Carroll County Fiscal Court | Jan. 30, 2013

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Fiscal approves pharmacy donation

Carroll County Fiscal Court agreed at its Jan. 22 meeting to continue its annual $5,000 donation to the Faith Community Pharmacy, which visits Carrollton monthly.

Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson said the program in 2012 assisted 38 low-income county residents with no access to medical insurance to obtaining prescriptions last year.

“The best thing about it is they do not give pain medications,” Magistrate Dean Miller stated.

Tomlinson also mentioned that the Three Rivers District Health Department gave 4,000 flu shots this year to Carroll County residents. Supplies are low, but he said there are still a few vaccines available for the most vulnerable residents – young children and adults 65 and older.

The court also agreed to donate $350 to the Carrollton Fire Department for educational materials for school children, a donation the court also made in 2012.


Bids sought on HVAC for justice center

The county will seek bids to replace the heating and air-conditioning system at the Wheeler Hall of Justice.

Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson told the Fiscal Court that District Court Clerk Laman Stark is asking the county to have the work done before temperatures warm up in the spring. The air-conditioning stopped working in the fall.

Tomlinson said the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts, which leases the building from the county, does not have even have emergency funding available to address the issue, and that repair or replacement of the unit likely will fall onto the county.

He said replacement of the air compressor would cost about $10,000 to $11,000, but asked the court if it wanted to replace the unit, which has been in use since the building was built more than 20 years ago. He said he received a replacement quote of about $28,000.

However, Tomlinson said it is possible the state Legislature might provide emergency funding to the AOC and that perhaps the court should wait until the end of the 2013 session before making a decision.

“I hate to spend $30,000 [of the county’s money] if the money will be there later,” he said. “The AOC might have the money available [later], though it doesn’t sound like, to me, [the Legislature] will open the budget up.”

Magistrate Dean Miller suggested to hold off on the project and put replacement out for bid, to see what the final cost would be and if the state would then be able to foot the bill.

In the meantime, the court voted to spend $10,000 to repair a heat-exchange unit that is failing on the county jail building, which also is 23 years old, Jailer Mike Humphrey said.

Humphrey said the unit can be repaired, but not replaced because that type of unit is no longer manufactured.

NAS to refinance its project bonds

Officials from North American Stainless on Tuesday asked Fiscal Court to approve the refinancing of $36 million in bonds for the plant’s solid-waste disposal projects.

The bonds, debt incurred by NAS for which the county is not liable, have been traded on the open market for the past few years, said

Mary Jean Riley, NAS vice president of finance and administration, said the instability of the stock market during that time caused constant fluctuation in the interest rate on the bonds. She said Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to take on the bonds for a three-year period, which will benefit NAS by establishing a fixed rate on the bonds.

“It should result in a lower interest rate” for the company, added NAS attorney Bill Jones.

The measure was approved on a first reading; the second reading is set for the court’s next meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 8. The meeting was originally scheduled for Feb. 12, but was changed because Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson will be out of town that day.