County Judge Gerald Robinson has declared a State of Emergency in Jefferson County due to the Quorum Court’s rejection of appropriation ordinances that would cover the county’s bills. The consequences of this fiscal turmoil are now causing disruptions to essential services and negatively affecting the county’s residents.

As of September 6, 2023, the Jefferson County Road Department is left with only 4,642 gallons of unleaded fuel and 2,587 gallons of diesel fuel. This fuel reserve is expected to last for only ten days from today. A memo has been distributed to county departments notifying them that fuel procurement from other sources will be necessary starting immediately. Several road projects currently underway will now face severe delays and stoppage, and the work already initiated will be compromised by adverse weather conditions and traffic, causing the Road Department to restart work from the beginning. Roads affected include Brown Cemetery Road, Snyder Road, South Pack Road, Jim Ford, Cornerstone, Gilliand, McKinney, Earl Chaddick, and Horseshoe Lake Road.

Furthermore, as a result of the rejected appropriation ordinances, the County is now unable to meet critical financial obligations, including paying invoices for fuel, culverts, pipes, gravel, dirt, and sand, and other professional services such as alarm system maintenance and extermination. Additionally, payments for cell phones, internet, water, Summitt Gas, lease agreements for graders and dump trucks, and vehicle and equipment repair parts cannot be paid. If these issues continue, the Road Department will not be able to pay the electricity bill as early as next month.

It is essential to clarify that the Road Department is not requesting additional monies at this time but merely seeking the Quorum Court’s approval for clean-up appropriations which allow bills to be paid from the appropriate line in the budget. We urgently implore the Finance Committee and Quorum Court to reconsider their stance on the adoption of the submitted appropriation ordinances. It is imperative that the Justices make a prompt and prudent decision for the well-being of our county and its residents. Without immediate action, the Road Department will have to shut down as early as next week.