Fiscal Court Recap: County Votes To Hire Firm To Help Administer Spending Of $2.3 Mil In Federal Grant Money
Darren Doyle, story:
Magistrates voted at today's fiscal court meeting to hire Compass Municipal Advisors, LLC., a company that will help administer Edmonson County's handling of over two million dollars in funding received from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Since the purposes for the money are highly scrutinized by the federal government, Edmonson County has yet to spend any at this time, mainly due to the vagueness of instructions from the government as to how and where the money can be spent.
The funding is part of the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan that was signed into law on March 11, 2021. The plan earmarks $350 billion for state, local, and tribal governments for the purpose of lost revenue and other financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the county spends any of the funding not later approved by the government, the funding will have to be paid back. Compass Municipal Advisors is a company that will partner with attorneys and other legal experts that will guide the county through the process. The company claims they can ensure the spending will be government approved.
Judge Wil Cannon said that each project will be submitted to the company and the company either approves or disapproves the purchase, based on their expertise of the law. Their commission would be three-quarters of one percent of the amount spent each time, not a percentage of the entire grant amount. The law firm of the company would also received a .75% commission, for a total of 1.5% commission of the county's purchases with the funding, or $1500 for every $100,000 spent.
The company guarantees their administering of the spending. The county received half the funding in June of 2021, which is currently earning around $1000 per month for the county, and the rest is expected to come sometime next year.
Road Report: Road Supervisor Greg Carroll reported tile installation throughout the county and said crews had been working lots of overtime, including Fridays and Saturdays (along with himself) to get caught up on the many projects that are ongoing.
Emergency Management Director Terry Massey reported 28 emergency runs in in the last month and noted that as of Friday, there were 183 active known Covid cases in the county. He also said the county has current Covid vaccination rate of 36% so far.
Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that he recently attended training at the state Sheriff’s Conference where he undergoes annual training. He said the recent fair only had one incident where law enforcement had to respond, where an individual was allegedly asked to leave who ended up having a current arrest warrant. His report today also included the shooting incident at Rocky Hill last week where he said he requested KSP for assistance due to the Sheriff's Office current shortage in manpower. He said he still has one officer out on medical leave for an injury.
Judge Cannon reported that there are currently 20 county inmates lodged at the Hart County Jail.
County Attorney Greg Vincent said he had been reviewing a draft of an inter-local agreement between Ohio, Butler, and Edmonson Counties for a proposed regional jail that Judge Cannon said could possibly be centrally located somewhere west of Morgantown. While the discussion is in its early stages, another jail possibility could bring more options to the fiscal court and would guarantee a place for county prisoners. Cannon said that even with an agreement with Hart County, as the county currently has, they still have the right to refuse prisoners.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported that his office is up and running after a recent Covid shutdown. He said the crew went back to work last week and he was thankful to be back in the office. The annual delinquent tax sale had to be postponed as a result of the closure and is scheduled for Tuesday, September 28, at 11AM in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.
Halloween in the Park has been set for Saturday October 30th at Chalybeate Park so people can spread out more than they can at the square and for more parking, Judge Cannon said.
A proposed pay increase for County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll was voted down today as three magistrates voted no with two magistrates voting in approval. The increase would have raised Carroll's annual salary from $50K to $54K; however, only magistrates Edd Rich, who made the motion to accept the increase, and Johnny Brooks, who seconded, voted YES. Magistrates Mark Meeks, James Vincent, and Corey VanMeter voted NO. The motion failed.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 12th (due to the Oct. 11th holiday) at 9AM and will be held virtually.