PROCEEDINGS FOR THE
TAYLOR COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
The Taylor County Board of Supervisors met in regular session at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, January 20th, 2023.
Supervisor Fitzgerald called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Supervisor roll call: Fitzgerald, Watson, Beggs, all present. Also present: Corey Leftwich, Josh Good, Clelland Maynes, Donald McMillin, Kenny Beason, John Walston, Rick Sheley, Jacque Lenhart, James Murphy, Shane Bennett, and Matt Churchill.
Watson motioned to approve the minutes from January 12th with revisions and approve the agenda for today’s meeting. Beggs seconded. MC 3-0.
In public comments, Sheley expressed dissatisfaction with Leftwich. Lenhart expressed concern with the termination of a courthouse employee and whether proper procedure was followed. Beason expressed concerns about Leftwich and an internal county investigation into him. Murphy expressed concerns about Leftwich and inquired as to where authority belongs to terminate employment of certain county employees. Walston, Beason and Sheley expressed concerns about a special election not being called to fill the position of the Auditor. Murphy expressed concern regarding Leftwich being appointed and whether he was appropriately selected for the position.
Shellia Culp joined the meeting. Paige Beason joined the meeting virtually. Beason, Walston, Sheley, Lenhart, and Culp left the meeting. Justin Savage, Josh Weed, Cole Walters, Tom DeMott, Eric Stream, and Carter DeMott joined the meeting. Julie Robinson, Rick Sheley, Cavin Cox, Dana Davis, Tara Cummings, Tricia Wilmarth, Nick Zimmer and John Biggins joined the meeting virtually.
There were no committee reports.
Savage advised he has no utility permits for approval. He presented his findings for the All-Systems Permit routes. The finer points of the legal changes were discussed regarding the All-Systems Permit requirements, and that previous proclamations for increases in weight allowances were being replaced by this new program. He advised there are no projections regarding the income that would be received from joining the permit program. The Board discussed the desire to have the permit system help as many people as possible and discussed the possibility of rating all bridges to protect the bridges we have now to prevent additional degradation. Savage could not provide a timeline or cost estimate to have a consultant rate all the bridges in the county but advised he would research it further. All physically present attendees expressed an interest to the Board in having the county “opened up” to the permit. The Board decided to table the discussion until a later time while they take into consideration the points made by the attendees.
Sarah Guilliatt and Jackie Minor joined the meeting. Stream, DeMott, DeMott, and Bennett left the meeting.
Savage presented the proposed holidays for the Secondary roads. The proposed holidays are: January 2nd & 16th, February 20th, May 26th & 29th, July 3rd & 4th, September 1st & 4th, November 10th, 23rd and 24th, and December 25th. Watson motioned to approve the holidays as presented, Beggs seconded. MC 3-0.
Cole Walters with Taylor County Partners (TCP), along with Nick Zimmer and John Biggins from American City Bureau (ACB) presented to the Board details on the “Connect Center” project they have been working with TCP on. The Board wanted to know if they could have the center opened by 2025, with capital campaign fundraising done by Q1 2024, beginning construction shortly after that. ACB presented on the history of their company, as well as some of the projects they have been successful in completing. Walters presented some examples of projects that have been successful in the surrounding areas to show that the “Connect Center” project is feasible. TCP advised they would like funding of $25,000 from the county to help match the Taylor County Endowment Grant and begin moving the process forward, with the next step being obtaining a survey of Bibbins Park. TCP advised all indications point to the project being sustainable. They are working on finalizing plans to present a proposal to the Bedford City Council & Park Board. TCP & the Board discussed potential alternative locations for the “Connect Center” such as behind Tinker Tots or behind the Taylor County Museum. They discussed establishing an endowment so they could continue to remain sustainable for the long term by funding deferred maintenance in advance. The memberships being offered would make the project sustainable and that any extra income the “Connect Center” earns from event hosting, would be additional income that could be placed into the endowment. TCP advised they have a 501(c)(3) designation, and the bylaws establish that no board member can take pay from the organization. TCP discussed methods they would use to gain funding as well as discussed whether the county can provide funding to the non-profit for a project like this. The Board advised they will continue discussing it with legal counsel and continue to meet with TCP for further discussion.
Belinda Ogle joined the meeting. Weed, Zimmer and Biggins left the meeting.
The Board reviewed the three quotes obtained for duct cleaning of the courthouse basement. Beggs motioned to approve the quote from Austin’s Carpet and Duct Cleaning for $530. Watson seconded. MC 3-0.
Josh presented a request to the Board for the transfer of a phone line to the IT office, the license for which is not currently in use. Watson motioned to approve the transfer of the phone line to the IT office and budget, Beggs seconded. MC 3-0.
Savage returned to the meeting to share additional information about the All-Systems Permit, and how the other counties are currently utilizing the permit. Savage advised there are approximately 100 bridges in Taylor Co. that aren’t embargoed, and would cost 200-$300 a bridge to rate. Savage left the meeting.
Leftwich requested the Board approve an early “spring cleaning” day which would allow the county to remove outdated equipment and have old documents shredded to make better use of storage space. Watson motioned to approve paying Paper Tiger to shred documents with a special trip to the Courthouse, a roll-off dumpster from Hawn Sanitation and the removal of old computer monitors through Hawn Sanitation. Beggs seconded. MC 3-0.
Leftwich presented on behalf of Emergency Management, the request to list an old backup generator for parts via a sealed bid process. Watson motioned to approve, Beggs seconded. MC 3-0.
The Board decided to discuss plans for 203 Main Street at a later date, once a direction for the Public Health department was determined. Leftwich presented on behalf of Public Health, the request to move the paying of the utility bills for 203 Main Street to the County General Services department for budget purposes. Watson motioned to approve the request effective immediately, Beggs seconded. MC 3-0.
Josh Weed joined the meeting virtually.
Ogle presented Resolution 2023-08 to the Board, a resolution adopting the Taylor County multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan. The presentation included discussing the resources we have as a county, policies, and how we get funding. Ogle described the plan as a prerequisite to obtaining government funding. Beggs motion to approve the resolution, Watson seconded. MC 3-0.
Dana Davis joined the meeting.
Davis presented the Treasurer’s Semi-Annual Report to the Board. She presented verification to the Board of the status of the County’s investments and reports for the Board to sign-off on. The Board approved the report by signing it.
Ogle presented to the Board, building improvements to the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) building that are required by code. The list was reviewed and the Board was made aware of the steps being taken to meet code, and reporting back to the insurance provider the progress being made. Ogle advised the report is due back in 60 days and that she will meet with the Board in 30 days to provide an update.
Ogle presented to the Board, the history of the funding for EMA, and how they are operating on less funding than they have in previous years. Ogle presented a case for making the EMA position a full time position, and how the Board could go about funding it. No decisions were rendered as the suggestion was being made for budget planning reasons.
Ogle, Guilliatt, Minor left the meeting.
The Board reviewed topics for discussion in future meetings. Watson motioned to adjourn the meeting, Beggs seconded. MC 3-0.
Ronald Fitzgerald, Chairman, Board of Supervisors
Corey Leftwich, Auditor