County Commissioners Meeting - 12.2.22
The Elmore County Commissioners met in a regularly scheduled meeting on Friday the 2nd. The meeting began with discussion surrounding an electrical project taking place at the Elmore County Fairgrounds. There were a handful of concerns surrounding the process by which bids have been requested by the county; however, ultimately the commissioners and the representative for the fairground present were able to form a plan that followed the appropriate process for attaining a bid for the project. The commissioners also motioned to approve the authorization of the fairgrounds to purchase a tractor for future use.
Alan Roberts, head of Elmore County Emergency Services, spoke to the commissioners giving a brief summary of an exciting new program coming to the county that will allow for in-house training for EMS responders. The training would equip members of Elmore County EMS to become instructors, this would increase the number of, and attract, prospective EMS personnel.
Next, Josh Dison, County Assessor, spoke to the commissioners and noted that over 18,000 property tax bills were sent out.
A discussion was held regarding the county’s funds. It was acknowledged that the county currently has 6.7 million dollars in PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) money. It was also noted that if current spending patterns continue, the county’s PILT funds (by and large the county’s greatest source of funds) will be depleted entirely by 2031.
The commissioners and county clerk also discussed concerns being raised by some county employees. The employees had expressed dismay after learning that the county received a roughly $6 million dollar grant, yet they did not receive raises this year. However, the commissioners and county clerk noted that the total funds are not immediately accessible, the county is facing a dire financial situation should it not make strict fiscal changes, and the grant was received after the FY2023 budget was created, preventing the funds from being issued to employees in the form of raises.
Following this discussion, Traci Lefever spoke to the commissioners seeking clarification regarding miscommunications that followed restructuring which placed Ms. Lefever under new supervision. This created confusion for Ms. Lefever, especially as she attempted to conduct tasks such as reporting her work hours.
Sheriff Mike Hollinshead spoke to the commissioners, commending the work of EMS, Elmore County and Mountain Home law enforcement, extrication crews, and dispatchers for their quick and efficient responses to over 26 calls following a flash storm on the night of Monday, Nov. 28th that caused an onslaught of incidents across the county.
Sheriff Hollinshead and Mitra Mehta-Cooper, the County Land Use and Development Director, updated the commissioners on a county storage building project. The storage facility will be constructed on City of Mountain Home property, therefore the county will be required to pay impact fees. At their last meeting, the Mountain Home City Council voted to waive all but the fire impact fees for the proposed facility. The commissioners authorized the fee to be paid and asked for an update regarding the contractor on the project. They were informed that the contractor hired for the project is currently unlicensed but will be licensed before work begins on the facility. According to the commissioners’ legal counsel, a bid can be accepted by an unlicensed contractor, but the contractor must be licensed by the time the project begins.
The commissioners proceeded to enter into executive session, after which the meeting was adjourned.