Fiscal Court Recap: Court Votes To Purchase 12 Acre Property For Future Animal Shelter, Other County Use
Court Also Acknowledges Census Bureau Effort In Edmonson County
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Magistrates voted to purchase a 12-acre property in the county for a price of $105,000 for a possible future site of a county animal shelter in today's Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting. Judge Executive Wil Cannon said the property could also be used by the county road department, as well as for sheriff's office storage.
The property had been discussed in previous closed session meetings. When asked about the location of the property, Judge Cannon said he couldn't disclose the location until a deal had been completed; however, terms of the deal were discussed in open court. The county will pay $20,000 down with the balance of $85K being paid once the seller moves completely from the property, which is said to be June 1, 2020. The seller will forfeit $1,000 per week for every week thereafter until the seller surrenders the property. The location is expected to be released once the final agreement with the county and seller is completed.
The court also acknowledged a proclamation signed by Judge Executive Wil Cannon that declared Edmonson County's support of local 2020 U.S. Census Bureau efforts at today's fiscal court meeting.
Julie K. Trovillion, a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau said the participation in the census for all county residents was extremely important in order for the county to be properly represented and accounted for on governmental issues and that she was grateful for the cooperation with local government officials. More details on next year's census will be released as they become available.
Various county offices reported to the court:
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll reported that paving projects are expected to be complete for 2019 in the county next week, weather permitting. He said crews were moving into District 3 as they finish up in District 6. He also said there was approximately $4,000 worth of damage on Bailey Branch, off of Sweet Pea Road in District 6 that appears to be from a tree service truck. Carroll said the damage was reported by a homeowner on the road. Judge Cannon said the county is reaching out to the tree service company for payment for the damages.
Sheriff’s/Jailer Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle reported a busy two weeks with 31 arrests related to drugs, warrants, domestic violence, and DUIs. He also added that fair activity was relatively uneventful with no major problems. He also personally thanked Greg Carroll for repairing the handrail at the sheriff's office by providing necessary welding. He also asked the court to advertise for bids for the office's truck replacement. While the court voted to approve the purchase, approval to advertise for the bid of a vehicle hadn't happened and a purchase can't be made without it.
He also pointed out a potentially serious problem with Hart County Jail where he said the Hart Co jailer had reneged on an agreement the jailer made to the county of always providing a place for Edmonson County inmates. Jailer Hank Vincent and Judge Cannon said that the jail had refused county inmates 8-9 times in two weeks. Cannon said the Hart County Jailer told Cannon that since the county's primary contract wasn't with the jail he would fill the spots as he feels. The county has a three-way agreement with Butler, Hart, and Warren County Jails; however, Butler County will only allow a maximum of 10 county inmates from Edmonson. Sheriff Doyle said the county has to work out the problems in order for inmates to be guaranteed a place after they're arrested.
Judge Cannon said he would contact the Hart Co Jail to see what the problem is, but so far, there has been no advantage of using both Butler County and Hart County Jails. Jailer Hank Vincent reported 33 County Inmates at the jail, which he said was abnormally high.
County Clerk: County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported on the recent delinquent tax sale on Sept 10, where 68 tax bills were sold: 38 of which were purchased by one individual. He said it was the best tax sale so far.
County Road Resolution:
Judge Cannon also discussed an overhaul of the resolution that outlines the county taking in private developed roads for the purpose of adopting more private roads with less restrictions. Cannon said he wants to loosen the restrictions in an attempt to encourage more developers to build developments which would hopefully lead to more homes in the county. Magistrates Mark Meeks and Edd Rich asked to appoint a committee to discuss possible changes rather than voting on the resolution changes today. Cannon appointed all magistrates and County Attorney Greg Vincent to the committee and scheduled a meeting October 16th to discuss.
County Employees Using County Vehicles For Family Use:
The court also agreed to adjust the county's policy on the use of county employees using county vehicles. The current policy prohibits employees from transporting family members for non-county related matters. Cannon noted a particular example of how an employee dropping off a child at school or daycare on an employee's way to or from work, or other similar pick-up/drop-off situations should be allowed since it was no harm to the county. After a brief discussion and clarifications, the resolution passed.
The court also approved a host of reports and acknowledged City of Brownsville's tax rates as well as Edmonson County Ambulance and Edmonson County School tax rates. The court also approved the hiring of two more full time road employees.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 15th 9am due to Columbus Day being on the normal second Monday of the month.