NEWLAND — The Avery County Board of Commissioners dedicated funds for unexpected expenses for the new pool complex and for vehicles for Avery County Sheriff’s Office.
The commissioners pulled $22,000 out of fund balance to cover bills for work done at the pool complex to fix several issues including electrical work and the installation of an additional fire alarm among other small tasks at the project which had just been billed.
Finance Manager Tim Greene said the county should only expect to spend about half of that amount, but the allocation would allow any other unexpected expenses for the project to be covered.
In a discussion amended to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting and not discussed until the very end, Greene and Sheriff Kevin Frye revealed a miscalculation in the budget for the cost of new vehicles for Avery County Sheriff’s Office.
In error, for seven new vehicles only $30,000 was allocated for each. That figure represents only the base cost per vehicle, not the additional $5,000 required per vehicle for outfitting and a total of $9,000 for administrative fees. In total, funding for the seven vehicles was short a total of $44,000.
Frye covered most of the expenditures by moving around funds in the current budget for ACSO, but the commissioners had to allocated another $17,000 from the fund balance to cover the remainder of the expenses.
There were also a number of reports presented at the meeting. Carmen Lacey, president of Cannon Memorial Hospital, made an appearance to discuss the ongoing construction project at the hospital and allay fears that the facility would not be providing medical care in the future.
Lacey noted the construction includes a new medical unit with enough beds to meet the hospital’s current medical bed usage.
Avery County Department of Social Services Director Barbara Jones presented on the state of foster care in the county, noting there are currently 12 foster homes in the county, and called for more interested homes to go through the process to provide foster care.
Foster parents must be vetted and trained to provide temporary care for foster children who have had traumatic experiences. Jones said foster parents are compensated on a sliding scale based on the age of the child.
Avery County Cooperative Extension Director Jerry Moody presented about an $18,000 grant the Extension received for a new greenhouse project.
Avery County Senior Services Director Philip Adams presented the funding plan for the services, and recounted some recent events when meals being delivered to homes prevented potentially disastrous events. In one instance, a woman was discovered after having fallen and broken her hip, and during another delivery an oven was found to be left on.
County Manager Philip Barrier also unveiled a new user agreement for county facilities. The agreement outlines conditions for use of any county facility.