Trimble County Fiscal Court discussed grant applications and budgets for 2023 before bidding farewell to three members during its last regular meeting of the year.
Judge-executive Todd Pollock proposed making three appointments to the extension council, planning commission and board of adjustments.
However, the process of naming new appointments was postponed until next year when the new court will be seated in January. Magistrate Chris Liter opposed the appointments and was supported by magistrates Kenny Green and Kirby Melvin while Pollock and Magistrate J.D. Jones opposed the postponement.
Tina Browning presented the 2023 County Clerk budget, as well as an amendment to the 2022 budget and the annual standing order for the county clerk deputy and assistants. The amended 2022 budget resolved an issue with salaries and changed a tangible property tax for motor vehicles that “needed to be raised a little,” according to Browning. The court unanimously approved both budgets and the annual standing order.
Daniel Kaelin of Strand Associates presented information to the court about a wastewater project by the city of Bedford. Kaelin said that as of last Friday, the sewer was installed and connected with three new pumping stations. He said there was some cleanup left to do and that crews would return in the spring to complete tasks like paving. Kaelin said the new system will save the city money and reduce the amount of fines incurred by overflows.
EMS Director Will McCoy said that his crew is experiencing an influx of calls. EMS has received more calls than last year, with over 1,000 so far in 2022. McCoy said the ambulances are in good condition. EMS has had several meetings with the Opioid Abatement Committee, and McCoy said he is looking into doing some grant writing with the organization.
Andrew Stark, director of emergency management in Trimble County, updated the court on a grant application for generators he presented during the November meeting. He said the grant was initially denied due to a time constraint which requires work to be completed by March 31.
“They had denied our grant because the lead time on the generator was past that,” Stark said. “They could get the transfer switch in, but they couldn’t get the generator.”
Stark said he spoke to the director of the grant application process and was able to get Trimble County’s application reopened. He said the county is still eligible for the grant as long as he is able to find a company with parts in stock.
“I’ve been calling every generator company I can think of to try to see if they can scrounge up a new generator that they have on site or something somewhere that can fit us to get us in the time frame,” Stark said. “Hopefully they can find something that we can get in, because basically all the work has to be completed by March 31.”
Stark said that new radios have arrived, but he is waiting on the delivery of a cable. Once that final piece is delivered, he said the new radio system will be up and running. The radios will be used by the sheriff’s office, the fire department and EMS and should improve communication between the departments. The sheriff’s department will have a separate channel, but will be able to access the system used by fire and EMS.
The meeting concluded with goodbyes from the current court members. The meeting was the last for judge-executive Pollock and magistrates Green and Melvin. John Ogburn Jr. will take office as judge-executive in January while Melissa Cornish and Crystal Whitice join the court as magistrates.
“The court knows how I feel about them,” county attorney Crystal Heinz said during her remarks. “I hate to see them go. I’m excited for the new people coming in, but it’s bittersweet.”
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