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County Commission Meets

The regular meeting of the Gilmer County Commission on Tues., Feb. 18 had a lot of ground to cover ... even if it strictly stuck to the agenda.

However, numerous matters kept creeping in, and Commissioners Larry Chapman, Brian Kennedy, and Darrel Ramsey were hard-pressed to reign it all in. In the end, several folks were called in from various Court House offices to clarify issues for the Commission.

First on the agenda, after the Pledge of Allegiance, was a report from the to-be-renamed "Dilapidated Buildings Committee." Speaking for the soon-to-be "Unsafe Buildings and Lands Committee" was Matthew Echard who informed the Commissioners that Glenville has two different ordinances regarding unsafe properties. One was adopted in 2004 and another in 2010. The first thing the group did was combine the two into one document which covers all of Glenville and Gilmer County. The structure for fines had been different in the two, so that was standardized, and the completed document should be in the hands of the Commissioners by their next regular meeting to be voted on.

Echard indicated there were no recommendations from the UBaLC as to the next property to be acted upon because "We've been in Ôadministration mode,' not Ôinvestigative mode'" while working on the new ordinance.

Another speaker, Gerry Moore, eloquently spoke on behalf of Rosedale's senior citizens inviting the County Commission to donate to the new addition to the Rosedale Senior Center. Since acquiring the building, the group has done extensive inside and outside work to the building and have held many local events there to support the Rosedale community. The seniors seek to put a 30'-by-70' extension on the building to accommodate larger groups and larger events.

Moore asked for $5,000 from the Commission to help fund the project. The Commissioners had nothing but good things to say about the senior organization, praising their zeal to assist in their community.

The consensus among the trio was that the project would be remembered - somehow - when the upcoming budget was finalized.

Chief Deputy John Moss came before the Commission to get paperwork signed for a USDA Grant for a new cruiser. If the grant is received and matching funds can be gotten from the GCC, the older cruiser could be put into use by other government personnel. In a quick vote, the Commissioners agreed to sign for the grant.

There was then a long discussion with Angel Ball regarding Budget Revisions. Apparently, several items were over budget and needed some attention. Potential solutions were discussed and some were accepted and others rejected. Several bits will certainly surface at the next meeting.

The County's Office of Emergency Management Director, Susie Kirkpatrick, had her contract up for renewal again this meeting. Her request to renew came with a plea for a small increase in pay to offset the many training classes she is required to take each year. The GCC agreed to extend her contract another year with the increase.

Additionally, Eric Squires' contract, as Deputy Director of Office of Emergency Management, was reviewed and approved.
A draft of the Gilmer County Competitive Bid Policy was presented to the GCC which had been drawn up by County Attorney Gerry Hough. As it was lengthy, it was requested by Chapman that discussion be held over until the next meeting to allow time to review. This was agreed on and the item was tabled.

A quick discussion of the testing of the Panic Alarms in the Courthouse was attended by the Courthouse's Jack-of-All-Trades, Troy Cottrill. He would be assisting by Ôclearing the board' in the Sheriff's Office while each alarm was tested.
The rent proposal for the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department for the Ambulance Authority was brought before the GCC. As there was some apparent issue, Kennedy agreed to meet with Martin Hess, the Fire Chief, and discuss the situation with him. He would then report back to the Commission. This was agreed, and the matter was tabled until the next meeting.

The Recreation Center Pool repairwork was discussed next. Kennedy has received verbal assurances and commitments for help on this project since it was unable to be finished last year. The GCC will, however, draft a letter to several local businesses which might be able to lend a hand financially. Currently, the GCC is looking at raising $50,000 more of a $100,000 project. Since work ended last year, they have found a company that can do the work in a 3-week timeframe.

Also, in New Business, the GCC approved $300 for Jess McVaney's State Coroner's Exam and set the date for a budget meeting with elected officials for March 4, 2014.

In addition to this, the commissioners heard and / or acted upon: Exonerations, and/or Consolidations (none); Approved estate qualifications and estate settlements; Board Appointments and/or resignations (none); Approved invoices for payment totaling $40,576.47; Approved the minutes of last meeting; Received County Board Minutes.

The commissioners also heard reports regarding: First Energy's office move to their new location; Renewal contract for Lewis-Gilmer E-911 and dispatch services; the Submitted Fuel Tax Refund Claim Form for $1,700; the Tanner Community Building Property Damage Insurance Claim Update (which is overseen by the GCC); the Final hearing for Board of Review and Equalization on Mon., 2/24; Adjournment Board of Review and Equalization on Mon., 2/24; and other correspondence or information.

The next Gilmer County Commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Tues., March 4.