Commissioners Meet

Leon County Commissioners met Thursday, December 21st, for their last regular scheduled meeting of the year. All were present except Commissioner Joey Sullivan who was taking a rare day off to enjoy hunting with a grandson. Leon County Judge Byron Ryder presided.

Following a brief closed session, the court returned to the public forum and a motion was made to appoint David Welch to fill the vacated position of Constable in Precinct 4 for one year (January 1st to December 31st). Welch is currently in the running for this position with primary elections scheduled for March. The appointment was approved.

Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis thanked Welch for the substitute work Welch has done for the sheriff?s department. ?David has helped us on a part time basis when we have been short handed,? said Ellis. ?I really appreciated his help.?

Emergency Manager Jimmy Carrigan reported on activity earlier this morning at the Sanderson Farm feed mill on Highway 79 just east of Oakwood. Employees had smelled what they believed to be smoke in one of the mills. It was determined that the odor was smoldering corn which had reached a temperature near 1000 degrees.

The buildings were evacuated and the entrance way to the plant closed while the Oakwood VFD determined the safety of the structures. Carrigan, who said he was there in support of the Oakwood VFD, reported that subject matter experts had been called in and no threat of explosion or fire existed.

On the subject of the High Speed Rail, Judge Ryder reported that the fight against the train continues. ?They have chosen a route now,? said Ryder, ?that will take the rails between the Jewett VFW building and the Leon School. It will include a part of Limestone County.? In the next 60 days, results of an Environmental Study will be held. Ryder encouraged the public to attend and express their concerns.

Approval was given to sign the 2018 Election Resolution for Joint Primary. Also approved was the 2018 Joint Primary Election Services Contract. Election Administrator Donna Golden reported that both party chairs (Republican Ken Kunz and Democrat Clara Jones) had been contacted. The primary will be held March 6th.

Approval was voted for consolidating voting precincts for the May 22, 2018 Primary Run-off Election. This can be consolidated because, traditionally, the voter turn out is light explained Golden.

Leon District Clerk Beverly Wilson requested the court approve a Statement of Work from Database for the record scanning project in her department. Wilson said it was the same company they have been working with but with an improved rate. Leon Auditor Melissa Abney commented that the work Wilson has done to record the data had greatly relieved her office and thanked Wilson for doing the work.

The court voted to amend the personnel policy making meals for day trips ineligible for reimbursement. The matter has been brought to the auditor?s attention by County Attorney Caleb Henson.

Luke Watts of SpyGlass addressed the court about the work of his cost advisory and auditing firm. SpyGlass will exam all the counties communication expenses to find billing eras, overcharges, or unused items and make recommendations to maximize savings. Watts said his company is not affiliated with any communications vendors and will look for the best possible rates to reduce costs. The court voted no action on this matter.

The agenda item to secure liability insurance for the District Attorney, District Judges, and Law Enforcement Officers was tabled until more information on what insurance was already in place for these public officials can be determined.

Approval was voted to re-appoint Eric Lundquest and to appoint Scott Christensen to the Southwest Leon County ESD #2.

No action was taken to implement a burn ban. This item had been put on the agenda before the recent rain event.

A road use agreement for XTO on CR 336 in Precinct 3 was approved for 90 days.

A donation from Covey Park of $3,500 for Precinct 3 was approved.

District Clerk Wilson requested that the audio and visual equipment in the court rooms be upgraded and presented the court with a quote from AV-Custom Cable and Security for $3,829.77. The court gave their approval for the upgrade.

The judge and commissioners wished a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Leon County residents.