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State not paying for Cooper sign
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It’s a sign of changing times. While the state is planning a sign unveiling for Sen. Jerry Cooper Highway sometime this fall, it won’t pay for it.
The county’s Budget and Finance Committee met Tuesday to consider appropriating $300 for the cost of the road sign. On the committee are Commissioners Terry Bell, chairman, Carl E. Bouldin, Ken Martin, Michael Martin and Diane Starkey.
“The state, I think it was last year, decided if anything is named by a county or a city it has to pick up the cost of the sign,” said Bell.
Warren County Executive Herschel Wells added, “Either that or the family, or somebody, but the state’s not doing it anymore.”
This is the first time the county has had to purchase a sign to be placed on a state highway. In the past, the state has paid that expense. However, consideration could be given to passing future expenditures onto the entity that makes a request to honor an individual with a road or bridge name.
Bell recommended the county consider passing the buck.
“While we are on this, I think we need to think about other people having things named after them,” Bell said. “Maybe we should consider having the organization or the family that makes the request pay the cost of the signs.”
No discussion was held on Bell’s recommendation, but a motion to appropriate $300 for the sign on Sen. Jerry Cooper Highway passed unanimously.
“Maybe this will help the state pay for mowing,” said Starkey, which brought a round of laughter.
The county will have two more sign expenditures in the future after agreeing to name bridges on a state route after Warren County natives Joe Delong and Eric Frazier. Those measures still require approval from the Tennessee General Assembly.