Logan County Commission holds brief, productive meeting

Debbie Rolen drolen@civitasmedia.com

October 23, 2013

The Logan County Commission moved quickly through their agenda, helping several organizations as they did.

The first item on the agenda was to revoke the appointment of the Sheriff of Logan County as the Administrator of the Estate of Jerry M. Smith in favor of Peggy Lorraine Smith. On advice of counsel, the Commission approved the revocation.

Zach Browning was present to request a drawdown on the Small Cities Block Grant for Region II, Phase III, Wastewater Project in the amount of $171,942.49 to pay a construction invoice from Field Excavating, Inc., which the commission approved.

Before the commission began working through requests on the agenda, Commission President Danny Godby wanted to make a statement.

“Mr. Ellis, Mr. Akers and I have had conversations on what I am about to say. It is the intent of this commission to try and honor anything that is brought before us. Any type of program, any type of athletics, anything that helps influence, guides and directs kids, any program at all involved with that. But it has come to the point that the money situation today is getting a lot tougher. We have been watching this very closely. Our coal severance fund has been slipping. This quarter was considerably off from what it was last quarter and we don’t know what is going to happen down through the following months. We hope and pray that something will happen that we can get our people working, that we can get a little more money into our county where we can do things. At this time, we have discussed this, and we are the type of people that we don’t want to see any of these programs be taken away, but I did want to bring to your attention, that in the near future, if something doesn’t happen soon, we are going to have to drop some of the funding that we have been giving out. We don’t want to do that because we want to help in every way humanly possible.”

Danny Ellis added his comments, ” I think you probably put it as well as anybody could have put it. When you watch this thing and monitor it on a daily basis, you kind of see where you aren’t making the money any more on your money that you made years ago, interest rates drop from what was a good percentage rate years ago to somewhere around a quarter of a percent now, then you see your revenue start dropping now, so you might get yourself caught in a perfect financial storm if you are not careful. So, I think we are going to monitor this thing very close. I know these guys have always been step-up guys when it has come to helping kids and helping these programs and we want to continue to do so. We want to continue to fund these things at the level we have always funded them, but be aware that we are monitoring these things and it is getting a little tougher as he said, so, know, we don’t want it to come as any big surprise or shock down the road when we have have to cut things.”

“That doesn’t mean we are going to stop today, we just wanted to let you know. We are the overseers and we will take the hard licks if we have to, but nothing bothers me more than to not be able to help a kid. We want to help out in any way possible, but sometimes you have to study your structure — what you have and what you have not and base it on that. We aren’t quitting right now. We are just getting the word out in case in the near future it has to happen everyone knows the reasoning why. We are going to go on as we always do until we see the need to stop. That’s the way it’s going to be, ” said Godby.

“That’s not to raise any alarm,” said Ellis, ” It’s just to raise the awareness as to what’s happening, not only in Logan County, it’s the economy, it’s not like we would want it to be.”

“What we are going to do with these requests,” said Godby, “is honor them in the amount we have previously done.”

The commission went on to approve requests from: American Legion Post 19 Ladies Auziliary - Chidren’s Christmas Party - $2,000; The Autism Association - Sensitive Santa Event - $500; the Logan Rotary Club - Children’s Christmas Party, Logan County Schools (includes lunch, entertainment and gifts) $10,000 and the Logan All Girls Basketball League — Clogan Central Gym, utilities, etc. — $3,000.

Routine reports were accepted, President Godby announced the county is getting closer to an agreement to move the dog pound and he said an update of the dilapidated building demolition would be on the agenda for the next meeting, which will be held at 3 p.m., Nov. 4, 2013.