The public defenders contract proposed by the Union County Board of County Commissioners was signed by only one of the current contracted law firms – Jeff Myers of Goosman Law Firm. Kasen Lambeth of Lambeth Law proposed a counter-offer for taking all appointments for $120,000. However, after reevaluating numbers, he asked the commissioners to reconsider the price at $150,000.

After discussion with State’s Attorney Jerry Miller at their meeting Sept. 21, the commissioners, moved into executive session for contractual matters and reconvened with no motion. The commissioners will look at the contracts again at their next meeting.

Rezoning Hearing

A public hearing was held for the rezoning of two properties from agriculture to commercial adjacent to Park Jefferson.

COVID-19

Public Building and Grounds Superintendent Scott Sexton and Treasurer Myron Hertel appeared before the commissioners to ask them what they are to do when an employee has close contact or comes down with COVID-19. The commissioners stated that the employee with COVID-19 will have to stay home on sick leave. Those who have been deemed close contacts can come to work with masks while monitoring symptoms.

Department Heads

Emergency Manager Jeff Christie told the commissioners about the EMA Conference he attended last week. He stated it was beneficial for him to develop networks with other emergency managers. He was also able to get 200 body bags free of charge to the county.

Christie said it sounds morbid, but he’d rather have them on hand in case of a large scale event such as a plane crash.

Community Health Nurse Lisa McInerney gave updates on influenza and COVID-19 numbers. She said the backpack program is still going and they’re providing to over 50 children in the Elk Point-Jefferson School District at this time.

As weed supervisor, Janet Lingle said the weed department is wrapping up spraying for this year and putting equipment away.

As fair manager and 4-H program assistant, she gave updates on the state and county fairs. Lingle also asked the commissioners about her comp time. She has 125 hours of comp time and was asking them if they would pay out 85 hours to get her back down to 40. While the commissioners agreed to pay out the hours, they also told her and other department heads to watch and use their comp time so it doesn’t accumulate. They did, however, state that her positions with the county can make it difficult to take off time, but to do her best.

Highway Superintendent Jerry Buum had a grant agreement for preliminary engineering on four structures that were awarded P.E. grants. He also had several contract agreements that the commissioners approved including:

• Contract agreement with Scott Persing to replace structure 64-142-020 on County Road (CR) 12;

• Contract with Ulteig Engineering for Union County Small Structure Inventory for $43,000;

• Construction Inspection Contract with Ulteig Engineering for structures 64-124-040 and 64-050-092; and

• Contract agreement with Two Rivers Contracting to replace structure 64-050-092.

The board moved into executive session for personnel and reconvened with no action.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.