In May 15-21 issue
By Greg Wells
Times Journal Managing EditorABOVE: Jeff Reeder of the local American Legion post reported to the members of the fiscal court on the status of the repair to Jamestown's monument square. (See below.)
JAMESTOWN - Fiscal Court members took exception to the jailer's absence during the jail report and the amount of overtime in the jail.
In a unanimous vote, the magistrates approved the purchase of a computer-operated time clock system that will log in employees by their fingerprints, both for the staffs of the jail and the county road department.
Magistrates expressed their displeasure at the amount of overtime in the jail, saying it went from 77 hours last month to more than 140 hours this month.
In a written statement Tuesday, Jailer Darrell McQueary said it seemed to him that magistrates were accusing him or his staff of "stealing" by falsifying time sheets.
"I have told the fiscal court numerous times in the past," McQueary noted. "We are under state law to keep two deputies on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
He explained that given vacation, and training time that forces overtime, though they try to use part-time help to fill in those hours.
"The total number of inmates has absolutely nothing to do with overtime," the jailer added. "If we have one inmate or 30 inmates in our jail, I still have to have two deputies on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week."
The magistrates had questioned during the meeting why the overtime went up with fewer prisoners compared to last month.
He added that the time clock proposed would be nice for him since it would cut down on his paperwork, but he resented the insinuation he felt the magistates were making regarding him and his staff.
This comes just days before the fiscal court is to hold a public forum on the results of a feasibility study for the construction of a new jail.
That meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday the 15th in the Circuit Courtroom upstairs in the courthouse.
The Doughboy was another issue before the court. Jeff Reeder with the American Legion Post told the court that the insurance company offered $25,000, which was the limit on the driver's insurance, to replace the statue and the flag pole.
He said the legion voted in a Saturday meeting to accept the offer.
Reeder said they have reviewed plans by several companies to replace the statue or repair it and decided that the extra $800 it would cost to have a new bronze statue would be worth the expense. He said the lowest bid for casting the new statue was from a Wisconsin company which already has a mold for the statue and would cast it for about $21,000.
He did not specify the cost of a new flag pole, but said that the manufacturer advised them the damaged pole could not hold the stress of a flag and would not be safely reparable.
Reeder said the group was hoping for donations from people and businesses in the county to cover the approximately $10,000 in excess of that paid by the insurance company.
The members of the court made no offers but did suggest that they seek the money from the driver of the vehicle which destroyed the statue and damaged the flag pole.
Reeder said there was no way the monument to service men and women killed in the wars could be replaced by the the original statue.
In other matters before the court
First reading of the county budget was approved. The spending total, Garner said, will be $5.6 million for next year. He said the budget for this year was $5.7 million.
H.M. Bottom reported to the court that installation of the new warning sirens has begun and they should all be up on poles this week. After that they will need to be connected to the electric grid and then setup and testing can begin.
The court also approved the $232,000 addition to the county's budget to pay for the sirens. County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner said the county has $52,900 on hand to pay down on the sirens and the remaining $180,000 would be in the form of a loan.
Members of the court voted to pay $2,600 for five recycling bins to be placed at local businesses.
Two new-hires for the road department were approved by the court. Phillip Chapman and David Roy were hired to replace two workers who recently quit.
Bottom also reported to the court that the "Free Dump Day" collected 185 tons of waste at a cost to the county of something close to $5,600. He said the program was partially paid for with a $4,600 grant and it is instrumental in keeping illegal dumps from springing up around the county.