County Board Upsets Area Mayors
The White County Board met in regular session Tuesday night, but the meeting was anything but regular.
Following routine matters, acting chairman Don Puckett opened the floor to visitors, who quickly put the board and White County Sheriff Doug Maier on the hot seat.
The visitors; Grayville Mayor Joe Bisch, Norris City Mayor Roy Kissell and other representatives of the towns, were clearly not happy with a letter they had received from the county and sheriff’s department concerning billing for dispatch services.
Mayor Kissell expressed concerns about what the fee would actually cover, explaining that he has not had the opportunity to present the “letter” to the Norris City board, but thought they would not approve. He pointed out the village was in the middle of its fiscal year and having to pay the requested amount, $12,000 would be a hard hit. He said, at this time, he would have to say no, as he has to look out for my people.
Bisch shared Kissel’s sentiments pointing out that there was a time when Grayville handled all the dispatch duties, pointing out that Grayville only received $8700 annually for the service.
Kissell concluded by saying he only wished there had been better communication concerning the proposed fees.
Maier listened to the concerns and basically explained that he hated it but he was in a box, as the county was looking at ways of cutting costs and adding revenue. He said the monies from the fees would be going into the general fund, to pay for dispatching services including payroll for personnel. Maier pointed out the City of Carmi has been paying for half of dispatching and it wasn’t fair to the city, if no other city or village paid. He said the fees were based upon a percentage of calls dispatch backs up for the other towns.
Following over 20 minutes of discussion, Puckett apologized for the lack of communication, and moved on to other business.
That business included election of a chairman and a vice chairman. Puckett was named chairman. Ron McAnulty was voted vice chairman.
Committee appointments were announced. They are;
Budget; Don Puckett and Ron McAnulty
Ambulance; Kenny Usery and Jake Carter
City and County Jail; Puckett and McAnulty
Hiway; Usery and Clint Spencer
Jail; McAnulty and Puckett
Landfill; Usery and Spencer
IEMA: Puckett and McAnulty
Egyptian Health Department; Carter and Justin Dartt, who was approved earlier in the meeting
And a new committee; Solar; Puckett, Spencer and Highway Engineer Brian Ray
Usery was named to the animal control committee as well.
In other matters; the 2019 holiday calendar was approved; a $100,000 bond for county treasurer Pam Armstrong was approved, allowing her to collect fees; James P. Taylor was appointed to the Board of Review for a two year term.
A jury source list was presented by Circuit Clerk Kelly Fulkerson, who explained the matter was required to allow her to pick jurors from a approved list. She explained there were no trials this past year, allowing her to roll over the list for 2019, pointing out there may be a trial in January.
Two items were tabled; consideration of a contract between Dr. Saquib and the jail was tabled until a later date.
A request from the Ambulance service to go to a full time paid service with staffing for one 24 hour truck was tabled after new board members Jake Carter and Clint Spencer indicated they would like to see more numbers before approving the request.
Ambulance service director Adam Allen explained that if approved he had a number of paramedics willing to work for a paid service instead of the current volunteer service. Allen presented some projected numbers, but the board indicated they would prefer to see some solid figures prior to making a decision.
County attorney Denton Aud explained the board could call a special session if so desired after learning more and getting a chance to look at the numbers, so the matter was tabled.
The board then went into executive session to discuss personal.