The Loudon County Budget Committee met on Monday Jan. 24th to discuss numerous budget matters. Finance Director Blair referred to page 37 of the Highway County Department budget. Budget Chair Mayor Estelle Herron said that Eddie Simpson would speak to “Blinking lights.”  

Loudon County Road Superintendent Eddie Simpson informed the Budget Committee that he was approached about a beacon lights (blinking light) at the St. Thomas Church Rd./ Hwy. 321 near the Lenoir City Park/Dam area. Church members had spoken to Simpson and Mayor Herron at a meeting about the proposed new Ft. Loudon Dam Bridge project.  

Simpson explained how there was a set of beacon lights (blinking caution lights) at Shaw Ferry Road/Hwy 11 road area that he had taken down and placed them over there but there’s a “glitch” how to pay, wire it, and get a meter set.

Simpson commented how the utilities had been “kind enough” to assist by renovating the old controllers and set the meter box but there was no meter and that he needed County approval to put power to that box and then put a loop.

When a car drives over the loop, it would trigger the caution signal to alert drivers of someone ready to enter the main roadway.

Simpson did not have the money in his budget but he was asking Commission for assistance. He had obtained an estimate in the range of $2,000 -$4,000. He had also asked the church to help pay for part of the expense but the church budget committee wanted the County to pay for the expense since it was a county road. If no traffic comes out of the church road it would not activate. Simpson then spoke about $4,500 but he felt that the cost would be closer to $2,000 because LCUB had helped with the old controllers. (Note: Eddie Simpson serves on the LCUB Board, Lenoir City Council and Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission).

Commissioner Miller asked is it in the Lenoir City limits? The church is not in the city but from the Southern Railway bridge down to HWY 321/HWY 11 that's in the city replied Simpson.

Commissioner Franke was concerned about doing this for a private entity. But Simpson spoke about being concerned about the safety issue.

What about the new road someone asked; it will not be affected according to Simpson.

An off duty deputy helps directs after church services but the sign would say be prepared to stop.

These are all safety issues, should we have some type of guidelines for similar issues asked Don Miller?

In 1 or 2 months, Don Miller has plans to bring up another issue about the intersection of Hwy 72/Hwy 444, at night the intersection can not be seen.

Is it a one-time charge asked Commissioner Sharon Yarbrough; yes replied Simpson.

Comm. Franke said that he would be bringing up a similar road issue at Hwy 321/411 to the workshop.

Commissioner Franke asked Simpson to go back and ask the church to help pay for some of the costs. The road is used exclusively for the church.

Commissioner Don Miller reminisced about a pet project Click "Irene” Lane Road Project. Tellico Village Church paid about $30,000 and the County paid a portion and the State paid about $250,000. A precedent was set Miller commented. Click   IRENE LANE Part II– Here we go again!

Budget Commissioner Franke motioned to pass on this, which was seconded by Commissioner Don Miller. 

Aye: Budget Committee members Commissioners Sharon Yarbrough, Austin Shaver, Don Miller, and Bob Franke, and Budget Chair Estelle Herron.

No abstentions. No votes.