BRISTOL, Tenn. — In 2018, the city of Bristol, Tennessee, paid private vendors and contractors a total of $5.4 million, with nearly a quarter of that money used to purchase properties needed for the new middle school.
Copies of 1099 forms obtained by the Bristol Herald Courier through a public records request to the city shows that last year the city spent nearly $1.4 million, the second largest sum on the tax forms, to buy 16 properties on behalf of Bristol Tennessee City Schools.
The bulk of money paid in 2018, nearly 73%, was compensation for goods and services from nonemployees, 25% was listed for attorney fees, but was actually for property purchases, and the remaining 2% for rent and health care.
Tara Musick, director of finance, said that level of spending is normal and though the city doesn’t always pay the same vendors or buy the same things every year, she was not aware of any unusual purchases.
A.D. Jones Jr., a city municipal judge and private attorney, was hired by the Bristol Tennessee Board of Education to work as a closing attorney and perform the title purchases of properties that will be torn down to make room for the middle school. A total of $1.4 million was paid by the city to Jones for the properties. City Attorney Danielle Smith said the city handed off the money to Jones on behalf of the school district and he held onto it until the property titles were transferred to the school district and the sellers could be paid.
The amount reported in the city’s 1099 forms only includes the cost of 16 properties that were acquired in 2018. Three properties were acquired prior to 2018, another was bought in January and the last was acquired in February through eminent domain so demolition could begin this spring.
The properties are being razed so construction of the estimated 154,000-square-foot school can begin. The new school is needed to replace the aging Vance Middle School, which was not designed to meet modern educational needs and has failing insulation and air conditioning systems.
The future middle school, which does not yet have an official name, is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-22 school year. The current estimated total cost is $32.6 million.
The city contracts a private company, Inframark, to manage and operate its wastewater facility. The payments the city made in 2018 to Inframark were about $2.3 million, the largest sum made to any vendor. Musick said this arrangement saves the city from having to allocate its own resources to oversee day-to-day operations of the plant.
The plant is jointly owned by both Bristol cities, and Bristol, Virginia, pays a comparable sum, Musick said.
Terry Napier, director of parks and recreation, said the number of seniors, which he defined as people over 50 years old, is growing and one of the goals of the Parks and Recreation Department is to provide for their physical, emotional and social needs.
Catering for senior events was among payments the city made in 2018, with $3,600 going to the Burger Bar.
Napier said the Parks and Recreation Department pays upfront for food, transportation and other costs associated with senior events and participants are charged to make up the cost, plus a little extra to cover some operation costs.
“We plan the event and whatever that meal charge is or that specific charge, we charge the participant,” Napier said.
In addition, the department also uses grant funding to help pay for programs and resources that support these programs, such as a bus to take seniors on trips. Other funding for the department comes from fees charged to non-residents for use of the Slater Center, either through direct payments or the Silver Sneakers program offered through Medicare. He said before it requests funding in the city budget the department needs to show the city how it is going to pay for events.
“We are so frugal with what we do with every penny,” Napier said.
The Burger Bar is just one of the local vendors used for catering, Napier added, and the decisions of who will cater is partly based on cost and partly on feedback from event attendees.
Bristol, Tennessee is the lead entity in the Northeast Tennessee and Virginia HOME Consortium, which also includes Bristol, Virginia, Bluff City, Kingsport, Johnson City, Sullivan County and Washington County, Tennessee. Because of its lead role, the city is generally responsible for handling expenses related to one of the consortium’s roles of rehabilitating and rebuilding homes that have fallen into disrepair and qualify under the program
However, the city is not paying out of pocket for home rehabilitation and reconstruction projects. All the money is reimbursed to the city through grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Christina Blevins, community development specialist for the city, said the process of selecting a construction company to rehab or rebuild a home, is determined through a bidding process. Moffitt Construction made the most money fixing up homes in 2018 at $222,000, but it was not the only construction company to do so.
