Fiscal Court: Landfill, Roads, and Cleaning Service
The Butler County Fiscal Court met in special session on Thursday night. The magistrates addressed a busy agenda, in a meeting lasting more than an hour. All magistrates were present along with several citizens.
The second reading of the 2014-15 budget was passed by a 5-0 vote. County Judge-Executive David Fields said passage of the budget was the primary reason for calling for a special session. Regulations require budgets be finalized prior to the close of the current fiscal year on June 30th.
Discussion of the bids for courthouse janitorial services led to a lengthy debate among the magistrates. In April the Court opened bids for the courthouse janitorial contract were opened and discussed in regular session. Three bids were received from; Shirley Neighbors, Teresa Forshee, and Cleaning Done Right of Edmonson County.
Shirley Neighbors and Teresa Forshee each bid $24,000 per year, and Cleaning Done Right bid the job at $1,850.00 per month, for an annual bid of $22,200. Because of the similar bids, magistrates decided in April to ask each of the bidders for a more detailed resume and references.
On Thursday night 2nd District Magistrate Johnny Tuck moved to award the bid to Shirley Neighbors, who has the current janitorial contract. First District Magistrate Stevie Givens seconded the motion.
When discussion opened on the motion 5th District Magistrate Keith Daugherty asked for an explanation. Daugherty told the Court that he thought the bidding process awarded the contract to the lowest bidder. Judge Fields explained that more information was requested from the bidders.
Daugherty responded saying that requirements were changed, "because Shirley didn't get the bid." Daugherty also asked why Forshee wasn't considered for the contract.
Fields said that Forshee didn't respond to the request for more information. According to Fields, Cleaning Done Right had significant experience in facilities maintenance, but no janitorial experience. Daugherty asked if Forshee was properly notified about the need for additional information. Judge's Secretary Kim Phelps answered that she was notified in writing, but not by registered mail.
A vote was called in the motion, and it passed by a 4-1 vote. Daugherty cast the only nay vote.
Third District Magistrate Chad Tyree, and County Attorney Dick Deye then discussed and explained a legal case concerning landfill property owned by the City of Bowling Green, and its proposed sale. For more on this, see the story on beechtreenews.com.
Magistrates then voted 5-0 to accept a recycling grant for $94,255.
At the suggestion of the Butler County Library, Veda Lindsey was appointed to the Library Board. The Court voted 5-0 to appoint Lindsey until July 31, 2018.
Prior to the meeting there was a hearing for community comments concerning the addition of White Oak Lane to the county road list. There was no public opposition to the addition. When the item was discussed in the special session magistrates voted 5-0 on a motion by 4th District Magistrate David Whittinghill to accept first reading on an ordinance to add the road. The road will go into county maintenance after the ordinance is published, and finalized with a second reading and vote.
At the request of 3rd District Magistrate Chad Tyree discussion was opened concerning how roads are accepted into county maintenance. Specifically, Tyree wanted to discuss the denial of a request to add Eric Young Road to the county road list. The Court voted 3-2 against adding the road at the regular June meeting of the Fiscal Court.
Tyree wanted to know why residents thought the road would be added if it was brought up to county requirements.
County Attorney Dick Deye told Tyree that adding roads to the county list involved both county, and state laws. Deye said that it has to be proven that adding a road is in the interest of the general public. According to Deye that's why the process of adding roads involves committees and public hearings. "Otherwise we would be paving driveways," said Deye.
Deye further stated, "they can pave a road in gold, but if it doesn't serve a broad, general purpose, it can't come in."
The County Attorney then explained that if adding a road is in the public interest that it then has to meet county requirements. Magistrate Johnny Tuck stated that residents of Eric Young Road were given the recommendations of the viewing committee, and thought that making the mentioned corrections would help the road be added.
After more discussion it was decided that Road Supervisor Timmy West would resubmit his evaluation of the road to the Court in July, and the road would be reconsidered at that time.
Tyree then asked to revisit the addition of Marie Vance Road to the county road list. In the regular June meeting of the Court a motion to add the road died for lack of a second. Tyree said that more discussion should have been had about the road, because he said he had found out that adding the road was in the public interest.
Judge Fields said that there had been confusion about the process of adding roads. Kim West gave all magistrates a copy of requirements and procedures to add a road. Fields explained that a motion to add a road doesn't guarantee it will be added, but starts the process of adding it. He said the motion constitutes the first reading of an ordinance to add the road, contingent on the findings of a viewing committee and public hearing. Fields said in the interest of fairness that viewing committees would consist of Timmy West, and the magistrates from the north side for south side roads, and vice versa.
A motion was then made by Johnny Tuck to add Marie Vance Road to the road list. Chad Tyree seconded and the motion passed 5-0. Judge Fields told Tim West that from now on a written report from the viewing committee would be required, with a copy given to the citizens requesting the addition.
In other business the Court voted to accept $2,777.17 in reimbursement from the Rochester Ferry to the County Road Department for labor. They also approved the purchase of a new general purpose truck for the Road Department, at the cost of $28,169.00, and the purchase of a used, single-axle dump truck from the state surplus sale. The cost of the dump truck will be $14,000. Timmy West reported that the truck is already plumbed for snow plows and salt spreaders.
Magistrate Chad Tyree asked to discuss speed limits in county roads. The Court briefly discussed the matter, with Judge Fields asking Three to find out more about the matter for a report at a future meeting.
The future of the old EMS building was next in the agenda. Some discussion was had about the utility bills at the building, and future uses of the building. June Howard of the Butler County Rescue Squad told the Court that they had a boat and two vehicles that ate stored outside, and that they need more room. No action was taken, but 1st District Magistrate Stevie Givens said he will find out more about utilities from the Fire Department and report in August.
The Court next approved a resolution asking for a Community Development Block Grant for funding to build a new senior citizens center. The motion passed 5-0. Next the magistrates approved a refund of HRA and Insurance premiums, by a 5-0 vote. After approving bills and transfers the meeting was then adjourned.