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Commission to discuss county attorney applicants before Thursday vote
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The board of commissioners could vote tomorrow to select new legal representation after a special called meeting in the morning.

The board has advertised that they will have a special called meeting beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 2. at the Dawson County Government Center for the purpose of entering into executive session for personnel.

According to Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond, during that time the board will review the information they have regarding their two finalists for the county attorney position, including the implementation and transition plan the board had both applicants draft.

The board voted on Jan. 19 after an executive session to move forward with selecting an in-house attorney and announced two finalists for the position: Monroe Lynn Frey III and Richard Stancil. Notice was provided as of Jan. 20 that at least 14 calendar days were provided before the meeting at which final action or vote is to be taken on the position of county attorney.

The 14 days will be up at the commission's Feb. 2 voting session at 6 p.m., and consideration of county attorney applicants is on the agenda for the voting session.

Thurmond said the possibility that the commission will vote to hire is not concrete.

"It could go a number of ways," Thurmond said. "The board could choose to table it, they could choose to vote on it, they could decide to do something else. I just have to wait and see what they want to do."

Also on the calendar for Thursday's voting session is the consideration of proposed debt collection and write-off policies and the consideration of recommended vendor for debt collection services by Dawson County Emergency Services.

At the Jan. 26 work session, Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford and county Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk presented their plans for new policies and a new collection agency to help address the mounting ambulance billing debt that the county is facing. The amount of uncollected ambulance bills totals over 1 million, though much of that money is not available for collection.

Also at the Jan. 26 session, Public Works Director David McKee presented a Transfer Station fee assessment, in which he proposed changing the county's transfer station fees to bring them up to industry standards.

He proposed that each single bag of trash be $0.50 with a new 10 bag maximum, and that trash that is weighed be set at $44 a ton with a minimum payment of $5, as opposed to the current $35 a ton with no minimum payment.

Single stream and motor oil recycling would still be free. The commission is expected to vote on moving forward with two public hearings at the Feb. 2 voting session.

Commission Voting Session Jan. 19
• District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix was unanimously appointed vice chair of the board after a vote by her fellow commissioners. District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby motioned to appoint Nix to the vice chair position due to her seniority. Nix is currently serving her fourth term as commissioner.Delete - Merge Up

• The first of two public hearings on the updated purchasing policy was presented by Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk. The new policy outlines the bid procedures that the purchasing policy already follows, just in greater detail.
The second public hearing for the updated purchasing policy will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 2 during the commission's regular voting session.

• Commissioners also re-appointed Danielle Yarbrough to her position as county clerk and appointed Mike Ball to the industrial development authority, in order to replace Tom Alexander who passed away in September 2016.

• Commissioners approved a rezoning application made by Perry Betterton to rezone two acres from residential sub-rural manufactured/moved to residential multi-family, to bring a duplex that he purchased in 2013 up to zoning standards. The property is located on 213 Davis Road.