Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fiscal Court to appoint variance board

J-E News Editor
Webster County Fiscal Court met in a brief session on Monday. Up for discussion again was the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) flood maps that the county approved earlier this year, or more specifically the variance board who will oversee appeals to the flood zones.
According to county attorney Clint Prow, although FEMA requires the creation of the board, it will actually have very limited powers.
“There would have to be a pretty extreme issue for them to grant a variance,” he told the court.
The court approved the creation of the five person panel. At their next meeting, scheduled for Monday, December 8, at 9:00 a.m., Judge Executive Jim Townsend will likely present a list of appointees to that board, which will include Webster County EMA director Jeremy Moore, one magistrate and three citizen members.
The citizen members will likely each represent one of the three magisterial districts in the county. If the funding exists, each of those members may receive a stipend for their service.
In other business, the court approved a pay increase for poll workers who attend the official state training session each year. 
At a previous meeting, County Clerk Valerie Newell told the Fiscal Court that she wanted to offer poll workers who attended that session $25 extra. She said that in recent years she has had a problem with workers missing that training, which required her to hold other training sessions in order to insure that she would have enough poll workers for election day.
The concern at that meeting was that the increase could be seen as a bonus, and the county is not allowed to offer bonuses to it’s employees. According to Prow, that will not be an issue.
“Since there is a valid purpose for this increase, it would not, in my mind, be a bonus,” he said. “Right now poll workers are paid the same. The issue is that some people miss the regular training session.”
Magistrates voted 3-0 to declare a 2002 Ford Taurus from the jail as surplus and to allow Jailer Terry Elder to sell the vehicle with sealed bids.
The court also approved the renewal of a contract with NaturChem, the company that provides spraying services for county roadsides. The contract is for three rounds of spraying and costs the county $19,500.
This year the county used NaturChem for 100 miles of  the county road system. According to officials with the county road department, they saw a drastic decrease in the need to mow those stretches of road.

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