Mt. Vernon Register-News

July 16, 2013

County approves courthouse renovations

The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Jefferson County Board will proceed with Phase I plans to renovate the courthouse.

In a 12-1 vote, the Board accepted the recommendation from the Public Safety Committee allowing M360 to address "safety concerns" at the courthouse as its top priority. The project has a projected estimated cost of $4.66 million, and county officials have not indicated how they will pay for the project, although it's been suggested using funds from the one-quarter cent Public Safety Tax to cover a portion of the costs.

Board member Jeremy Hall voted in opposition. Hall said he voted against the proposal because, "It's too much, too soon." He added, "I can't answer to the people who were laid off, and can't justify spending that kind of money until we find out where we're going to get it."

The same committee recommended an addition to the Jefferson County Animal Shelter at an estimated cost of $120,000 to $130,000. The Salem City Council, Chairman Robert White said, has agreed to use the shelter for a three-year period. Animal Shelter Supervisor Martin Boykin and Administrative Assistant Suzy Tate attended the council meeting Monday night. City Manager Bill Gruen had asked the Committee for less than a three-agreement at last week's committee meeting but got a negative reaction from the Board.

In other business, White announced he has approved the issuance of a liquor license to Paul Longust, who is negotiating with Danny and Bobbi Rowell for the sale of the Woodlawn Shell. The Board also amended its liquor code for Sunday sales in that food sales are restricted to begin at 6 a.m. on Sunday.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:n The monthly fuel bid submitted by Synenergy Partners was approved.

n The resignation of Lyle Wood on the Board of Review was accepted; and the appointment of Jerry McCracken was approved.

n White re-appointed Lori Given and Kathy Wood to the Jefferson County Board of Health.

n Linda McNeil of the 708 Mental Health Board gave a presentation on the functions of the seven-member Board at the invitation of White.