2018-03-07 / Front Page

Zoning ordinance amendment goes back to APC for further work

By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

Carroll County Commissioners Steve Pearson, Bill Brown and John Brown agreed Monday morning that a proposed change to the zoning ordinance did not contain enough information for them to adopt it. The proposed change was to allow chickens and other farm animals in urban areas in the county.

Carroll County Area Plan Commission (APC) Zoning Administrator Doug Wagner advised the county leaders APC members would most likely change the amount of the fee charged for a permit and also plan to change the length of time the permit would be valid.

Commissioners decided the new fee amounts and the structure of the fees should be included in the document before they approve it. APC voted to approve the zoning ordinance changes and send it to Commissioners at their Feb. 27 meeting. Wagner said there is time to advertise the new fees and other changes before the APC meets again March 27.

Highway Department

Highway Engineer Paul Couts reported there are many roads that need repair after the recent floods. Commissioner John Brown stated he wanted highway department workers to go to flooded areas and remove debris for homeowners.

Couts said his department “does not provide sanitation services.” He said for the highway department to do that would expose the county to liability issues. He further advised, there are many roads to repair, which is the highway department’s job.

John Brown, who lives in Jefferson Township, countered that there is a lot of debris and he believes it would be a good use of county resources to do that job for the affected residents.

“They are taxpayers, too,” he said.

“The dumpsters are working well,” Couts said. “The highway department is not the solution to the problem.”

John Brown expressed concern that he did not know where the money would come from to pay for dumpsters. County Council President Ann Brown said there is a plan being developed in order to pay for what is needed for debris removal. She further advised Commissioner Brown that the highway department receives funding from the state and not property tax revenue.

Neither Commissioner Pearson nor Commissioner Bill Brown supported their fellow commissioner’s plan to use the highway department for debris removal.

Courthouse ADA ramp

Commissioners heard from the architectural firm hired to advise about courthouse space usage that the plan for a permanent ADAcompliant concrete ramp on the south side of the courthouse would cost more than available funds. Council President Brown said there is approximately $75,000 available for the project.

It was stated the projected cost of the project was significantly increased by a memorial area in the middle of the ramp. A circular concrete walkway had been requested by former Auditor Tom Gray.

Commissioner Bill Brown said he thought the firm hired to design the project initiated the memorial space plan. However, he was informed all of the plans for the project revolved around the memorial space concept.

“We never heard that before,” Brown said.

It was determined the design plans will be scaled back to a simple ramp without a memorial space, the cost of which is expected to be consistent with the available funds.

Other business

Community Corrections Director Keyna Everett requested the county install a wall in the courthouse lounge, which the program is using, to make two separate rooms. There was no support from the Commissioners for the request. Instead, it was suggested Community Corrections use the Emergency Management Agency training room when no other room in the courthouse is available for use. Everett said the space in the basement was not acceptable because it is not secure. She said if there was an issue, she would be unable to call for help. Everett was directed to purchase a panic button for roughly $200.

Commissioners and employees were provided with a presentation from the county’s insurance broker, health insurance administrator and health insurance auditor how county health insurance for stays in the hospital and other facilities works. There were many questions from employees that were discussed.

Commissioners approved a $1,350 siren inspection agreement with a company to inspect the three countyowned sirens this year.

County parks board president Bob Burton reported there will be a steward at French Post Park. It was agreed the camp host at Deer Creek Park, who will live onsite during the summer, will be compensated for work by the county paying for the host’s electrical usage.

County General Fund claims for $178,486.81, Payroll claims for $197,356.05, Highway claims for $70,175.40, claims from taxbased accounts for $68,270.53 and early claims for $169.77 were approved.

The next meeting will be March 19 at 9 a.m.

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