Bristol Tennessee 2018 1099 records
|A. D. Jones Jr. PLLC||Bristol||TN||1354945.63||10608||Gross proceeds paid to an attorney|
|Gordon Group Investment Limited PA||Nashville||TN||473012.69||8754||Nonemployee compensation|
|Carehere LLC||Brentwood||TN||338919.25||11092||Nonemployee compensation|
|Water Holding Acquisition LLC||Katy||TX||2,265,662.76||11491||Nonemployee compensation|
|Moffitt Construction||Johnson City||TN||222150||11402||Nonemployee compensation|
|Philip Walker||Nashville||TN||67685||11538||Nonemployee compensation|
|Maudlin & Jenkins LLC||Atlanta||GA||62649.7||10096||Nonemployee compensation|
|CCGS Holdings LLC||Canonburg||PA||53945.13||5860||Rents|
|Ecological Energy Leasing LLC||Bristol||TN||52298.24||10114||Nonemployee compensation|
|Alex Perry||Gray||TN||37866.31||10815||Nonemployee compensation|
|Denise R. Bourne||Bristol||TN||23710||10016||Nonemployee compensation|
|Data Driven LLC||Memphis||TN||23181||10183||Nonemployee compensation|
|Jimmy Terry Jr.||Bristol||TN||22750||10175||Nonemployee compensation|
|Farmers Construction||Damascus||VA||20161.2||11521||Nonemployee compensation|
|Caudill Hill Ventures||Abingdon||VA||19469.11||9749||Rents|
|John Holt||Bristol||VA||18035.95||9602||Nonemployee compensation|
|Click Ridge Partners LLC||Johnson City||TN||17144||11463||Nonemployee compensation|
|Seam Group LLC||Indianapolis||IN||13700||11640||Nonemployee compensation|
|APG-East LLC||Greeneville||TN||11180||11539||Nonemployee compensation|
|Kurt Kummer||Bristol||TN||10748.42||8036||Nonemployee compensation|
|David Taylor||Bluff City||TN||10525.51||8730||Nonemployee compensation|
|South East Mowing LLC||Blountville||TN||10000||11569||Nonemployee compensation|
|Affenix LLC||Knoxville||TN||9980.06||11418||Nonemployee compensation|
|Eddie L. Allison||Bristol||TN||9712.59||151||Nonemployee compensation|
|Michael J. Morris||Middletown||CT||9300||10783||Nonemployee compensation|
|Patsy T. Fields||Blountville||TN||9213.32||9935||Nonemployee compensation|
|Playbox Technology USA LLC||Atlanta||GA||8942.4||10302||Nonemployee compensation|
|Steve Williamson||Bristol||TN||7265.35||4429||Nonemployee compensation|
|Lisa Sneed||Bristol||VA||7150||10078||Nonemployee compensation|
|Jack Dunham Jr.||Bristol||TN||6775||9756||Nonemployee compensation|
|Charles Lee Backus III||Johnson City||TN||6500||8585||Medical and health care payments|
|Lark Pouchet Adams||Bristol||TN||6440||9870||Nonemployee compensation|
|City Center LLC||Bristol||TN||6357.15||10418||Rents|
|Bert White Design||Bristol||TN||6297||8458||Nonemployee compensation|
|Wesley Alan Minga||Blountville||TN||6031.49||10967||Nonemployee compensation|
|Heather Dotterweich||Bristol||TN||5565||10422||Nonemployee compensation|
|Dolores Champagne||Bristol||VA||5307.5||4866||Nonemployee compensation|
|Hunter, Smith & Davis LLP||Kingsport||TN||5100||3354||Nonemployee compensation|
|McCollum Bottled Water LLC||Blountville||TN||5065.62||4259||Nonemployee compensation|
|Angela Karen Lawson||Greeneville||TN||4925||10773||Nonemployee compensation|
|Doris Jean Crusenberry||Bristol||TN||4820||3430||Nonemployee compensation|
|Caracal Enterprises LLC||Petaluma||CA||4795.73||10527||Nonemployee compensation|
|Alexa Serfis||Bristol||VA||4410||11020||Nonemployee compensation|
|William H Geiger II||Bristol||TN||4110||11546||Nonemployee compensation|
|Sheridan Kaley Nichols||Johnson City||TN||3900||9463||Nonemployee compensation|
|A+ Plumbing||Bristol||TN||3721.91||8025||Nonemployee compensation|
|Bernard Goliday Jr.||Bristol||VA||3640||9873||Nonemployee compensation|
