Commissioners Approve Termite Treatment of Historical Courthouse

Stephanie Elswick, Happy Tails Adoption Center, spoke with the commissioners about some of the programs the group is working on,

September 13, 2023 - The commissioners were presented with a proposal during their August 30, 2023, meeting to treat the historic courthouse for termites.

County Judge Allison Harbison imparted to the commissioners the need to treat the structure, as the infestation had reached the second floor windows. Judge Harbison inquired of Chris Collins, Collins Pest Control, as to how long the county has been contending with the issue, and he said around 40 years.

“He has been to this court several times and the court in the past has never agreed to do the hardcore termite treatment, said Judge Harbison. “They went the inexpensive route and it didn’t work.”

Judge Harbison quickly indicated this was the first time the issue has been presented to the current court of commissioners.

Collins expressed a hope for the treatment to be a “one and done” situation.

“The problem with the courthouse is the walls on the courthouse are four six feet wide and the beams that run through, go into that wall,” said Collins. “You can’t see into that wall void.”

Collins said he usually can warranty a treatment; however, due to the inability to see the entire treatment area that won’t be possible. The chemical utilized to treat the colony works by contact as the termites transfer it to one another and carry it back to the queen, which according to Collins, can live up to 100 years.

Jon Collins mentioned the termites are able to climb up the stones between the mortar and gain access, which also makes it difficult to locate them. They were confident they would be able to get the termite infestation under control, and will over the next five years do everything they can to take care of the infestation and make sure there isn’t a problem.

A motion was made by Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, to move forward with Collins Pest Control and pay [$15,000] for the treatment out of Courthouse Repairs, and was seconded by Tom Bellmyer, Commissioner Precinct 4, and the motion carried.

The commissioners were presented with Democrat and Republican judges for the November 7, 2023 election and for two years thereafter and they are as follows:

Stevie Smith, Commissioner Precinct 3, moved to appoint the election judges and the motion was seconded by Jimmy Lout, Commissioner Precinct 2, the motion carried.

Commissioner Bellmyer moved to take $70,000 from account 900 Misc and move it to Working Capital in the Gravel account, the motion was seconded by Commissioner Lout, and the motion carried.

The Shelby County Historical Commission (SCHC) presented the court with a proposal for the installation of gutters on the 1913 Courthouse Annex building on the square at a total cost of $14,347 with a down payment of 40% at a cost of $5,747, and then a power washing at a cost of $1,958.50.

Judge Harbison referenced what Clint Porterfield, County Auditor, explained was a line item for $17,872 which would cover the request.

Speaking on behalf of the SCHC, Judge Harbison stated, “We firmly believe any work that we put toward that building when we get ready to do the grant, or ask for money from the state, anything that we have done to improve the building will improve our stature whenever we apply for the grant.”

Rayford Copelin, with the SCHC, stated that a lot of grants will ask for in-kind participation and the investment in the work would count toward that.

Commissioner Bellmyer moved to go forward with the gutter project and the power washing on the Annex Building, