Commissioners have long day of budget meetings
The Marion County Board of Commissioners had a long day on Monday as they met with department heads to conduct department business and hear 2022 budget requests.
The day started out with a Public Hearing for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for funds lost during COVID-19. While some of the money was not able to be awarded since many businesses did not qualify, there were several businesses throughout the county that did qualify and were able to retain positions thanks to the grant money.
The county was able to get $89,507.10 for economic development, $9,876.67 for meals programs/Peabody Food Bank and $11,438.38 for administration which brings the total to $110,822.15.
There were no public comments.
County Engineer Brice Goebel explained to the commissioners that his department has around 200 sites to do repairs on from flooding over the last several weeks and some are up to a mile long in one spot.
“We are hauling rock and trying to get to it as fast as we can,” said Goebel.
“I have heard a lot of people saying you have been quick,” said Commissioner Jonah Gehring.
“We are just trying to get rock and get it covered up. This last week and this week, of course, we have a real hard push for wheat harvest to get to the dirt roads as well as rock and whatever else,” Goebel said.
He said it has been a bit overwhelming but they are doing the best that they can.
Goebel stated that he spoke with the lady he spoke to before regarding the FEMA reimbursement and she said she is just going to submit the paperwork and see what happens. She had previously said that she had heard that there would be no federal reimbursement on class two or main roads.
Goebel mentioned a training for the Road and Bridge Department that he would like to have and said the trainer would come to them to conduct it. The commissioners agreed it would be a great idea.
While going through his budget proposal, Goebel explained the many needs for the roads. He also pointed out that in addition to funds there is an issue of time.
“Where do you rob Peter to pay Paul?” Goebel asked.
“There are just some roads that have to go back to field. They just have to. There isn’t any other way,” said Gehring.
Travis Parmley, Director of EMS, explained to the board that his department has tried to reduce costs to allow for updating more expensive items without increased burden to taxpayers.
He said, “With the current economic uncertainty, I would ask that both the contractual and commodities line items remain as they were in the 2021 budget.”
He did ask to add a CPR device for both Peabody and Tampa since the tool has been shown to greatly increase the ability to provide quality care to patients.
In other business, the board:
n met with several departments for 2022 budget requests
n met in executive session for personnel discussions