The Fayette County Commissioners allocated some of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding the county received at a recent commissioners’ meeting.
CARES Act funding comes from the federal government and was received by various entities, including state and local governments to assist with COVID-19 related allocations. There are stipulations for what the money can be used for, as previously reported.
Some of the funding received by Fayette County was dedicated through two resolutions, which will allow differing purchases to be made. Those purchases include a laboratory freezer, pharmacy refrigerator, a 2021 Ford Pickup and a 2021 Nomad Travel Trailer.
The freezer and refrigerator are to be purchased from Helmer Scientific at a cost of $21,286.42 to be used at the Fayette County Public Health Department. The cost is to be covered by CARES Act funding.
According to commissioner Tony Anderson, although the freezer and fridge are being purchased with CARES Act funding, they can be useful in general for storing the vaccinations the health department keeps on hand.
Approximately a year ago, Anderson explained the fridge that had been in use went out of operation and the county was unaware of the malfunction. Over $100,000 of medication that had gotten too warm was lost. While insurance did help cover it, there was still a deductible that had to be covered.
“It’s just allowing us to replace worn out equipment that really costs us a lot of money not to replace. So, that is how that will be spent and used. It will provide a much more secure storage space with an updated dialer that will notify our maintenance folks when we have an issue,” said Anderson.
The pickup will cost $48,302 and the trailer will cost $35,253.97. The cost of both are to be covered by CARES Act funding. The purpose of these two items is to create a mobile vaccination clinic.
“We suspect there will be a huge demand from the public to want to get a vaccination as fast as they can. That would overwhelm the local health department,” said Anderson. “Back during Swine Flu, they had people lined up clear from Fayette Street back to Main Street standing out in their driveway.”
By having a mobile vaccination clinic, the hope is to be able to travel to various areas to help with providing the vaccines.
“What we will be able to do is go to Jeffersonville, Bloomingburg, maybe out in front of Walmart, TSC, any of the businesses the public will have access to right there instead of everyone having to go to the health department,” said Anderson.
Although the primary reason for the purchase is to assist with COVID-19 vaccination distribution once it is available, Anderson explained the truck and trailer could be used for other situations, such as for a local command unit in case the Emergency Management Agency needs to assist at an emergency scene.
In other recent business from the commissioners’ office, a third resolution was passed that allows the borrowing of money from Merchants National Bank for the Anders Ditch Improvement project.
According to Anderson, the county maintains ditches which certain land owners benefit from. One example of a benefit is excess water running off farmland into the ditches.
Those land owners undergo an assessment to determine what each land owner owes to the county for the ditch maintenance and management. The money that is borrowed from the bank, which is referred to as a note, is then paid back with those assessment fees. The latest note to be payed off is $48,601.25 at an interest rate of 3.5 percent.
There were amendments approved for two contracts involving the Fayette County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS), both per the request of FCDJFS Director Faye Williamson.
The first contract amended is between FCDJFS and Transitions for Youth. The purpose of the contract is for Transitions for Youth to provide placement and related services to children in the care and custody of Fayette County Children Services. The amended maximum amount payable under the contract is now $300,000.
The second contract that was amended is between FCDJFS and the National Youth Advocate Program. The purpose of the contract is for the National Youth Advocate Program to provide placement and related services to children in the care and custody of Fayette County Children Services. The amended maximum amount payable under the contract is now $60,000.
Three change orders were received from Granger Construction in relation to the construction project of the new Fayette County Jail.
The first of those orders is number 33 overall and provides incorporation of contacts and work for the F.E.A.R. system to work per requirements of the state. It also incorporates changes to the fire alarm system for safe operation of building requirements. There is no cost change associated with this order which keeps the current total of the contract at $21,468,529.
The second change order, which is the 34th overall, addresses work needed to remove previously installed door frames and then re-install to accommodate laundry equipment for the facility. This order increases the contract by $15,655, bringing the total to $21,484,184.
The third change order, which is number 35 overall, addresses costs associated with weather conditions and climate control within the building. This order has no associated cost changes as funds had already been planned in advance, keeping the current total of the contract at $21,484,184.
It was authorized for the chairperson to sign an amended Letter of Engagement. Basically, the auditor of the state is to prepare the county financial statements at a cost not expected to exceed $11,000 for 2020 or $11,000 for 2021.
During the recent Fayette County Land Bank meeting, Fayette County Treasurer Susan Dunn presented a balance of $155,407.19.
The property at 406 S. Main St. is to be offered to its adjacent property owner, Sheila Campbell, with her maximum expenditure being $500 upon closing.
The following properties are in foreclosure and went through a second sheriff sale on Oct. 7: 824 John St., 229 Green St., 1031 Lakeview Ave. and 104 E. Paint St. along with 61 Biddle Blvd., 29 Market St. and 80 Biddle Blvd. in Bloomingburg.
The properties located at 1228 E. Paint St. and 833 Millwood Ave. are in the process of foreclosure.
It was requested to have a special Board of Revisions meeting to expedite the foreclosure on a Paint Township property, located at 11880 State Route 38 N.E. in Bloomingburg.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 2 at 10:30 a.m. in the second floor conference room at the Fayette County Administration Building.
Anderson wanted to remind everyone that early voting is ongoing.
“Go vote,” said Anderson. “Go and vote while you’re healthy. If the option is there, take it. It’s a nice, clean operation running there and everybody should feel safe going there.”
“There” being the Fayette County Board of Elections, 135 S. Main St. in Washington Court House.
Stay with the Record-Herald weekly for more updates from the Fayette County Commissioners. The Fayette County Commissioners’ Office is located at 133 S. Main St., suite 401 in Washington Court House, and their office hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached at 740-335-0720. Condensed minutes from the meetings are available on the county website.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.