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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
At the Monday, Jan. 23, meeting of the Pike County Board, board members accepted the resignation of board member John Birch. Birch has recently faced health issues.
In his chairman’s remarks, County Board Chairman Andy Borrowman thanked Birch for his public service.
“John served the county for a substantial number of years,” Borrowman said.
Birch served on three standing committees of the county board – the Agriculture Committee, the Economic and Community Development Committee, and the RC&D Committee.
According to Borrowman, the Pike County Republican Central Committee has been asked to provide three nominees to potentially fill Birch’s seat on the board. The Pike County Central Committee Chairman, Jon Borrowman, was in attendance at Monday’s County Board meeting.
Andy Borrowman anticipates receiving nominees for Birch’s seat ahead of the February County Board meeting. He said that he anticipates seating a replacement at the February meeting.
“I would expect to have someone appointed and sworn in at the February meeting, so they can hit the ground running,” Borrowman said.
The board also approved negotiated contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) – representing the Sheriff’s Department – and the union representing the county’s ambulance department.
County Board Chairman Borrowman indicated that both contracts included Consumer Price Index (CPI) salary increases and were otherwise substantially similar to the prior contracts for each set of workers.
“I think CPI is at eight percent,” Borrowman said. “Neither got that much. The FOP got around six percent and the ambulance department got around five percent.”
Board members went on to approve an architectural services agreement with MECO Engineering for $127,000 to provide plans and engineering for the addition of office space and a salt dome at the Pike County Highway Department’s new building at the former JDL complex on the north side of Pittsfield. Borrowman said the county has budgeted between $800,000 and $1,000,000 to renovate/expand the building and construct the salt dome.
According to Borrowman, office staff are still housed at the old highway department building, pending the construction of office space.at the new building. Borrowman said that once office staff are moved into the new building, the old highway department building will be sold.
“The plan is to put it on the open market,” Borrowman said. “We’ll use the money from that sale to make payment on the money borrowed for the new building.”
Toward the end of the meeting, Borrowman and Circuit Clerk Bryce Gleckler complimented the county’s new information technology contractor Tiger Hawk on their level of service.
“They seem to be real easy to work with,” Borrowman said. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by their availability, communication, and the improvements they’ve made.”
The status of last year’s county financial audit is still in limbo. Borrowman indicated that an audit of last year’s county payroll would begin in February, but the county is still seeking to contract a firm to conduct the full financial audit.