Monday, October 11, 2010

Rail Lease OK'd, But Not Monterey Chorus Money

Putnam County's planning committee is recommending that the county commission approve a 40-year lease agreement with the Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority for the right of way necessary to construct a Rail Trail between Cookeville and Monterey.  The county would pay $50,000 up front on the lease and would then make annual payments of about $2500 a year to the railroad.  They would also have to purchase a liability insurance policy as part of the agreement.  Officials say it may be several years before the actual trail is constructed, but they say the lease is a necessary step in moving the project forward.  Meanwhile, the fiscal review committee has failed to agree with county executive Kim Blaylock that the county should allocate $5,000 toward helping the Monterey High School chorus attend an event in Italy next year.  Blaylock says the invitation is a great honor and that the Monterey chorus is the only American chorus invited to take part.  But commissioner Kevin Maynard, who works for the school system, said he was concerned about setting a precedent, where the county commission agrees to fund some "field trips" but not others.  The issue now goes to the full commission for a final vote.