|Burger Bar LLC||Bristol||VA||3604.5||11516||Nonemployee compensation|
|Levy Premium Food Service||Bristol||TN||3599.1||7131||Nonemployee compensation|
|Mark Freeman Architecture PLLC||Kingsport||TN||3550||4463||Nonemployee compensation|
|Troy Rutledge||Bluff City||TN||3315.75||9325||Nonemployee compensation|
|JR Crowder Plumbing & H2O Services||Bristol||VA||3300||11676||Nonemployee compensation|
|Eric Eiler||Blountville||TN||3287.5||10912||Nonemployee compensation|
|Paul W. Moss||Bristol||VA||3271.4||10805||Nonemployee compensation|
|Warren Thacker||Johnson City||TN||3150||9747||Nonemployee compensation|
|Dennis G. Hall||Bristol||VA||3119.16||11621||Nonemployee compensation|
|B. Wayne Lanthorn PHD||Kingsport||TN||2940||10425||Medical and health care payments|
|Carl Otey||Bristol||TN||2770||9765||Nonemployee compensation|
|Steven C. Lapointe||Boone||NC||2755||8630||Nonemployee compensation|
|Thomas Vance||Bristol||TN||2738.81||9607||Nonemployee compensation|
|Slagle Exterminating LLC||Bristol||TN||2700||452||Nonemployee compensation|
|Bass Berry & Sims PLC||Nashville||TN||2673||6764||Nonemployee compensation|
|Sharon Elaine Rock||Bristol||VA||2625||10564||Nonemployee compensation|
|Mark L. Collins||Greeneville||TN||2614||11009||Rents|
|Jared Kreiss||Bristol||TN||2250||11510||Nonemployee compensation|
|Matt Thompson||Nashville||TN||2250||11472||Nonemployee compensation|
|Carl E. Pierce||Bristol||TN||2150||2396||Nonemployee compensation|
|Ralph E. Cheek Jr.||Bristol||TN||2141.64||8961||Nonemployee compensation|
|Xavus Solutions LLC||Boston||MA||2070||10242||Nonemployee compensation|
|Maggie Lauren Fuller||Bristol||TN||2065||10787||Nonemployee compensation|
|Stowaway Storage of Morristown||Johnson City||TN||2043.14||11152||Rents|
|DTN LLC||Omaha||NE||2040||11551||Nonemployee compensation|
|Robert E. Smith||Bristol||TN||2040||11346||Nonemployee compensation|
|John Henry Rankins||Blountville||TN||2001||7948||Nonemployee compensation|
|Daniel A. Morgan||Suwanee||GA||2000||11471||Nonemployee compensation|
|Ferguson Animal Hospital||Bristol||TN||1821.12||6331||Medical and health care payments|
|Paul McMurray||Blountville||TN||1736||6351||Nonemployee compensation|
|Central Wrecker and Spring Serv||Johnson City||TN||1704.5||9973||Nonemployee compensation|
|William Earl Neikirk||Watauga||TN||1700||10476||Nonemployee compensation|
|Bristol Racquet & Fitness Club, LL||Bristol||TN||1658||11686||Rents|
|James Anthony Prichett||Joelton||TN||1650||11473||Nonemployee compensation|
|Rollen A. Ross||Kingsport||TN||1600||3276||Nonemployee compensation|
|Janice Chafin||Bristol||TN||1582.5||9933||Nonemployee compensation|
|Taffie G Barb||Bristol||TN||1580||10009||Nonemployee compensation|
|Bristol Tool||Bristol||TN||1567.4||8979||Nonemployee compensation|
|Lisa Martin||Bristol||TN||1539||11019||Nonemployee compensation|
|Brett A. Morey||Bristol||TN||1537||11568||Nonemployee compensation|
|Michael D. Dixon||Bristol||TN||1525||2510||Nonemployee compensation|
|Allison Outdoor Advertising LTD||Sylva||NC||1500||10942||Nonemployee compensation|
|John Boyd||Bristol||VA||1450||7511||Nonemployee compensation|
|John P. Kennedy Jr.||Bristol||TN||1440||10112||Nonemployee compensation|
|Revenue Assurance Prof LLC||Memphis||TN||1405.59||6705||Nonemployee compensation|
|Michael F. Mech||Bristol||TN||1354||9827||Nonemployee compensation|
|Beth M. Leonard||Bristol||TN||1328||5719||Nonemployee compensation|
|Wellmont Health System||Charlotte||NC||1275||10582||Medical and health care payments|
