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The Road Department’s Indestructible Gator

At the May 23rd meeting of the DeKalb County Commission, Tom Broyles addressed the Commission concerning a damage claim that had recently occurred on Road Department property.  He stated, “I told the guys, ‘This could only happen at the Road Department.’ Donnie Henderson is our Tire Service Man, but that don’t keep him busy ten hours a day four days a week, so I also use him as a grounds keeper for the Road Department.  For about the last three weeks I’ve had Donnie weed eating the entire 25 acres, in various places.  We have an old Gator that the Sheriff’s Office impounded about 25 years ago.   They used it for years and then sent it down to the bone yard.  So, they gave it to us and we put a chain on it and have been using it on the yard ever since.  Donnie was using the Gator and he had parked it and got out to do some weed eating.  He said he had been weed eating in that spot for about 15-20 minutes and all of a sudden the Gator started to roll backwards.  An employee at the pipe yard saw it rolling and blew his horn to get Donnie’s attention.  He threw down the weed eater and ran after the Gator, but it was going to fast for him to catch it.  It rolled across the driveway, up a hill at the pipe yard, down the hill passed the break room, missed a big grill out back, went between two trees, around a big pile of dirt and gravel, passed two cars and about 375 feet later it plowed right into the side of Jeff Mitchell’s car.  It pretty much totaled the car and the Gator don’t have a scratch on it.”

After some snickers and jovial comments from the Commissioners Broyles added, “Donnie said the parking break had not been working for a while, which he had not reported to me, so I did reprimand him for that, but I walked up there to the place where he had it parked to investigate and to be honest it looked to me like if it were going to roll it would have gone in the other direction.  I told him that’s where I would have parked it if it had been me.  Donnie said the wind was blowing that day, so that’s the only explanation that we have for what caused the Gator to roll in the direction it did.  I honestly don’t know that I could have driven the thing backwards and missed all the stuff it missed.”

After an element of composure was regained, a move and second was made to send the claim to the county’s insurance carrier for final dispensation.  Commission approved.

In other business:

Broyles gave a maintenance update, requested that the Commission accept the resignation of Jason Clayton effective Thursday, May 18th, and asked permission to post the position his leaving has left vacant.  Commission approved.

County Engineer, Ben Luther, addressed the Commission concerning the bid award for a bridge replacement project near the County Landfill.  The low bidder was Miller and Miller and the total cost of the project will be slightly more than $331,800.00.  Commission approved.

Luther further requested the Commission approve a 35MPH Speed Limit for County Road 631, stating, “According to the design of the road the state recommends the 35MPH speed limit.”  Commission approved.

Jail Administrator, Jonathan Langley, addressed the Commission concerning the Inmate Phone Bid.  “After a detailed explanation of his findings, Langley’s recommendation for a new company to supply the service was NCIC, who will guarantee the required phone service, a $50,000 immediate grant to upgrade existing software for not only the phones but also for Records Management and Jail Management services, $17,000 annual grants for necessary updates, as well as $85,000 per year in for the jail’s commission of the fees provided by the users (the inmates and their families).  This will be a three-year contract.  Commission approved.

County Administrator, Matt Sharp, recommended the transfer of $48,000 from the County’s general fund to the jail fund, stating, “There has been no transfer of monies to the jail this year other than the necessary funds to purchase vehicles.  Federal inmate fees is up this year and that has been a big help.”  Commission approved.

Commission President, Ricky Harcrow recommended that the Commission sign the necessary paperwork required for the county to take part in the 2017 Back-To-School Tax Free Holiday that will be coming up Friday, July 21st – Sunday, July 23rd.  Commission approved.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 13th beginning at 10:00am.