The agenda for the Greene County Commission’s meeting on Monday, August 13, 2018 was a carry over from the discussions of the work session held Wednesday, August 8. At these work sessions, the commissioners list and discuss pertinent business items from various departments as well as detailed district reports from each commissioner. Oftentimes, presentations are made by representatives from state offices, local municipalities, businesses and the community. These work sessions are open to the public and are scheduled the Wednesday afternoon prior to the second Monday commission meeting. No decisions are made at the work sessions. At the formal commission meeting of the month, the commissioners generally move quickly through the agenda, since they have had prior discussions on the items and are prepared to make decisions. This facilitates a quick and efficient process for the commissioners, but usually leaves the community persons in attendance lacking information and clarity on the particulars of those decisions. This situation perhaps warrants some discussion between commission and community. The Greene County Commission approved the following items at the August 13 meeting. Approved the finance report, budget amendments, and payment of claims as presented by the CFO Paula Bird. * Approved contracts and authorized Chairman Tennyson Smith to sign all necessary documents with Delta Computer Systems; Digital Information System and S&W Software. * Approved agreement with BKI for construction engineering for the bridge replacement on County Road 86, giving the Chairman authorization to sign all necessary documents.* Approved request of Engineer to solicit annual bids, which include such items as stone, gas timber, signs, pipe, asphalt, traffic strip, etc. * Approved submitting a request to the local legislative delegation to enact local legislation that treats the coroner the same as other elected officials of the county. * Approved the replacement of the air condition unit at the Eutaw Activity Center. Tabled authorizing the Chairman and Engineer to take steps to vacate portions off Outland Road. Approved ratifying actions of the Chairman in regards to ATRIP funding for Bridge over Little Buck Creek (County Road 86). Cash in banks as of July18, reported by CFO Paula Bird, was as follows; Citizen Trust Bank -$2,498,752.55; Merchants & Farmers Bank – $4,673,870.14;CD Bonds – $807,582.67; Bank of New York – $919,946.10.
At its regular meeting held Monday, July 9, 2018, the Greene County Commission approved joining the Payment In-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Class Action Law Suit and authorized Chairman Tennyson Smith to sign all necessary documents. This law suit relates to payments due to a local government for federal lands within its borders. The U.S. Government does not pay taxes on land it owns in a county, therefore, Congress passed a law mandating the federal government to make substitute payments in lieu of taxes.
The statue explains the following: “PILT payments provide compensation to certain units of local government within whose borders lie lands that are owned by the federal government and which are therefore immune to state and local taxation. The statute sets forth specific formulas to calculate the amount of the payment that each eligible unit of local government will receive.”
Due to insufficient appropriations for 2015–2017, PILT recipients did not receive the full amount to which they were entitled under the PILT statute based on the Department of the Interior’s full payment calculation.
As a result, Kane County, Utah filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in June 2017, seeking to recover its own underpayments and the underpayments of all other PILT recipients nationwide for the period 2015 -2017.
To participate in the class action lawsuit and collect possible amounts due them, each underpaid PILT recipient had to complete and submit a form “opting into” the lawsuit. If a county does not elect to join the class, they will not be included in the class action lawsuit—and will not receive any recovered funds. Counties will have until mid-September to opt into the class.
In other business the County Commission approved Commissioner Allen Turner’s re-appointment of Ms. Shirley Scott Isaac to the Greene County Health Services Board for District 3, as well as Commissioner Corey Cockrell’s appointment of Jonathan Woodruff to the E-911 Board for District 3. Commissioner Smith did not have an appointment from District 2 to the E-911 Board.
The commission also took action on the following:
* Approved Gas Tax Revenue Enhancement Agreement, authorizing chairman to sign all necessary documents.
* Approved Chairman Smith’s appointment to the Association of County Commissioners Legislative Committee.
* Approved budget amendments and payment of claims.
* Approved travel for one employee to the Alabama Association of Assessing Officials conference in Orange Beach, August 7-10, 2018.
Bank balances as of June 18, 2018, reported by the CFO Paula Bird, were as follows:
Citizen Trust bank – $2,610,588.56; Merchants & Farmers Bank – $4,677341.42; investment funds in CD’s – $806,571.43; Bank of New York – $918,088.04.