During the March 25 regular Board of Supervisors meeting, it was made official with the hiring of Randy Zerr to fill the vacant Wayne County Engineer position. Zerr’s official start date was set for Wednesday, April 17.
Interim Engineer Gary Bishop is offering to stay on through May 1 to help the county as needed. Following that date he will be on-call as needed for the county.
Lance Lange from the Wayne County Fair Board was present to further discuss the purchase of land from the Wayne Community School. The Fair Board is interested in acquiring just over three acres back from the school.
“I went through our lock box and cannot find a 28E agreement,” said Lange. “We need to draft one between the two entities. We met with the school board and they would be willing to sell the ground at $5,000 an acre to the supervisors so that is where we are at now. We are asking you guys to purchase three acres, plus survey cost.”
The board agreed to have Wayne County Attorney Alan Wilson draw up the 28E agreement. It was also decided once Zerr comes on board he would be asked to help with surveying the land.
Assistant Engineer Dan Carpenter gave an update on road conditions around the county noting they have five trucks running in separate districts. Carpenter was also officially appointed as the Title VI Coordinator during the meeting.
“We are taking care of the worst places first and trying to handle them the best we can,” said Carpenter.
“I don’t think you’re trying, I think you’re doing,” said Supervisor Duffy Kester.
“The roads are getting better slowly,” said Carpenter. “Where rock was really needed it got it attended to.”
“We are also trying to get projects lined up for when Randy gets here,” Carpenter added. “There really will be no shortage of work for awhile. I’ve thought about putting some facts in the newspaper so people realize how many miles of gravel roads we have, how many bridges we have, how many road signs we have. We’ve got over 600 miles of gravel and I think 2,500 some signs.”
“Are a lot of signs broken?” asked Supervisor Tom Swearingin.
“Yeah we have quite a few signs down right now,” said Carpenter. “It’s definitely something that needs attention and unless somebody is calling in or we are driving by it we don’t know about it.”
“That’s a time consuming thing too putting up those signs,” said Supervisor David Dotts. “And that might be another thing you put into the paper, if you see a sign broke off, call it in. A lot of times you can’t fix it if you don’t know about it.”
Kester announced to the board a new Public Health Director has been hired. Shelley Bickel was hired for the new director position and is currently working a little more than halftime at 24 hours per week.
“She has some tremendous good plans for public health and she is chasing down some grants,” said Kester. “She already captured a very, very substantial grant that will require hiring a nurse, which we hope will work a little over halftime with full benefits.”
“We’re going to get back into the WIC program, which we got skimmed out of and we’re going to get back into the schools and we’re going to get dental back into the schools,” Kester continued. “It’s wonderful. Oh and the immunizations too. I’m excited about it.”
‘We’ve been able to get Home Health Care back and I want it know all three of us did that,” said Kester. “If it hadn’t been for two other people as passionate about Home Health, this never would have gotten done.”
“There is still not a single dime going to come to the meal sites, no tax money, nothing going to come out of the legislature for the meal sites,” Kester said. “There’s a little bit of Federal money and no state money so we are going to have to maintain our meal sites as we have done in the past.”
“If a taxpayer goes to a meal site, I want them to understand it’s coming from the county, not from the state or federal,” said Swearingin. “Anybody that sees their legislators, hit them up for more money for meal sites. Hit up your legislators about helping out our elderly.”
“We have a lot of elderly people in Wayne County,” said Kester.
The next regular Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Monday, April 8 at 9 a.m.