Bridge and Shop with a Cop issues addressed at JCC

Suzette Lowe

Two issues were brought before the Jackson County Commission during the public comment portion of the Dec. 9 meeting.

Gary Shaffer and Travis Shaffer asked Commissioners Dick Waybright, and Mitch Morrison, with Mike Randolph attending by phone, to address a low water bridge that had been constructed years ago on Middle Fork. The bridge, which was built by a gas company, through time has become almost equal with the bank and causes the area to flood because of debris backing up.

Montana Boggess, 911 director, said numerous attempts have been made to contact the owners without success. The Commission agreed that the county’s attorney, Eric Holmes, should try to resolve the issue or find the proper agency to address it.

Chief Deputy Ross Mellenger asked approval to use the courthouse lawn as a backup site for the annual “Shop with a Cop” event. The Ripley Fire Department, which normally hosts the breakfast celebration, was unavailable due to concerns with COVID-19. After being informed by Boggess that Bobbi Ferrell had agreed to let the organizers use the pole barn structure at the Starcher mansion, Mellinger said the courthouse could be the “backup to the backup.” The event will be Dec. 19.

“We just want these kids to have a great experience,” he said. “As long as we can social distance at the barn, that will be the best option, but it’s good to have a backup just in case.”

Several grants and sources of funding are available to government entities for COVID-19 related issues, but the process is often cumbersome.

Commissioners approved a contract with the Law Offices of Harris and Holmes to handle “the process in its entirety regarding any COVID-19 related grant applications and funding.” The law office will receive a 10 percent commission.

Jackson County Emergency and Medical Services (EMS) Director Troy Bain submitted a written report for the months of October and November.

Each year, EMS hosts a “Fill My Ambulance” toy drive. The drives, including those at the Greene Center in Kenna and the Sandyville Senior Center, provided a large number of items for the Christmas Adopt-A-Family programs.

In other business, commissioners:

• Approved the election minutes form the 2020 general election canvas

• Approved and authorized Waybright to execute the contract and documents for the Cycle 18 House Facilities Improvement Authority Grant for upgrades to the heating and cooling systems

• Approved 911 director’s request for a replacement repeater for the Ripley Tower for $14,285 with Tanner Communications

The next meeting of the commission will be at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 16 at the Jackson County Courthouse.