March Brings Full Agenda For County Commission

The Jefferson County Commission held their March voting meeting on Monday, March 18, 2019 in the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse. Chairman Jefferson County Mayor Mark Potts called the meeting to order. Absent from roll call were Commissioners Solomon and Patterson.

Upon the approval of the minutes (Commissioners Scarlett / Carmichael) and the approval and correction of the agenda (Commissioners Seals / Byrd) two citizens addressed the full body. One citizen speaker requested the Commission extend a proposed tax waiver currently on the agenda for fire fighters to include the disabled and senior citizens. The other citizen speaker said that he favors more funding for CARE, the proposed leash extension and investigating the employment of a grant coordinator, as well as broad band accessibility.

The Commission approved Notaries and Bonds with a motion from Commissioner Baxley and Lowe. Under Business from the Mayor, two Mayoral appointments were approved. Colin McRae will sit on the Jefferson County E-911 Board and Jimmy Henry will complete a term for the late Hoagie Snodgrass on the Solid Waste Regional Planning Board to run through April 2012. The appointees were approved with motions from Scarlett/Reed and Carmichael / Bales respectively.

At the request of Jefferson County Department of Education ( Langdon Potts in for Director of Schools Dr.Shane Johnston who was unable to attend due to illness).Rules were suspended and the question of County contribution to the new JCHS welding program in the amount of $160,00 which would be matched by Jefferson County Schools was brought. With a motion from Commissioners Dockery and Huffaker the request was approved. Also finding favor with the County Commission was a request from the Department of Education to use $125,000 of funding previously assigned for windows for the use of hiring a firm to produce a needs assessment of the Department of Education facilities (excepting ADA compliance which was covered by the County Commission). Upon a motion from Commissioner Phagan and 2nd from Commissioner Huffaker the request was approved.

Upon second reading, the Commission approved on a 14-4-1 vote to waive the county motor vehicle tax for vehicles receiving redemption under chapter 923 of the public acts 2018 for Volunteer Firefighters and Rescue Squad Members. Under Business from the Mayor of Jefferson County, several resolutions were approved with the majority being regular housekeeping in nature. With the recommendation from the Jefferson County Finance Director to maintain the current line of coverage, the Commission approved a motion made by Seals/Huffaker to make no changes in the line of local government agency retiree coverage election at this time.

Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett brought four county and two school budget amendments as recommendations from the budget committee. All found favor with the County Commission, including allowing $588,000 to be used out of the Landfill 207 fund ( currently $1.6) to be used for Class III monitoring well installation and class III cell B closure , which came with an amendment to require regular updates to the County Commission and to update the status of state permitting to the County Commission. Currently the County has an ongoing audit finding in a deficit of $3.7 million dollars for post closure costs.

A resolution that would establish regulations regarding the restraint of dogs and cats in Jefferson County was postponed to allow Commissioners time to consider an amendment offered by Commissioner Thomas that was lengthy in nature. Resolution 2019-14 regarding Broadband and the alleviation of regulatory barriers to expansion was brought by Commissioners Phagan and Blevins. The resolution passed unanimously.

Source: K. Depew, News Director