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Multiple issues before county commission

By Bonnie Davis Guy
The December 17th Johnson County Commission meeting came to order with all commissioners in attendance with the exception of Chairman Mike Taylor. In Taylor’s absence, Vice Chairman Rick Snyder conducted the meeting.  Just as the commission meeting got under way, Snyder announced the commissioners and county attorney would adjourn to an executive session. The session lasted a little more than 30 minutes before the commissioners resumed addressing the December agenda.
Approval of the November minutes and Notary Adrian Holman were unanimous, followed by committee reports.  Commissioner Grindstaff spoke on behalf of the planning commission. He outlined a flooding and erosion issue created on Mill Creek Road when an old bridge was removed due to disrepair and a tile was put in place in lieu of rebuilding the bridge. Over time, the tile has proven to be too small. The property owners involved, the Cress family, are willing to purchase a larger tile if the county will agree to install it. According to Grindstaff, the county had created the flooding problem by using a small tile to replace the bridge and therefore should assist in replacing the tile with the help of the property owner. After a brief discussion, the commissioners unanimously agreed to install the new tile.
Russell Robinson was next to address the commissioners with budget committee recommendations. The first item discussed was the approval of the 2016 Head start/Pre-K budget. Next was a reminder that county travel regulations had been updated to reflect the new state regulations. Finally, a discussion arose regarding a financial short fall that had come up after receiving bids for the renovations and relocation of Emergency Preparedness offices to the Jail/ 911 building. Eight bids were received for this project and even the lowest bid came in at $51,295 over the estimate given by the architect. After looking at the project and making changes to furniture and other items, costs were reduced to a $28,000 shortfall.  The committee was then asked to approve adding $50,000 to the building fund. This would make up the shortfall amount and give some $22,000 as a contingency fund. The commissioners were also asked to grant the mayor permission to enter into a contract with the bidding construction firm on behalf of the county. A lengthy discussion followed with the commissioners asking many questions regarding the project. Commissioner Long then made a motion to approve with Commissioner Pierce giving a second followed by a unanimous yes vote.
The Johnson County Library Board has approved plans for an expansion to the front of the library contingent on a USDA grant being received. They are seeking permission from the county to apply for the USDA grant and to move forward with their plans. An all yes vote to apply for the grant was quickly given. 
Mayor Potter addressed the commissioners recommending Willie DeBord and Jerry Grindstaff serve another four-year term to the County 911 Board. Potter stated that both men have been an asset to the county and he highly recommends renewing their terms. This request was unanimously approved.
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.