BONIFAY — After more than a year after applying the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners’ application for a $29,000 grant-funded generator for the Holmes County Court House was accepted and Board approved to pay the matching funds of $5,368.75 during their Sept. 24 meeting.
During the Board’s April 24, 2012 meeting Commissioner Kenneth Williams informed the Board that that they had applied for a grant towards a generator for the Court House.
“It’s a big enough generator to provide for the entire Court House no problem,” said Williams. “The match is between $2,000 and $4,000 for a $29,000 generator with the possibility for an In-Kind match for labor. We needed to apply for the grant that day, so it seemed like a no-brainer.”
The Board agreed with Williams.
“We’ll still have to do some work to do to accept the grant,” said Chair Monty Merchant. “Speaking of generators, we have multiple generators throughout the county and we’ve even had one go down not too long ago. We should appoint someone to check on those generators on a regular basis and report any abnormalities if there should be any found.”
Board agreed to allow Shop Director Roger Williams perform this task.
Board approved of Jerry Dixon as the newest member of the Holmes County Development Commission Board and agreed for all board members to bring names of potential candidate for the two open members-at-large positions still open.
County Attorney Jeff Goodman explained to the Board that the Holmes County Clerk of Court would be assuming financial responsibility for the Probation Services, which would take the Board out of the process.
“There are a lot of requirements but most of them don’t apply because this is a public service and the requirements are applied towards private,” said Goodman. “Clerk of Court Kyle Hudson doesn’t need the money from the Board to get it started. So the Clerk of Court has it handled and the Board needs to take no action.”
County Engineer Whitney Nelson from Melvin Engineering explained that there was “a deep need” to repair McCarnley Road and explained that since there is someone who is already mobilized for road work that the cost of patching would cost $4,800, which would exclude mobilization fees.
Board approved of patching McCarnley Road for $4,800 and gave a time frame of within 30 days for the work to get started.
“We don’t know when we’ll be able to get a deal like this again,” said Williams. “Mobilization fees alone could kill you in costs.”
Forest Area Supervisor Donnie Sellers for Florida Forestry Services gave his yearly report to the Board.
“We’ve had fewer fires due to rain and a Fire Readiness at a level 1, which means very unlikely for fires,” said Sellers. “We’re still battling cogongrass. Round-up really works but it needs at least two applications.”
Commissioner Bobby Sasnett explained the reason why his new grader had so little hours, which was brought into question by Williams at the special session held on Sept. 16.
Williams came to the special called meeting with new information based on recent findings.
“All graders are equipped with a GPS that helps us know exactly where it’s at, how long it runs and how long it’s idle at any given point 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Williams. “First I’d like to point out that the hours indicated on the GPS matches up with the hours logged by our operators, which is really good, however I’d like to point out the activity of District 1’s working grader.”
Williams presented the website of logged time through the GPS to show the commissioners.
“It operated for nine hours on Aug. 6, seven hours on three days and six hours or less the rest of the month,” said Williams. “What gets me is that on the day that I voted with you that you were in a state of emergency the one grader that worked was only operated for two hours that day. I’m just saying that if you are indeed in an emergency situation that you’d think that you’d be running the one grader that worked.”
Sasnett said that it rained for 28 consecutive days and that his grader operator had heart issues and had three doctor’s appointments.
“We also 12 springs to fix, two of which had to be fixed twice and materials are a two and a half hour trip for each load,” said Sasnett. “All the time took to get materials the grader has to wait, just sitting there. All the logged hours are accounted for.”
He said that from the time he started in office he let the other commissioners know that both of his districts graders were “shot.”
“Bill’s so upset he said he just might quit,” said Sasnett. “I want to wait until the workshop because I think I got something that might work.”
Merchant agreed that there was no doubt that Sasnett was in need of a grader.
“We need to work together as a board,” said Sasnett. “Other districts have more man-power than me. I think I’m capable of running my own district.”
Merchant agreed to help in any way possible and Williams agreed to lend him a grader and grader operator for the weekends until the special called meeting where Sasnett has assured the Board that he has an idea for fixing his dilemma.
Board approved of extending their annual agreement with the Medical Examiner.
Board also approved of the Holmes County Correctional Institution of using the Holmes County Fair Grounds for their regular training sessions on Nov. 14.
Board approved of using the Florida League of Cities for their Actuary Services at $6,000, which is good for 3-years according to Goodman.
Board approved of union negotiations contracts to offer the choice of two different health insurance options, to pay $586.66 toward each employee’s health insurance and for a cost of living pay increase for non-union employees of $250 for full time employees and $125 for part time employees with the requirement that they’ve been employed for at least six months and to exclude all state funded employees.
Goodman gave an update on the progress of potentially hiring a County Coordinator/Public Works Director.
“The Board has been given copies of all the applications,” said Goodman. “We are now in the process of developing a committee to review these applicants. We should have a list of potential committee members by the special session.”
The special session is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 30. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of County Commissioners is set for 9 a.m. on Oct. 8.