By Ron Barry
New accreditation for the local Veterans Service Officer and positive updates from the Ambulance Service and Sheriff’s Department highlighted Monday night’s bi-monthly meeting of the Crockett County Commission.
The commission, meeting for the first time since the election of new members in some of its districts, heard an encouraging presentation from Linda Avery Register, the Veterans Service Officer for Crockett, who outlined current and future projects underway in her attempts to aid the approximately 800 veterans who reside in the county.
Register, just recently accredited by the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services, has already filed claims for 59 local veterans and is now working on the installation of a couple of memorials to be located on the Town Square in Alamo to go alongside the current monuments. The new projects would honor the Gold Star and Blue Star families, and are being pursued through a donation from the Tannen family in Clarksville.
Register is currently opening the Crockett office at 235 E. Church Street in Alamo three days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. Because of the limited availability schedule, however, and the large number of veterans thus far seeking assistance, she recommends scheduling appointments by calling the office at 731-696-5464.
“This has been extremely fulfilling thus far,” Register told the commissioners. “While I get a paycheck, it really doesn’t seem like a job to me. I care very deeply for these people. Their sacrifice is not lost on me.”
In addition to filing claims and establishing the new memorials, Register is also trying to find a way to digitize a large collection of paper records that are currently located at the office.
“I just feel it’s the proper thing to do,” she said. “I’d rather get everything archived in one secure place than to have all these boxes and files lying unorganized.”
In other updates brought to the commissioners’ attention, Sheriff Troy Klyce has been able to hire a few additional jailers to bring the current number to eight, although it’s still well short of the 13 he needs. Three additional patrol officers have been secured, or soon will be, and he is beginning to see a rise in the number of applicants since the commission approved an increased budget last month.
Also providing positive news was Ambulance Services Director Stephen Sutton, who announced that three more critical care paramedics – Jessica Cox, Candance McBride, and Will McBride – passed their board exams, which boosts to six the number of critical care paramedics now on Crockett’s staff. Sutton, JP Moses, and Nathan Duffey were previously certified.
“Our next project is to begin a blood program, and be one of the first rural EMT groups to do so,” Sutton said. “Having the ability to give a blood transfusion at the scene of an emergency can make a huge difference for a victim, and we have the infrastructure in place to start doing it soon.”
In other actions taken by the commission, County Mayor Gary Reasons was unanimously selected to remain as the Commission Chair, while Joe Gibson – who also led his first meeting as Budget Committee chair – was selected as Chair Pro-Tem.
Several bonds were approved that were already in the annual budget, and three new notaries were approved. The commission also approved four Board of Education transfers of funds, including the second of 10 donation payments from Pictsweet toward the turfing of Cavalier Stadium, which will also get a couple of video boards. Pictsweet is paying 10 annual installments of $110,000 to cover the project costs.
The commission also approved the donation of an old ambulance to the Crockett County Rescue Squad, which recently suffered a blown engine in one of their vehicles. The ambulance originally was going to be outfitted for use by the Sheriff’s Department, but this was determined to be a more necessary use for it.
Also approved was a zoning law language change that will allow for a proposed dog kennel in Gadsden. No one spoke in opposition to the project in a brief public hearing just before the commission meeting.