County Commissioners discuss sewer district problems

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The Switzerland County Commissioners met for their first meeting of March, and on the agenda was a wide variety of topics, including a update on the new Moorefield/Bennington Sewer District.

Mark Helt of the Switzerland County Health Department told the commissioners that there had been some problems with the sewer district due to all of the rain that the county has had recently.

Commissioner Craig Bond asked who was responsible for fixing the problems, and Brad Boyer of Watermark Engineered Products gave an overview of the system and told the commissioners that his company had supplied some of the equipment.

Brad Boyer said that some of the alarms could be sounding during the heavy rains as a result of the ground being so saturated; and also gave some reasons for there being brown water in the system.

Brad Boyer said that one reason for the brown water could be that a resident was pumping dirty water from a basement into the system; or it could be coming from a broken pipe.

During the following discussion attorney Wil Goering suggested that there be a checklist available for the system so that maintenance workers could learn about the system itself; and Bill Jones said that tools need to be purchased for the system, along with a shed for storage. County Highway Superintendent Chris Clerkin will look into these things.

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In other business discussed by the Switzerland County Commissioners:

– County auditor Gayle Rayles told the commissioners that there is an unpaid balance of approximately $6,000 on the county credit card. She asked the commissioners how much time they wanted her to spend on researching the matter, and was told that she was to get the matter rectified.

Wil Goering told the commissioners that he would tell everyone to stop using the credit card; and that the accumulated charges should be charged back to the department. The card should only be used for extraordinary circumstances.

Gayle Rayles said that she would contact the entities that have used the card in the past and tell them that they are to start using the invoice method of purchase unless it is an emergency.

– George Adams of the Switzerland County Emergency Management Agency told the commissioners that he needed more money in his telephone appropriation. He said that he had to transfer money last year in order to cover phone bills. The commissioners approved for him to go to the County Council to seek additional funds.

George Adams also told the commissioners that he can purchase some FEMA trailers that could be used as emergency shelters if needed. The cost is $500 per trailer. He asked the commissioners for their approval for him to purchase two of these trailers if they become available in the future.

Commissioner Craig Bond asked if the county fire chiefs and/or the county fire departments could contribute towards the purchase of these trailers.

County attorney Wil Goering said that the commissioners could approve a certain amount of money for George Adams to spend, and then he could go ahead and purchase the trailers when they became available. The commissioners approved the purchase of two trailers.

The commissioners also approved EMA to purchase two hand trucks and pallet jacks from FEMA.

– Chris Clerkin, Switzerland County Highway Superintendent, told the commissioners that there would be six speed limit studies done during the coming year; and that the flat bed truck that the county uses to haul saltwater one has had its bed replaced at a cost of $320.

Chris Clerkin also had Ron Gregory’s bid for crack sealing. Craig Bond asked Ron Gregory where in the county they would start; and he said that the work would being on Bradford Road. It was estimated that 1,000 pounds a day would be used.

The commissioners asked Ron Gregory to see how far his company could get and how much it would cost and report back.

The commissioners approved the purchase of equipment that would allow them to do their own crack sealing.

– Dr. Bruce Frankel, who wrote portions of the failed planning and zoning comprehensive plan, requested payment from the county for work he performed for the County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commissioners said that the matter needs to go the County Council.

– Zach Brogan asked the commissioners if Paul Chase Road could be blacktopped. The commissioners said that they are currently compiling a list of roads to be paved; and noted that blacktopping money for this year had been cut back.

– Kenny Miller presented the commissioners with a list of approved grants along with the annual report of the Switzerland County Awareness Team (SCAT).

– County auditor Gayle Rayles presented the commissioners with one bid on mowing the health department grounds. The commissioners noted that bids for mowing in 2011 have not be let yet; so they will not open the bid until the proper time.