JONESVILLE - Despite some initial hesitation Tuesday, the Lee County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved additional funding for the county treasurer's office in the hopes of offsetting that amount with additional delinquent tax collections.
A memo from Treasurer Ikey Joe Chadwell's office requested $6,300 through June 30 for part-time help. Chadwell listed reasons for the need that included maintenance of 194 delinquent real estate payments on contracts; work with new contract for collection; to initiate, release and record payments for Department of Motor Vehicle holds; mailing of second statements for unpaid 2006 real estate taxes; reconciling bank statements; processing daily mail; and making bank deposits.
The memo stated that the funds are necessary to ensure these accounts are properly maintained then gave a breakdown of the money needed.
Chadwell said the help would be needed 35 hours per week for 24 weeks at a rate of $7.50 per hour for a total of $6,300.
Supervisor D.J. Barker initially requested that the issue be tabled so the board could see how much of the work could be accomplished without the additional funding. Supervisor Claude Ray advised Barker that while he appreciates his position, he supported the request because the board put extra work on the office by changing the due dates for personal property taxes and wheel tax decals. He added that Chadwell has agreed to increase the office's workload by doing DMV holds for taxes and said he believes the work should be funded.
According to Ray, Chadwell had two part-time employees when the due dates were changed, and one of those positions has already been eliminated. No additional funding will cause him to terminate the other worker, Ray said.
Barker countered that the only extra demands on the office would be working with the DMV and said he preferred to wait. But Supervisor John Bledsoe agreed with Ray, saying the board requested that Chadwell take on the DMV holds and that he had ultimately agreed. Bledsoe said the requested amount could be small compared to the money the county could realize through an increased collection effort.
Ray then offered a motion, seconded by Patty Yates, to fund the request, and the motion passed unanimously.
The meeting began with the annual reorganization during which District 5 Supervisor Mark Carter was named chairman and Yates, of District 1, was voted in as vice chair.
The board tabled action on a request for payment on a claim by J. Hicks Excavating for payment for work performed at the new airport. Attorney H. Ronnie Montgomery, who represents the contractor, told the board that he has gone over the contract and does not see any reason why the board has agreed to pay for some of the work but not other parts. He presented board members with documents to support his cause, and the board agreed to study the documents and have its attorney meet with engineers and others before the February meeting, at which time it will take up the issue again.
Real estate agent Jim Crabtree then questioned the board on the way County Building Inspector Jack Collins enforces the erosion and sediment control ordinance. Crabtree claimed Collins does so selectively and said he has shown Supervisors Ray and Barker examples of developments similar to his own that have not been required to develop control plans.
The board agreed to recess the meeting so at the recessed meeting they can travel with Collins and Crabtree to various sites and have Collins explain the differences.
Supervisors gave their consensus for Carter to work with the town of St. Charles to come to an agreement on a joint appointment to that town's water and sewer authority board of directors, agreed to hire an engineering firm to develop a decentralized sewer system for the Virginia Lee community, accepted a domestic violence grant, and ended the meeting with a closed session to discuss disposal of the old airport property.