In June 11 IssueBy Greg WellsTimes Journal Managing Editor
In a small basement room of the courthouse the Russell County Fiscal Court took "basically the first step" toward issuing over $5 million in bonds for the construction of a new jail.
There was no comment or discussion after the bond resolution was read, and the vote approving it was unanimous. As approved the bond will be paid by an unspecified increase to county property taxes, with 20 years of payments to begin in 2011.
There was protracted discussion, along with information from the county's testing agency and nothing was resolved relating to drug testing for the county.
At a previous meeting of the court Magistrate Greg Popplewell asked that the number of tests per month be doubled and the number of drugs tested for be doubled and that measure passed the court.
Complaints from the road department workers were apparent, as magistrates said they didn't want to single out just those workers.
After information from Mike Bunch of Premier, the county's drug testing contractor a motion was made to return to only the minimum U.S. Department of Transportation required testing, a vote ended in the County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner causing a tie.
The additional testing would be paid for by the county's expected savings in its workers compensation insurance due to participating in the Drug Free Workplace program Popplewell told the court.
Bunch told the court they would have to set up a "pool" of employees to participate in that testing program, but it would have to be separate from the DOT required testing program.
Though pressed by Popplewell Garner would not commit to any action on testing and it was suggested that Bunch return to the court with a proposal that would satisfy the DOT and Drug Free Workplace programs.
Robert Cumming asked the court to investigate if the damage to the ramp and road and Helms Landing Boat Ramp could be included in the FEMA flood damage repair allocation.
He was told that the material he'd provided would be presented to FEMA.