|Caudill Hill Ventures LLC||Abingdon||VA||1164.73||9749||Nonemployee compensation|
|Whites Roofing||Bristol||TN||1140||4971||Nonemployee compensation|
|Johnny D. Kerr||Salisbury||NC||1060||11264||Nonemployee compensation|
|Weaver Pike Utility District||Bristol||TN||1020||4317||Nonemployee compensation|
|Frank Perry Jr.||Bluff City||TN||1000||10609||Nonemployee compensation|
|Douglas K. Smith Jr.||Bristol||VA||1000||11655||Nonemployee compensation|
|Baseline Sports Construction LLC||Knoxville||TN||950||10055||Nonemployee compensation|
|Sandae Kennedy||Bristol||VA||924.6||11653||Nonemployee compensation|
|Business Information Systems||Piney Flats||TN||900||11376||Nonemployee compensation|
|Joey L. Tipton||Johnson City||TN||889||11119||Nonemployee compensation|
|OHD LLLP||Hoover||AL||810||11503||Nonemployee compensation|
|Randy M. Kennedy||Bristol||TN||734.5||11389||Nonemployee compensation|
|Joshua Wilson||Bristol||VA||700||11191||Nonemployee compensation|
|B & L Collision and Towing LLC||Blountville||TN||676.3||11464||Nonemployee compensation|
|Louise D. Stoker||Bramwell||WV||650||9681||Nonemployee compensation|
|Night Moves Mobile DJs||Bristol||TN||600||11483||Nonemployee compensation|
The city operates its own health clinic, where city employees can receive primary care, disease management and lab work at no cost. In 2018, the city paid $339,000 to Carehere to operate the clinic and $26,425 to McDonogh for the lease on the clinic building.
Mary Lee Williams, director of administration, said the goal of the clinic, which opened in January 2017, is to save the city money on health care for its employees and provide more accessible, inexpensive and convenient access to care. She said the city hopes to drive down insurance costs by providing a high level of care that should reduce health risks for employees overall and because the clinic doesn’t have the overhead for receptionists and other positions that a privately owned doctor’s office does.
Williams said information isn’t currently available on whether the city saved money through the clinic in 2018, although there will be a presentation at City Council’s work session on June 25 to show 2018 outcomes.
Solar power spending
The city allows Ecological Energy Leasing to have solar panels at the city demolition landfill, on the condition that it gets a kickback on some of the energy generated. Because the solar panels generate energy for the power grid, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services keeps track of this generated energy and the city receives a credit on its account. Through its deal with Ecological Energy Leasing, the city gets to keep part of the credit with the remainder going to Ecological Energy Leasing.
The payments made by the city to Ecological Energy Leasing are not payments for a service, but are instead the city passing along the company’s share of profits generated by the solar panels. In 2018, the amount it passed on was $52,000.
The city spent $38,000 on apparel, accessories and tools from TruBlu Tactical Police Supply in Johnson City for employees at the Bristol Tennessee Police Department. A report acquired by the Bristol Herald Courier through a Freedom of Information request shows that the city made 101 separate purchases from TruBlu in 2018 for items that included uniforms, shorts, body armor, trauma sheers, holsters and handcuff cases.
Police Department Capt. Walter Brown said this level of spending is typical in a year to make sure police equipment and uniforms are in good condition and to provide gear and apparel for new officers.