This Week in Lincoln County – March 13, 2018

Now that I have seen an ultrasound “picture” to confirm, I am happy to announce that my daughter and son-in-law are expecting my first grandchild in early November. As the 50th of 50 grandchildren in my Mother’s family, I don’t know how Grandma and Grandpa dealt with the excitement of that many, let alone one!

A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• The County has received a release of claims with prejudice for Case #17-CV-0072-DDN John C. Askey v. Lincoln County Sheriff/Lincoln County Commission. This suit, which alleged illegal search and seizure, was released “with prejudice,” meaning that the release is permanent and the action cannot be refiled against the Sheriff or Commissioners at a later date.
• I want to give a quick clarification on the financing of our plan to hard surface 20 miles of gravel roads per year over the next 5 years. Our philosophy has been and will remain that we must keep a healthy reserve balance, perform maintenance in a timely fashion, and then, and only then, add to our pavement inventory. Converting a road from gravel to pavement is an expensive proposition but makes long term sense financially. For instance, a portion of South Chantilly Rd. will be converted this year at a cost of $10,000-12,000 per mile per year over the useful life of the road surface. Our maintenance records indicate that in 2017 we spent $21,350 per mile to maintain the gravel on that road. While this individual road doesn’t equate to an enormous savings, repeating this process on other high maintenance roads systematically over 5 years will generate tremendous savings without tapping our reserves or neglecting maintenance.
• Our 911 Advisory Board has overwhelmingly voted in favor of a sales tax initiative to support 911 Dispatch Services for everyone in the County. If all member entities are in favor of this approach and contribute their proportional share of the costs, this issue will be on the ballot in April 2019. Counties, cities, fire departments, and ambulance districts have waited for years for our state legislature to pass a measure to enable the collection of a fee on wireless devices, which account for the vast majority of 911 calls, with no relief in sight. Nobody likes taxes, but everyone wants professional dispatch services.

That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…

Dan Colbert
Presiding Commissioner

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