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Equipment problems hinder Trimble snow removal
, Courier Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 10:00 AM
Snow removal from county roads usually goes well when the equipment is working properly, but when there are breakdowns problems arise.
That was the case last week in Trimble County.
Magistrate Nolan Hamilton told other Trimble County Fiscal Court magistrates during a meeting Monday that a couple of trucks needed work and created problems during the recent snowfalls.
One of the trucks even had to be towed back to the road department, he said.
"They can't remove this snow if they don't have the equipment," Hamilton said. "When trucks go down, it's bad for the guys."
Even though he isn't in favor of purchasing new trucks, Hamilton asked whether the county had moved forward with gathering information about the possible purchase of a used truck from the state's surplus equipment. He had thought a report was supposed to be presented at the December meeting.
Magistrate Kirby Melvin noted the trucks have always had issues during the winter, whether the trucks are new or used.
"We've always had trucks break down," Melvin said.
Magistrate Steven Stark agreed that trucks are always going to have issues and break down - no matter what the season.
Hamilton suggested that the court take a look at what the state plans to sell, then decide if there might be money in the budget for one of the used vehicles.
Also during the meeting, magistrates approved budgets and insurance carryovers for the new year.
Magistrates unanimously approved the county clerk's budget of more than $1.5 million for 2014. They also approved the county clerk's 2014 deputy salary maximum - a line item in the budget - during the meeting.
Magistrates also unanimously approved an amendment to the flexible benefits plan for insurance during the meeting. Powell said some employees chose to pay more per year for the flexible benefits, but the money was lost at the end of the year if not all of the benefits were used.
With the amendment, the unused insurance benefits will be carried over into the next year.
The Fiscal Court reviewed the West Carroll Water District budget and the Henry County Water District #2 budget for 2014. No action had to be taken on the issue.
In other business:
Magistrates discussed the jail fund while approving transfers during the meeting. The cost of lodging inmates continues to increase, and there won't be a drop in costs anytime soon, Powell said.
The county will be paying for the incarceration and any court fees associated with the case against Robert Baldwin III, who had been charged with the murder of Angela Long.
"He's going to be here for the long haul," Powell said.
The county will be responsible for paying for the jail and court costs because the crime happened in Trimble County, he said.
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