The County and the schools decided to let their maintenance agreement run until they can hold another joint meeting on Feb. 16. According to an announcement from Central Office, the school board is also holding a special called meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday "to discuss maintenance issues."
"We do appreciate what Sheldon (Davis) is doing for us," said County mayor Joe Boyd Liggett last week. "We didn't have anybody to do the small things. Please let's try and get this worked out."
Commissioner Don Ledford agreed, saying, "The message is, 'Let's work together and save every dollar we can.'"
Randy Perryman, chairman of the school board's maintenance committee, reported that, after some initial doubts, their attorney said everything checked out OK with the contract. Interim schools director Roy Dukes added that after the attorney and budget director Janet Wiles made some calls they found they were OK with liability, too.
Some of the County commissioners voiced reservations due to the fact that the two extra employees specified in the contract have not been hired yet.
"Even though the two people are not hired - we're responsible for this?" asked commissioner Wilford "Spider" Wentzel. " We had a contract with Carrier and they were fleecing us."
"I'm not sure I see what the problem is," Perryman said. "You agreed to pay for two employees to do County maintenance. It's a bargain for you, is it not?"
"You're not fulfilling the contract if you don't hire these people," said commissioner Mary Ann Neill.
"We're not trying to beat the County," asserted Perryman. "We thought that was fair - if it's not, tell us."
"It's a great opportunity for the schools and the County to work together," conceded Neill.
Discussion moved on to the possible joint purchase of a bucket truck.
"Surely we can be smart enough to work out a deal with Lewisburg City for the use of a bucket truck," remarked Ledford.
"We've got to be cautious about adding equipment," said commission chairman Billy Spivey.
Commissioner Mickey King, chairman of the maintenance committee, agreed, pointing out that County revenues were down: the 2008 figure for delinquent taxes was double what it had been in previous years ($825,000).
"We need to try and salvage this thing if we can," said King. "It's a great plan."
"What you could do is delay payment until we get all these situations worked out," Dukes said.
"You need to hire those two," said Neill.
"We plan to," answered Dukes.