It was very busy planning session held prior to Monday’s meeting of the Cherokee County Commission. Cherokee County EMA Director Shawn Rogers presented the Budget for the EMA Office for the upcoming fiscal year. Rogers is requesting that the commission approve the hiring of a Deputy EMA Director. Rogers said that this will greatly assist him in being able to get more done in an effective manner.
The EMA Office is also requesting funds for a cache of five spare p-25 radios, these will be used in the event of a situation where outside agencies are called in to assist and will allow for those agencies to communicate with Cherokee County First Responders.
Additionally, Rogers is requesting funding for what is called a ‘Plum Case’. This is essentially a portable wireless/cellular network which pulls in a signal from outside the coverage area allowing for cellular and data coverage in instances where it is not normally available or where the cell service has been interrupted during a natural disaster. This can be deployed mobily and will allow for well over 100 users at a time on up to two different networks at a time (i.e. Verizon and AT&T). The EMA Office has requested the purchase of a combination, battery powered rescue tool to used by the department and surrounding agencies in the event of a wide spread disaster where they may be multiple rescue operations simultaneously.
The Commission also heard from Animal Control Officer Dustin Dutton who also presented his department’s budget. Dutton also had several requests most of which involved necessary repairs and renovations that need to be done at the facility. Due to the closure of the Cherokee County Humane Society, the shelter has taken on a much larger work load than was originally budgeted for. Dutton said that due to the increased work load animal control is in dire need of an additional transport vehicle.
Dutton said that there was also an increase in the cost of medicines at the shelter, an increase that commonly occurs from year to year.
Mrs. Elaine Henry with the Cherokee County Public Library also presented the commission with a review of the library budget for the upcoming fiscal year including additional staffing.
During the regular meeting, Chairman Tim Burgess announced that the appointment for one position on the Cherokee County Human Resources Board for the term ending September 1, 2019 would take place at the September 24 meeting of the Commission.
The Commission approved the appointment of Diana Adrian to the Cherokee County Public Library Board to fill a four-year unexpired term ending January 2020. This is the position previously held by Mrs. Margaret Hillhouse who recently passed away. Becky McMeeken who currently serves on the Public Library Board was reappointed to a four-year term ending January 2022.
Kathy Marko was reappointed to the North Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association Board for a two-year term ending September 2020.
The Commission also approved the posting for an Appraiser 1 position for the Revenue Commissioner’s Office.
Commissioner Marcie Foster read aloud, and the commission adopted a resolution declaring September as National Recovery Month in Cherokee County. Several members representing CED Mental Health, Gadsden Regional Medical Center, the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office and the Cherokee County Health Care Authority were on hand in support of the proclamation. (pictured below)
Shelia Hurley, Executive Director of CED Mental Health announced that the county has been awarded a $50,000 grant which will fully fund a case manager to go into the Cherokee County Detention Center, the courts and the mental health center to work one on one with individuals. This grant was awarded through the Stepping Up Initiative.
At the request of Revenue Commissioner Dustin St. Clair, the commission has adopted a resolution supporting his decision to change from the sale of property to the new alternative method of sale of a tax lien to collect delinquent property taxes in Cherokee County which becomes due and payable October 1, 2018 and for subsequent years. St. Clair stated that he will be issuing an official press release outlying and explaining this change in detail.
In other business, the commission approved a grant agreement for services for the elderly with the East Alabama Regional Planning Commission for the period October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.
Changes to the signatory account at People’s Bank for the Worthless Checks Unit was approved adding Summer McWhorter and Ashley Dawson as signatories.
A construction agreement was approved with Aqua Marine Enterprises for the construction of the new community shelter/safe room at Sand Rock in the amount of $89,495.
The commission then entered into an Executive Session for discussion regarding security matters.
The next regular meeting of the Cherokee County Commission will be Monday, September 10 at 10:00 a.m.