Bell Fiscal Court approves tax moratorium for Middlesboro

The Bell County Fiscal Court met for their regular meeting Tuesday to discuss several important items on the agenda.

One of the first items Judge-Executive Albey Brock discussed was the approval of the second reading of the ordinance related to the establishment of moratorium on reassessment of property values of qualified rehabilitation properties in the Middlesboro Main Street District Area.

“This is the same thing that we did to assist Pineville when they past theirs several years ago,” Brock said. “I think anybody that’s been in Pineville over the court of the last four or five years has seen a difference in the downtown area.”

He continued to explain that the moratorium helped downtown Pineville through their revitalization projects.

“They’ve done an exceptional job and this was one tool in that toolbox to assist with that, and we hope that we see that same type of investment go into downtown Middlesboro and see it happen,” he said. “This is doing our part to assist downtown Middlesboro’s revitalization.”

The court passed the second reading unanimously.

Brock also discussed the resolution for the designation of an Industrial Development Authority to receive TVA funds under the Regional Development Agency Assistance Program.

“State Legislature last session passed legislation that TVA pays anywhere they have property or assets, they pay tax associated with that and they pay it to the state. In the past, the state always kept it and used it in the general fund,” Brock explained of the newly passed legislation. “This administration, the governor’s administration legislature agreed that the money needed to come back to the local areas in which it is collected for economic development.”

He explained that there is an accessible $50,000.

“We can’t use it here,” he said. “It has to go to an industrial authority and we’ve got two industrial authorities here the Pine Mountain Regional Industrial Authority and the Bell County Economic Development Foundation. So, each of those will get $25,000 to help them do whatever it is they may be doing at that time.”

A motion and a second were made, and the court approved the resolution.

Next items on the agenda included permission for Brock to advertise for ambulances and patient load systems as well as bids for blacktopping on various county roads.

The court also approved pay rates changes. The fiscal court voted to hire new employees within dispatch, the sheriff’s office and the Bell County Jail.

The court also voted to accept the 2018 excess fees in the amount of $9,154.05 from Bell County Clerk Debbie Gambrel. These fees are subject to be audited.

Checks from Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams and Gambrel were also accepted.

The next Bell County Fiscal Court Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m.