FC council discusses purchasing practices by county officials PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Thursday, 02 March 2017 08:46

By Josh Suiter
Special Correspondent

The Floyd County Council spent a good portion of their February 14 meeting discussing how they would appropriate dollars for capital improvement projects that were approved last fall by the council and the commissioners.

The initial request was for $6 million. Don Lopp, Director of Operations, said they were asking for: $300,000 for sheriff’s equipment, $3.5 million for jail renovations, $200,000 for park’s department projects, $1.2 million for highway equipment and projects and $800,000 for the YMCA Payment.

Council President Brad Striegel said “The problem that I see in this is that this is contingent with the approximate $3 million that is supposed to come in from the hospital above and beyond the $6.1 we are expecting to get this year. We have not received the additional $3 million from the hospital.”

“The correspondence I got today says that it could be less than $3 million so I have some concerns about how we move forward with this  and that does affect the capital improvement plan. We have some decisions to make on this $6 million and what are we going to pay out. My question for you, Don, is what has been obligated? Is there anything obligated here that has already been purchased, already been signed, contracts, bonds, anything?,” he added.

Lopp said the sheriff’s equipment was already purchased. “My understanding from Sheriff Loop is that they have gone ahead and purchased the cars from his line item.”

Councilwoman Denise Konkle asked “How can you purchase new cars before it is appropriated?”

Striegel explained “The best answer that I can come up with is that it was probably misleading for the office holder. If we adopted the capital improvement plan and say this is something we want to do, it was probably giving them a leading answer to say that this was ok but there is some responsibility on the office holder to wait until those funds are appropriated or they do something.”

Konkle said she spoke with Loop on February 13. “He told me the same thing that the cars were purchased. I ask him the same question “how can you buy cars before they are appropriated?” and he said it wasn’t his responsibility to come before the council to get that money appropriated but he thought it was either yours (Don Lopp) or the commissioners. So there is some confusion here and we need to make sure we get this cleaned up and aired out as we go forward.”

“I was told the funds would not come until January and that the first meetings the funds could be appropriated was this meeting,” Lopp said. “This is all a part of the capital improvement plan that was approved in October. “

Striegel said the council had about $3 million they could appropriate. “Half of it is obligated. I don’t have a problem supporting $3 million tonight.

The $6.1 million that came in from Baptist Health but the misnomer is that $6 million was going into this capital improvement project when $500,000 is going to the hospital foundation so we are under $6 million. We know that the other half of the $6 million is coming from the audit they did in 2016. We have not received that and we don’t know if it is $3 million yet. That is my problem. That is the hang up.”

The council finally approved the appropriations for $300,000 to sheriff’s equipment, $1.5 million to jail renovations, $1 million to highway equipment and projects and $200,000 for parks projects. The motion passed 5-2 with dissenting votes by Konkle and Councilwoman Leslie Knable.

The council also approved these items:

$6,200 estimate from Mills, Biggs & Reisert Inc. to  do an appraisal of the city/county building

$750 mileage expense request from Glenn Hammack with the Floyd County Veterans Service office. Hammack said the amount was left out of their budget. It reimburses them for visits to nursing homes, home visits and speaking locally.

Janet Steffens with the Floyd County Extension Office requested $16,205 for contractual services for the three extension educators  for a 1% raise and to change her work load as an educator and director from 75% time to full-time.  It was approved.

The council also set up line items and additional appropriations for YMCA Annual Pledge of $137,000 from a 2006 contract. It is there annual pledge. It passed 6-1 with Knable voting against it.

Judge Susan Orth of Floyd County Superior Court 1 requested $17,633.68 to pay for legal services for the appellate attorneys in the William Clyde Gibson case. She said since it is a capital murder half of the monies will be reimbursed by the state. It was approved 7-0.

Judge Terrence Cody of Floyd County Circuit Court asked for$1457.83 for the court appointed special advocates (CASA) program. He said the program can get a full state match with these additional appropriations. This would be a match of their $33,000.  He said the CASA program assigns a CASA to every child that comes through the system through the Department of Child Services. The funds were approved 7-0.

Adam Carr, President of Floyd County 4-H Corporation, asked for the council for assistance in paying their insurance for the grounds and also to help with renovations of Newlin Hall. The county owns the land and the buildings. The council approved $20,000 for the 4H Corp.