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Finance committee talks trash, archives, and SROs

Posted 3/4/23

The Bedford County Financial Management Committee met in a regular meeting Tuesday to discuss several monthly financial reports. 

Solid waste

According to a report from Diane Forbes, …

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Finance committee talks trash, archives, and SROs


The Bedford County Financial Management Committee met in a regular meeting Tuesday to discuss several monthly financial reports. 

Solid waste

According to a report from Diane Forbes, there were eight million tons of trash that went into Class 1 Landfills (municipal landfills) in 2021. This type of information is sent to the governor’s office for the general assembly to pass new legislation for recycling and to help regulate solid waste. 

Last year, all 95 counties passed their 25% reduction quotas, according to Forbes. 

For the month of January, they had $6,317.96 in recycling revenue and $34,753.48 in landfill disposal expense. 

In the county, Forbes said they are working to get crews out on the roads as fast as possible to pick up trash. But the problem, of course, is people continue to throw trash after an area is picked up. 

“We are getting a few more inmates out, so we are picking up roads as fast as we can. I know it’s a continuing problem. As fast as we go down on the roads, two days later someone has come out and thrown garbage out again. So, we are desperately looking to catch anybody out there…” she said. 


According to county archivist Carol Roberts, the archives had 26 visitors and reference requests in January. This has been their highest month to date of both visits and research requests to the archives. 

Roberts explained they continue to have requests related to historic and endangered cemeteries. For example, this month they helped with identifying and improving the listings of Jones and Beechwood Cemeteries. 

The archives also had an interesting request from Belgium. Roberts said there are memorial projects that each citizen volunteers takes a U.S. soldier’s grave and brings flowers and honors to it. As a result, they often look for family to connect with in the states. One such soldier was born and lived in Bedford County. 

Roberts said they are searching for the veteran’s descendants for the Belgium Cemetery project. The Times-Gazette will also have more information about this in a later edition. 

Monthly reports 

Finance director Robert Daniel said the county’s percent of revenue collected is 58% while they have expended 53% of their budget. “So, it’s pretty much balanced and that’s typically what’s going on,” he said. 

For property tax collections, they have collected $3.5 million more than the same time last year. However, they are down $78,000 in prior year property tax collections compared to last year. Sales tax is $895,000 more this year than last year. 

Juvenile Detention is projecting a loss of $252,000 for the remainder of the year. 

This has been an ongoing issue that the county is still looking at. The facility, the only occupant of a portion of the former sheriff’s office on Lane Parkway, derives most of its income from jail fees, most paid by other counties who send teens to periods of varying lengths.

The Center also increased its rates charged to other counties from $132 to $145 per day last June. For comparison, the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center charges $175, which is one of the highest in the State, at the time of the rate change.


The committee also talked of adding more School Resource Officers to the Bedford County School System.

Assistant superintendent Tim Harwell spoke on behalf of the school system saying they would like to add nine more SROs to the system. There are seven schools, mostly elementary schools, that do not have one. The two extra SROs would serve as a substitute and a floater, according to Harwell. 

Harwell argued this is a crucial decision as schools across the country continue to face interior and exterior assaults. 

“We’re dealing more and more with mental health issues not only with our students…but also with our parents,” said Harwell. “It’s troubling some of the behavior we’re seeing out of our parents and some of the things they’re threatened to do.” 

He added that some of the misbehaviors seen in middle students are now being seen in elementary students. For example, more elementary students are being caught vaping in the bathroom. 

Harwell said law presence in the schools would send a message to the parents that they take student security seriously and that they want their students to view law enforcement positively.

However, like everything else, this costs money. It would cost about $126,000 for each SRO for the first year (this includes benefits, training, equipment). For nine SROs, the county is looking at an expense of $1,134,000. 

Commissioner Tony Smith said, “Now, I don’t see no way under the sun our sheriff’s department budget can handle this. And to be quite honest, I don’t see how in the hell the finance department is going to handle it either.”