Quorum Court Approves Budget Clean-up at Meeting

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Justices handled a light agenda at Monday night's regular meeting of the Clay County Quorum Court, held at the courthouse in Corning. With all members in attendance, the JPs approved two ordinances, discussed the issue of sick days and viewed a presentation by a member of the Corning Beautification Committee. Judge Mike Patterson also provided an update of county activities.

After dispensing with the usual agenda items, the justices heard from Drew Calhoun of the Corning Beautification Committee. Calhoun had addressed the court about a year ago concerning the condition of the grounds at the western district courthouse. At the time he noted the committee would be willing to work with the county to improve the situation, if the court would allow.

Having already announced his intention to retire, Judge Gary Howell chose to wait until Patterson took office to allow him the chance to be included in the decision making process.

Calhoun presented a brief slide show of signs which he proposed to place around the courthouse to identify parking for employees and elected officials. He indicated the blank signs were less than four dollars each, and would be completed at a local business. Calhoun also proposed the purchase of ornamental posts, prompting an alternative suggestion.

“If you can provide the signs we'll have square steel stock cut into lengths, and capped, in our shop and we can do it a lot cheaper,” Justice David Cagle offered. “We can also work with you on getting them placed, maybe with 309s doing the labor if that's okay with Sheriff (Terry) Miller.”

Calhoun noted there were 20 signs which would need replacing, and presented several styles for review. The consensus was a rectangle sign with the county seal and associated office.

Following the presentation, and discussion, the justices voted 9-0 to allow the effort to proceed and pay for both the signs and posts.

The court then considered Ordinance 2017-04-Code 250-03, placing the measure on all three readings and approving it with the accompanying emergency clause. The ordinance allows the county to purchase a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban from County Coroner Paul Hoggard. Such a measure is required any time the county does business with an elected official, employee or family member of such.

The county plans to purchase the used vehicle from Hoggard to replace the 2000 GMC currently out of commission which is used by the 911 Coordinator. The ordinance noted the coordinator had been forced to use their personnel vehicle due to the break-down, and the measure passed without dissent.

Next, the justices considered Ordinance 2017-05, which served to appropriate automation and maintenance funds and clean-up automation and other budgets for 2016. It also authorizes the county treasurer to transfer funds from county general to the sheriff department's DARE program and the K-9 dog fund.

The justices waived the stipulation that the ordinance be read on three separate occasions, and approved it along with the accompanying emergency clause on a vote of 9-0.

During his update on county business, Patterson discussed the issue of county employees pooling sick days. “I've gotten a plan from another county that works good for them, we'll go over it at the next meeting,” he offered. “We have some people that have a lot of sick days built up, and some don't have many at all, we just need to work out the particulars.”

The subject had been discussed at earlier meetings, as employees had requested a system to be able to share sick days with other employees, most notably those facing catastrophic illness or injury. Once in place, the system would allow those who choose to share un-used sick days with those who no longer have any available.

“One stipulation would be that if you chose not to donate hours and be a part of the effort you wouldn't be able to take advantage of the program later if you needed hours,” Patterson added.

Patterson also indicated two large culverts had washed-out near the Greene County line during the recent heavy rains. He noted both would need to be replaced, and both were the responsibility of Clay County.

“We're talking bit eight-foot pipes that have been there a long time,” Patterson explained. “But, we'll shop it around and get the best price we can.”

The judge also noted several bridge projects are set to begin in the coming weeks.

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