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County to consider financing $1M for archive

Washington County will receive almost $15 million more in state appropriations this year than last year, but commissioners are still considering a bond offering to finance up to $2.6 million in capital projects.
State legislators announced the appropriation amounts in a Sept. 18 press release. Washington County will receive approximately $241 million, which includes a portion of federal flow-through funds from the budget adopted by the 107th General Assembly.
Appropriations are divided among the following general categories: state tax collections; education; health and social services; law, safety and corrections; recreation, tourism and preservation; economic development and higher education; capital outlay; and transportation.
The most notable increase is the $7.9 million in capital outlay funds, which is the first time in three years Washington County has received an appropriation in this category.
Though the county requested capital funds for the creation of its archive, the full amount is designated for repairs and improvements to East Tennessee State University.
“We asked for $800,000 last year for renovations and additions to the archive, but nothing happened, and we had no other prospects,” Mayor Dan Eldridge said.
With no funds expected this year either, county commissioners received preliminary information in the September meeting packet regarding the issuance of capital outlay notes of up to $2.6 million.
The loans would include $700,000 for a new asphalt plant and equipment; $750,000 for the construction of a solid waste transfer station; and $1 million for the archive.
Bids on the final costs for the solid waste transfer station and archive renovations have not yet been received, but Budget Committee members voted during their Sept. 13 meeting to forward the information for input from the full commission.
Eldridge said the projects must be self-supporting and generate enough revenue to cover the cost on the debt service.