The Mercer County Fiscal Court met Tuesday, April 28, to hold a hearing for the County Road Aid (CRA) and Local Government Economic Assistance (LGEA) funding for money spent on construction, equipment and capital projects relating to the road department.
With the funding the county will pay off the lease and take ownership of three tractors and mowers, construct a barn to house salt, make purchases toward fuel, crushed rock and gravel, blacktop roads in the county and pay salaries and benefits for the road department.
The magistrates received their first look at the budget, but Judge-Executive Milward Dedman warned there would be changes.
“There is a lot of wait-and see-on this budget because we don’t know how the current economic situation is going to affect us,” he said
The reading of the first budget will be held at the next regular meeting of the Mercer Fiscal Court on Tuesday, May 12.
For the last couple of meetings, Magistrate Tim Darland brought up the impact of people staying at home due, to the COVID-19 pandemic, and cleaning their homes has had on the Mercer Transfer Station.
Judge Dedman noted the transfer station normally saw 700 to 1,100 vehicles a week and it has jumped to 1,300 to 1,700 a week.
Darland reiterated the extra work and cost it was putting on the county, especially since a lot of the extra debris is coming from out of the county.
Mercer County is one of the few counties that allow dumping for non-county residents.
Darland said of 58 loads brought in one day, 17 were out of county. He made a motion that passed that effective May 1, all non-Mercer County residents be charged an additional $10 fee and non-Mercer contractors be charged an additional $25 fee. Customers will have to show their license and those who live outside the county but own property in Mercer will have to show a utility bill or property tax bill for the fee to be waived.
Also approved was $2000 to install a glass barrier at the county clerk’s office to follow health guidelines for COVID-19.
“We are making plans in the office so that once we get the go ahead we will be able to open and we are making plans for social distancing and will let the public know. We are being proactive so that we can open as soon as we can,” said Dedman.
Dedman also announced the resignation of Mark Bryant from the Anderson-Dean and said the park board will have a special meeting, today, Thursday, April 30 at 2 p.m. to address the issue.
In other business, the fiscal court:
- Approved planning and zoning objectives for 2020.
- Approved a reimbursement of $257,600 from the Administrative Office of the Courts.
- Approved a mandated resolution regarding the duties and responsibilities of the jailer.
- Approved purchasing a vehicle lift for the road department for $1,100.
- Approved the transfer of $250,000 to the jail fund.
- Approved annul renewals of the administration of the employee health benefit plan, health insurance rates and dental plan for the fiscal year 2020-21.
- Approved April disbursements as of date.
The next regular fiscal court meeting is Tuesday, May 12, at 10 a.m. at the Mercer County Fiscal Courthouse.