2012-01-12 / Local & State

Commissioners Hold Safety Meeting Tuesday

Hear additional budgetary concerns from department heads
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

With department heads asked to hold the bottom line in spending during recent years, the new Fulton County commissioners reviewed some budgetary concerns during their first two weeks of office.

EMA/911 Director Ruth Strait came to the commissioners on Tuesday with two unresolved budgetary concerns. Strait has appeared before the commissioners several times in recent weeks, including last Tuesday, January 3, regarding specific line items within her budgets.

According to Strait, she is still in need of a $2,000 allocation within the 2012 budget for HAZMAT. The allocation was reportedly agreed on by the prior board of commissioners following the final adoption of the budget. It is likely the request could be met via a budget transfer request from the budgetary reserves category.

In other money matters, Strait reported she purchased office shirts on December 12 but due to the holidays the official shipment was delayed until after the start of the new year. A debate has since arisen whether the purchase should be covered through the 2011 or 2012 budget. The purchase has been recorded at $210.06 and was signed off on by the commissioners.

The commissioners also signed the county’s updated emergency operations plan, which was presented by Strait, who will be receiving her official certification following completion of a emergency operations exercise later this month in the county’s Emergency Operations Center.

Commissioner Rodney Mc- Cray updated his fellow commissioners on a recent meeting of Franklin/Fulton Mental Health Mental Retardation. McCray indicated a proposal was reviewed from an organization interested in establishing a group home in county for local MHMR clients. While the firm did not specifically mention a location where it would like to establish the home, it was noted no more than three individuals could occupy the residence at one time.

Convening as the Safety Committee, the commissioners sat down with EMA/911 Director Ruth Strait, special projects coordinator Karen Hann and Bobby Snyder of Snyder Insurance this week. Human Services Administrator Jean Snyder attended by telephone.

Snyder stated one worker’s compensation claim has been logged since the committee’s last meeting on November 15, 2011. The claim stems from a Services for Children employee falling during a home visit on December 27. As there were no medical expenses incurred or lost time, the incident was a “reportable claim only,” Snyder added.

In addition, two property and liability claims were recorded due to vehicle crashes with deer. The accidents occurred on December 1 and January 4. One crash only resulted in a scratched bumper, while the second crash had estimated damage of $3,356. Both crashes involved employees of Services for Children.

The commissioners continued their discussion from last week pertaining to a commitment letter that would allow the county to borrow an additional $1.4 million from F&M Trust to complete the ongoing renovation project. No decision was made. However, it was noted the commissioners were preparing to reconvene on Wednesday, January 11, to tackle additional office matters.

Last Tuesday, January 3, Sheriff Keith Stains pointed out to the commissioners he has requested the purchase of a van during the last three years, but the purchase has not yet been budgeted. Asking for reconsideration by the new board, Stains said the van would allow his staff to haul more than two prisoners at a time. He routinely transports three or more prisoners at a time at least once weekly.

Stains said one of the current vehicles used by his office has approximately 160,000 miles.

A discussion was then held regarding the possible van purchase through a state contract.

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