Even amidst the angst over changing past practices, talks about a forensic audit, and the coronavirus, the Shelby County Board took care of business last Wednesday.

The board kept the wheels turning by granting extensions for the new auditors, approving intergovernmental agreements and leases, approving road and bridge repairs, and even courthouse clock maintenance.

Once again, due to a conflict with the Shelby County court system, the board could not meet in Courtroom B of the courthouse. This time they met at the Shelbyville Lion’s Club Building.

Circuit Clerk Susan Arthur submitted a request for an extension to West & Co. CPA to have an extension for the Circuit Clerk Audit. The board approved it.

Jared Rowcliffe requested the approval of the DOAP Ordinance so the board can apply for funds for public transportation. The board approved it. Then they approved a resolution necessary to allow the Chairman of the Board to actually apply for the funds as a representative of the board. It passed.

They then passed an intergovernmental agreement between Shelby County, Moultrie, Christian, Montgomery, Clay and Fayette Counties for public transportation. They also approved a service agreement and lease agreement that are necessary to keep operating public transportation.

County Treasurer Erica Firnhaber gave her monthly expense/revenue report. Board member Dale Wetherell asked if D&M, who had done work at the courthouse was all paid up and Firnhaber indicated they were.

Chairman Bruce Cannon remarked that the cash balance was down and it was indicated that a $500,000 payment had been made on the roof repairs.

County Highway Engineer Alan Spesard had work to be approved. Ridge Township had a $2500 culvert to replace 4 miles southwest of Findlay, paid 50% by the township and 50% from the county. It was approved.

Ridge also had a culvert 1/2 mile southwest of Westervelt at $3000. It was approved. Ash Grove Township had a culvert to replace 3 miles southeast of Windsor at $2500. It was approved.

Herrick Township had a concrete drainage structure to be fixed 1 1/2 miles northeast of Herrick for $3000. It was approved.

There was a bridge in Prairie Township. It was bid by the state and approved in a joint agreement with IDOT. It was 3 1/2 miles northwest of Stewardson at a cost of $300,000. That was approved by the county board.

Spesard also announced work on a railroad crossing in Clarksburg Township that will be bid April 3 at the highway department.

Dale Wetherell Public Buildings Chairman had a maintenance contract for the courthouse clock that involved a bit of discussion. The contract would be with Travis Hatfield, who had taken over maintenance for his uncle Ron Hatfield (deceased).

The contract would be for $2000, including routine repairs and maintenance. Wetherell moved to accept the contract and Frank Mulholland seconded it. Byron Coffman asked about the necessity of the clock and how long they would spend money on it.

Wetherell said that had come up at the committee meeting. He also said that in consultation with Taylorville about what it costs for their clock maintenance, that $2000 is a good price.

It was reported that Hatfield has the insurance coverage and that he contacts the sheriff when he is working on the clock. Board Member Robert Orman asked about bidding out the contract, but Wetherell remarked that is wasn’t a big enough cost to require a bid.

The motion was called and Mulholland remarked that those who don’t think the clock is something that should be maintained, can give him their number and he would have people who call him about it, call them. The motion carried overwhelmingly with just 6 nay votes.

Wetherell reported that the electrical work on the courthouse was done and that the propane gas tank had been buried and hooked up and filled. The sheriff reported that the security scanner for packages at the courthouse check point had been repaired.

The board discussed the airport and the cost of a tractor versus contracting out the mowing. They also discussed the jet fuel pump not working properly, again. They have contacted the maker of the pump.

Mulholland reported that the Fees & Salaries Committee is continuing to work on payroll and time-keeping records. Cannon referred to the payroll adjustment in May as “holding a week’s pay” and Firnhaber re-stated that they were not withholding a week’s pay, but paying them for one week, between two 2-week pay periods.

The adjustment going forward will be to pay them every two weeks with one week in arrears, like most businesses pay their employees.

Cannon said that there would need to be written union agreements presented to the board at the April meeting and the board would make a resolution for this adjustment in the April meeting.

Fees & Salaries is also working on an employee handbook. Firnhaber said that there had never been an employee handbook before and it will be a work in progress until it is done. She said it will take longer than the payroll and time-keeping fixes.

Board Member Earl Baker brought up the question again of who the Sheriff’s deputies employer is, the county or the sheriff. After some discussion, Bruce Delashmitt of Bellweather, LLC remarked that the sheriff and the county are co-employers by statute.

Kay Kearney, the former chairman of the Law Enforcement Committe announced that there would be an arbitration meeting between the board and the FOP on March 27. Each side will present their briefs and the final decision will be rendered within 60 days.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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