Fiscal court has varied agenda during meeting

Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm

Clinton County Fiscal Court held its regular monthly meeting last Thursday, June 18, in the 2nd Floor courtroom of the courthouse with all members present.

After acknowledging receipt of the treasurer’s report, the court, on separate motions by Magistrates Gary Ferguson and Ray Marcum, respectively, approved the monthly treasurer’s report and voted to pay claims and bills.

The court then approved second reading of a 2020-21 budget amendment adding stimulus funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledged receiving the budget line item transfers.

Previously, the court, during a special call meeting held earlier in the month, had approved three cash transfers, all from the Occupational Tax Fund to the general, jail and ambulance funds.

Also during that meeting, they approved a resolution to participate in COVID-19 related relief under the CARES Act in which the county, if approved, could receive up to $347,000 in funding to be used for coronavirus related items only.

They would have to submit invoices and have payments reimbursed under the program.

Bids on road materials were then opened, with a total of five bids being received.

Two bids had been received for stone, from Brown Trucking and Gaddie-Shamrock. On a motion by Magistrate Johnny Russell, the court voted to do business with both companies as needed, since both were local.

County Attorney Michael Rains said that practice, which the county has done for several years, was acceptable according to auditors.

The court also approved the culvert bid from Albany Building Center, which was the lone bidder on that particular item. They also approved Gaddie-Shamrock, again the lone bidder, on both hot mix and chip seal.

Road Foreman Danny Abston then addressed the court about a problem with a road near Wolf Creek Dam, which begins in Russell County and ends in Clinton County around the late Carvin Hadley property.

Abston said there was a sinkhole about 35 feet up a bank “big enough to park two trucks in” and had caused a ditch to stop up and caused water draining problems under the road.

He further added the sinkhole needed to be filled in and property owners had given their permission to have that done to help avert the water drainage from going under the roadway.

County Attorney Rains said that since this poses a public safety hazard, it would be allowable for the county to make the repairs if the property owners gave an easement, which he will work on to have signed.

The motion to have the sinkhole filled in to fix the problem was made by Magistrate Ferguson and passed by unanimous vote.

Jailer Tracy Thurman then gave his monthly update, also turning over $312 in inmate phone use fees and $904 in booking fees.

The court then entered into a brief, seven minute closed session on personnel and announced that no action had been taken in the closed session.

However, upon returning to open session, a motion was made and passed to transfer funds from accounts, other than the road fund, which cannot be used other than for roads, to other accounts to balance the end of the year budget, which closes out June 30.

Magistrate Marcum then briefly asked about some old business issues, including the possible selling of property in the Airport Road area when property taxes had not been paid by the property owners.

County Attorney Rains noted that Assistant County Attorney Gary Little was still working on that issue. The issue arose a few months ago, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited judicial system in-person access. He noted, however, the issue was still on the table.

Marcum also asked about the recycling program and asked how often employees were picking up trash and litter along county roads.

Road Foreman Abston said recycling employees were picking up debris on the county roads on a daily basis.

Finally, Marcum noted that the upcoming fiscal year budget contains funds for county road equipment and suggested the road foreman put together a list of equipment the department needs and get price quotes and present them to the court, hopefully by the next regular meeting.

Abston agreed to do this, noting it would take a few weeks.

Marcum indicated the road department employees do not get paid much and need to have good equipment they can work with.

The just over half-hour meeting was then adjourned.

Fiscal court will have a special call meeting this Thursday, June 25, at 3 p.m. to consider second and final reading of the 2020-21 fiscal year budget, with the next regular meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 16, at 5 p.m.

Both meetings, to be held at the courthouse, will be streamed live on the Clinton County Judge/Executive’s Facebook page.