Other events at County Commission

Here’s what else happened at Monday evening’s Vance County Board of Commissioner’s meeting:

* Sheriff R. Thomas Breedlove appeared before commissioners in a public hearing for the right to participate in and expend funds for equipment pursuant to the 2006 Edward Byre Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The Vance County Sheriff’s Office and the Henderson Police Department splits a total of $15,831, with 60% going to Henderson and the balance going to the Sheriff’s office. There were no comments from the public and commissioners approved the participation of the county unanimously.

* Three budget amendments were passed unanimously. The first was for $1,500 for minor repairs to the building and grounds of the animal shelter from the contingency fund. The second amendment appropriated $25,574 from the Home Care Community Block Grant and State General Purpose Fund for the Senior Center. The third amendment appropriated additional state and federal funds for heating aid in the amound of$40,972 and did not utilize county funds.

* January refunds in the amount of $1,018.49 were approved.

* Ambulance charge-offs for the deceased in the amount of $6,506.39 were approved by the board.

* The board approved a bereavement leave policy which will provide up to three days of paid leave for employees as part of the county’s benefits package for the death of a spouse, child, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, or stepchild. One day of paid leave will be provided in the event of the death of a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-sibling, uncle, aunt, grandparent, grandchild, or spouse’s grandparent. In all instances, to be eligible for paid leave, the employee must attend the funeral of the deceased relative.

A harassment policy was also approved.

* Human Resouces Director Argretta Reid outlined the National Association of Counties prescription drug program. According to Reid, the program may be utilized by uninsured and underinsured Vance County residents. It offers a 20% discount and has unlimited use. There are no eligibility requirements, no advertisement costs, and kits are provided at no cost to the county. Administrative costs are “minimal”. The program was approved by commissioners unanimously.

* The board voted to fill vacant Division of Social Services positions, which include the recently vacated director’s position. They also voted to fill three vacant correctional officer positions.

* A three-year auditing contract was awarded to the firm of Phillips, Dorsey, Thomas, Waters, & Brafford, P.A. for fiscal 2006, 2007, and 2008 for $31,500, $33,000, and $34,500 respectively.

* $534,631 in ADM funds from the Public School Building Capital Fund were allocated for use in renovating and repairing various school facilities as identified by the Vance County Board of Education.

* A December 29 Jail Inspection Report was received and filed. It was stated that deficiencies would be responded to by February 8.

* $7,534 were allocated from the contingency fund to raise the local share of salaries of Cooperative Extension positions. It was felt that the positions were not keeping pace with other state-salaried positions and the state had asked counties to raise local shares. According to County Manager Jerry Ayscue, this money is retroactive to January 1 and represents a compromise with the state’s July 1 raise.

* The county remitted $15,944 to the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library to balance library funding between the city and the county as discussed at the last Intergovernmental Committee meeting. The number represents five years of analysis by Ayscue and Interim Henderson City Manager Jerry Moss. According to Ayscue, the money was already in the county budget.

* The commissioners scheduled a winter planning retreat to be held on February 24 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

* Ayscue updated the board on the Rural Water Project. Two out of five meetings have been held. According to Ayscue, after talking to the USDA, it does not matter if the referendum on the water issue is held in May or November; funding will not be delayed in either instance. He asked the board for a consensus.

County Commissioner Danny Wright stated that November would be an appropriate time. He stated that there is “missionary work” to do.

“In government,” he said, “consensus is something you never know when you have it, but you know when you don’t.”

County Commissioner Deborah Brown said that the water bond impacts zoning and vice versa. She stated that they are going to impact each other.

* The March meeting of the county commission was changed to the second Monday because of a conference in Washington.

* County Commissioner Eddie Wright asked that the board recognize February as Black History Month. That motion passed unanimously.

The board then went into executive session. According to the agenda, it regarded an economic development matter.