I attended the February 1, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.
Commissioners Hasty and Gohagan were present.
The only people present besides Camden County employees were myself and Commissioner Gohagan’s dentist.
The first agenda item was for the Health Department Renovation. A representative from the Health Department was present and she stated they had one bid for the renovation. It was from Camden County Renovations and it was for $204,000. Commissioner Hasty asked the Auditor if this money was allocated in the new budget? He responded that it was carried over from the 2021 budget because the money allocated for the renovations had not been spent last year.
According to the Health Department representative, the renovation would actually be funded by a $402,000 ELC (Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity) grant from the CDC. That grant should cover the renovations.
Charlie McElyea (The Legal Advisor to the Commission) asked if the hospital had approved the renovation? She said it had been approved. (I believe the Health Department space is rented from Lake Regional Hospital for $1 per year).
So I guess this means Camden County has an extra $204,000 surplus in its budget now?
I’ll say it.
This item was approved unanimously by the Commission.
The next agenda item was for the Emergency Management Authority’s new mass notification system. They had previously used Nixel, but the EMA Director wanted to replace that system with a new one. She needed approval in the next few weeks so she could cancel the annual contract with Nixel before it was renewed.
The Director spoke with five companies and received two bids.
The one she recommended accepting was Code Red from OnSolve It sounded like the bid was going to have an annual cost of $9,340.
The second bid was from Genasys. The Director stated this company had cut their prices to get into the Missouri market and she was worried they might raise their rates once they were established.
The Commissioners voted to table this agenda item until next week so she could review the bids.
Charlie McElyea then brought up a concern about the Road and Bridge bid opening scheduled for Thursday (February 3rd). One of the bidders is from Springfield and he was going to drive his bid up and deliver it to the Commission at the Thursday meeting, but Charlie was concerned the bid might not arrive because of bad weather. Apparently, the bid isn’t complete yet.
(Now, if this was one of my daughters, we’d have a long conversation about not procrastinating and getting your work done ahead of time so you don’t have to run around like a crazy person and finish it at the last minute. And then I have to run out and go buy a printer cartridge at 8:00 p.m. because nobody told me the printer ink was low…and…ahem. Back to the meeting)
The bid is for the Willow Creek Road bridge replacement and there is MODOT money involved. Charlie was concerned that MODOT might not allow the bid opening to be delayed. The Road and Bridge Administrator called Charlie a few minutes later and said that he called MODOT and they were fine with delaying the bid for winter weather.
What a lost opportunity to teach someone a valuable lesson.
The Commission voted to delay the Road and Bridge bid opening until next Thursday’s meeting (2/10).
And that was that.
There was then a brief discussion between the commissioners and the elected officials about whether to close the County Courthouse in anticipation of the incoming winter weather. The elected officials voiced concerns about me having to drive on the ice to come to a meeting, but I assured them that I’d be just fine. I appreciate the thought.
It seemed like the Commission has been burned in the past when they preemptively closed the Courthouse and then the weather ended up being really mild. Commissioner Hasty was concerned that someone might sue Camden County if they closed for business and the weather prediction didn’t pan out.
I did get a chuckle out of listening to Commissioner Hasty voice concerns about being sued about the weather after everything that’s transpired this past year. I would think they’d be used to it by now.