Finalizing budget matters and purchases
November 12, 2020
POMEROY––The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners met Nov. 9, 2020, to discuss several end-of-year issues, including ongoing projects and 2021 budget items, to round out the end of 2020.
The BOCC approved the County Employees Group floating holiday. Katie Magill, who represented the group, requested approval for December 24, 2020, to be the floating holiday. This will not affect all County employees, however, some departments, such as the Public Works/County Roads office and the Sheriff’s office, will not take a group personal day as their floating holiday.
Commissioner Justin Dixon reported he had sent a letter to all County department heads regarding sick leave for employees being quarantined due to COVID-19. The letter informed them that employees have the right to claim sick leave during quarantine up to 80 hours for themselves, or as a caregiver for a family member with COVID-19. He also stated that there could be specific individual circumstances that may require even more sick leave, and that they have the Family Medical Leave Act available for extended time off.
County Engineer Grant Morgan’s request to connect the Senior Center to internet service through the County, with equipment cost of $160, was approved. He reported that a cable can be run from the courthouse switch to the Senior Center to create a hot spot for wireless service. This would also allow access to the Aging and Long Term Care Office. It was noted that because the Senior Center is often used as a meeting location, the internet connection would qualify under the CARES Act funding. The total cost was estimated at about $160 for equipment, which would be the total cost, and was approved by the BOCC.
The BOCC approved the purchase of new laptop computers. These will be used by the two newly elected commissioners. The cost of the three new laptops, including everything needed for remote video conferencing, came to $3,909.09.
New developments with the Pataha road vacation proceedings indicated the Spring Street vacation will cause an issue on the property of Melissa Taylor because the alley is the main access to the barn. Also, Pataha Road had been laid out with a right-of-way boundary, which has caused some concern from some property owners because the fence lines are very close to that boundary. Morgan has asked each property owner involved to look at their fence lines closely to see where everything stands, and he will talk to them again to take their comments. In light of the new information, Morgan believes that the vacation will most likely be modified from the original layout. He stated that he is leaving it up to the property owners to decide what they want to do.
Morgan described the information contained in the notices that went out to property owners regarding the road vacations, which stated that this is not a County-initiated action, and whether approval will be given, will depend on input from the public, land owners, utilities, Sheriff’s Office, Fire District and EMS Services, as well as the County Engineer’s report. It also spells out the vacation process, and states that at this point it is just a consideration, and the County will not proceed without consideration of the owners’ input including consequences that may come from taking the action. He did request concerns or questions be directed to his desk so it becomes part of the documentation process.
The BOCC met with County department heads to discuss the County’s intention to negotiate a Voice Over Internet Provider Phone System (VOIP) for all County offices. The County Road/Public Works office has had this service for the past three years through NoaNet Jamestown, at a cost of $23 per phone, and includes nine phones for a total cost of $284 per month.
However, if the entire County offices are to be included as well, Morgan suggested that they consider another provider, stating they need better training services and support. He stated that such a system is beneficial because multiple people can be on the phone at the same time and still receive new calls, or call out. Each phone has its own extension and can transfer calls, the numbers will stay the same, and the system includes portable phones with speakers. Morgan will move forward with getting estimates for each County office. However, they won’t be able to comingle phone service with 911 Emergency lines in the Sheriff’s Office.