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Budget Committee Meeting Minutes – September 8, 2023 (Approved)

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Chair Erin Curry opened the meeting by naming the members of the committee.  The Minutes of 22 Jul 2023 and 4 Aug 2023 were moved for approval, together, by Commissioner Gayle Jones, seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour, and were approved unanimously.  Since all members of the committee had attended the same day school committee meeting, a motion by Commissioner Caleb Savage, seconded by Commissioner Judy Pruett, to approve the school amendments was made and was approved.  The Chair mentioned that a $10K request for tractor repair for use at the Agri-Park had been approved and that she would suggest adding that in addition to the school amendment.    The Chair asked if there were anyone from the public that would like to comment and while no-one from the public did want to comment, Commissioner Matt Rubelsky asked for the name of the winning bid for the Richland roofing.  Dr. Beard said she had not been at the opening of the bid, so she was unsure of the name of the company but that she would get that for the commissioners.   In addition to the school and the Agri-park budgetary recommendations the handout provided by the FM also included the funding from the fund balance for county court approved non-profit allocations and a movement of the Broadband funding to the Capital Project budget line item.  A request from Commissioner David Adams was to separate the Broadband funding from the $10K for the Agri-Park.  Commissioner Terry Jones moved for approval of the Broadband funding re-allocation to capital projects, and with Commissioner Evan Baddour providing the second the motion was approved unanimously.  Discussion on the $10K centered around why shouldn’t the clubs, part of the non-profit Agri-park organization, pay some part of that requirement.  The CE said there is no money in the budget for that to happen.  Commissioner Evan Baddour asked how much to they pay, and the answer $500 a day for events, and fees are passed along.  Commissioner Terry Jones moved that up to $10K be provided from the fund balance, and with Commissioner Caleb Savage providing the second, a roll call was taken.  The motion passed 6 – 1, with Commissioner David Adams voting no.  Commissioner Caleb Savage asked if the vote for non-profits could be for each rather than as one block, with the reasoning that he supported some of them, but not all.  Questions did arise on some of the non-profits which benefit one county organization and why not included in their budgets.  No decision was made at the time.


The Chair recapped the regional meeting which had been conducted the night before.  She raised several issues discussed at that meeting, some of those being:   having an opioid committee to determine how to spend funding becoming available with some restricted and some not restricted.  Additionally, the funding may be funded for 18 years.  The CE mentioned this could be a sub-committee.  Another issue was that the SROs have to be by school, not split up.  The agendas for the committees do not have to be placed in the paper.  Meetings cannot be cancelled after notification unless in rules.  The reappraisal for residential and for commercial differ with years required, i.e., residential every five years and commercial every one year.  Consideration is being given to doing the residential more frequently.  Commissioner Caleb Savage mentioned an ongoing consideration in Lawrence County, i.e., arming administrators since they already are more likely to patrol the schools, and would increase individuals that could protect the students/schools. Commissioner Judy Pruett asked Dr. Beard how she feels about more guns in the school.  Dr. Beard responded that sometimes it is difficult for the police to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys.  Commissioner James Lathrop said that bad guys go to “soft targets”, and that having more individuals in the schools armed would be a deterrent.   Commissioner Savage said he was just bringing it to everyone’s attention, that he would need more information.


CE Stowe provided a variety of information on ongoing activity.  He mentioned personnel policies for the county and that individual departments need their own policies and that the County Attorney was looking at policies.  This will be on file in the Clerk’s office.  Some commissioners need to update email information.  There will be a work session for a spec building discussion on 2 October at 9:00 and the county will have to do a match if that is later approved.  There will be a couple of resolutions to consider, one being the committee assignments and another on courthouse policy.  That, he said, will be discussed in property committee meeting next week.  Another meeting will be scheduled in early October to have OHM, the courthouse contractor, provide an update.  The Ambulance site location evaluation is approximate 75% done.  He has received two letters of application for the county attorney position.  And he asked that all review the rules for committee assignments.


A motion by Commissioner Caleb Savage to adjourn was made, was seconded by Commissioner David Adams, and was approved.


ATTENDEES:  Members of the Committee Chair Commissioner Erin Curry, Commissioners: Terry Jones, David Adams, Caleb Savage for Mathew Hopkins (absent), Gayle Jones, Evan Baddour and Judy Pruett Other Commissioners in attendance:  Shelly Goolsby, Dr. James Lathrop, Matt Rubelsky, Joyce Woodard, Annelle Guthrie, Tim Risner, Joseph Sutton, Tammy Mathis, Rose Brown, David Wamble Other:  County Executive Graham Stowe, Financial Management Director Beth Moore-Sumners, Department School Superintendent Dr. Vickie Beard, and members of the public