Roane Commissioners Vote Down Consolidation Plans
In front of a packed, standing room only crowd last night inside the Roane County Courthouse, the latest proposal from the Roane County School Board to the County Commission for a school consolidation of three Roane County High Schools, was voted down overwhelmingly by the commissioners. The vote was 11 for turning the $63 million-dollar plan down, to only two agreeing with the plan to move forward, and 2 commissioners decided to pass or abstain from the vote. This was the latest in the 3-year saga to consolidate Rockwood, Harriman and Kingston High Schools into one School. The latest plan called for purchasing 143 acres of property in a location across from the Roane County Park on Highway 70 in the Midtown area. The plan would call for a proposed $0.23 property tax rate increase for citizens who own property in the county. Last November property owners and citizens from Roane County were asked to support a wheel tax of $50 to support the consolidation plan, but that overwhelmingly failed as well. Commissioners tonight on both sides of the aisle wanted to come to an agreement that both sides could agree on however that did not happen after a motion to defer for 30 days failed which brought it back to the floor for a vote after about an hour of comments from both Commissioners and the public. Now the school board will go back to the table, as several workshops were announced last night by one school board member stating they are willing to go back to the table and bring back a plan that everyone could be supportive of. We will keep you informed.
Voting for the Plan were commissioners Berry and Meadows. Those voting against the plan were commissioners Ellis, Brashears, Hooks, Hendrickson, Bell, Gann, White, Bowers, Hester, Moore and East. Passing, or abstaining on their vote was Hickman and Wilson.