match will be paid by the Hamblen County-Morristown Solid Waste Board.
County Mayor Bill Brittain also updated the Jail Study Commission about the design of a new jail.
The latest design would be around 500 beds and three new courtrooms, one of those courtrooms would be a multipurpose room serving grand juries and juvenile court. There would also be rooms for the sheriff’s administration.
The commission had previously voted in the spring they are wanting a 500-bed jail with with three courtrooms.
The design has three stories for housing.
Brittain said a committee is currently reviewing the design, along with other officials, and once it is approved will come before the County Commission with financing options.
He said the county is also closing on properties across Alison Street that the commission approved to buy. He said once all acquisitions are final, he said Alison Street will be closed.
The cost of the jail is expected to be around $60 million, Brittain said.
Brittain said the expectations are to build a jail that will last for the next 40 years so other administrations and commissions will not have to worry about building another jail in the immediate future.