Citizens voice concerns to county commission

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Troy resident Larry Wilke made the Pike County Commission aware of his take on a proposed new county jail during Monday’s meeting

Wilke, who said he has 25 years of experience with construction, told the commission that the jail is not in the bad condition it’s been made out to be.

“What brought me here initially is an article in the paper where Sheriff (Russell Thomas) said that the jail is likely to blow down in windy conditions,” Wilke said. “If the wind blows, you want to run into jail not out of it; the jail’s not about to fall down.”

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Wilke told the commission that most jails are made with rebar to bolster the cells and that shelf angles are put in to stabilize the walls as bricks expand over time.

Wilke advised the commission to be careful about having any appearance of corruption.

“Care must be taken to prevent any appearance of corruption,” Wilke said. “You have to be careful what you do in public realm.”

District 5 Commissioner Charlie Harris told Wilke that the commission is thorough in making decisions and has “not made a bad decision yet.”

“We have made good decisions the 25 years we’ve been here,” Harris said. “We try to make sure we do things right; we consult our attorney, our county administrator and the county association. We’re accountable for the people of this county and we make good decisions for the people of our county, but we thank you for our concern.”

Another citizen, Chris Law, attended the meeting to express his concerns about speeding in his subdivision on County Road 5525.

Law requested the speed limit be dropped from 30 mph to 20 mph in the area where he said he and several family members live.

“I’ve been there 28 years; it’s time to do something about it,” Law said. “We don’t feel safe to get out and walk.”

The commission unanimously voted to lower the speed limit and also discussed installing speed bumps.

Commissioners also voted 4-1 to purchase a new Caterpillar bulldozer for $138,904. District 1 Commissioner Homer Wright cast the dissenting vote and Harris abstained.

Wright expressed that he wanted to give county engineer Russell Oliver time to reassess after new information came up about an alternative dozer during the course of the meeting.

It was determined, however, that the change would not affect which of the two options would cost less, so District 2 commissioner Jimmy Barron motioned to purchase the Caterpillar dozer.

In other business the commission:

• Approved the surplus of four sheriff’s department vehicles for sale by the county.

• Approved the closing of a bank account dedicated to funds to save the Rock building that the county has now sold. Administrator Harry Sanders said anyone who has not collected those funds back can still get them back.

• Approved the cancellation of the scheduled April 24 meeting due to holiday.

The Pike County Commission will resume its regular schedule Monday, May 8. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m.

The commission meets upstairs at the Pike County Health Department.