With wintery weather on the horizon, Greene County Commissioners want to fine tune a proposed ordinance establishing the process to declare a disaster or snow emergency.
After hearing comments from Greene County Emergency Management Agency Director Roger Axe, and reading a proposed ordinance establishing a disaster emergency, the commissioners decided at Monday morning's meeting to table action until the next meeting on Dec. 17.
The ordinance as submitted reflected a change in policy in the hierarchy of who makes the call when a disaster is declared for snow or other natural disasters.
The proposed policy stated that the commissioners ultimately make the decision after consulting with the County Emergency Advisory Council, the county sheriff, the County Emergency Management/Homeland Security Director, and the county highway superintendent.
Commissioner's president Steve Lindsey wants the consultation part simplified to include the commissioners, county sheriff and the county road superintendent.
"Those are the people out there driving the roads," he said.
The proposed ordinance also included a provision that allowed the county to issue a fine up to $100 for violating a travel warning advisory.
Commissioner Rick Graves didn't like that idea and said, "I don't see there is any reason for the penalties."
Axe said it was his intent to make the policy to come in line with state guidelines and policies for declaring disaster emergencies.
"As a housekeeping tool, more than anything else it would update us and align up with the state," Axe said.
The commissioners opted to table the ordinance to allow for more time for review before the vote.
Axe also submitted an Emergency Management Advisory Board ordinance addendum for the commissioners to consider.
"We have a very old and outdated ordinance," attorney Marilyn Hartman commented prior to comments from Axe.
The commissioners questioned the size and the make-up of the Advisory Council.
Presently, the EMA Council includes the county sheriff, county highway superintendent, the three commissioners, as well as representatives from the county ambulance service, search and rescue, Red Cross and firefighters.
"I think that needs to get trimmed down," Lindsey said.
Axe replied by saying with a smaller number it would be difficult to attain a quorum for meetings.
The commissioners agreed to appoint Axe, Hartman and the two incoming commissioners, Nathan Abrams and Ed Michael, to a committee that will look over the ordinance and see what changes need to be recommended at the next meeting of the commissioners.
In other matters, the commissioners approved the 2013 contract agreement with Greene County Economic Development Corporation to provide economic development services for the county.
The contract amount of $120,000 -- the exact same amount that was paid in 2012 -- was previously approved by the Greene County Council, but commissioner Kermit Holtsclaw, whose term ends Dec. 31, thought it might be better to table the agreement and waited until the two new commissioners are seated after the first of the year.
"Since we have two new commissioners coming in, shouldn't they be the ones to decide this and whether they feel we need to do this?" Holtsclaw, who did not seek a second term, asked.
However, since the contract starts Jan. 1, 2013, the commissioners decided to go ahead and give the agreement it's approval by a 3-0 vote.
The commissioners signed a four-year contract with Butler, Fehrman and Seufert to conduct the county bridge inspections.
The firm will be paid an hourly rate for its services which cannot exceed $252,340, according to Hartman.
In other matters the commissioners:
* Approved the sale of surplus property in the town of Lyons that was acquired at a previous delinquent tax sale to Keith Biggs for $500, the minimum bid price. Biggs was the only one to submit a bid. A deed will be signed at the Dec. 17 commissioner's meeting.
* Approved a Pharmacy Services Agreement between the commissioners and True RX Management Services, Inc., of Washington. The pharmacy plan is included in the county's health benefit package that is managed by Trustees of the Greene County Employees Benefit Trust.
* Signed an agreement with Medical Accounts Services, of Spencer, to assist with billing and collection services for the year 2013. The compensation paid is based on a percentage of revenue brought in. EMS Director David Doane has received approval for an additional appropriation from the county council of $100,000 to cover the expected cost of the service. Money to pay for this comes from the EMS Billing Services Fund.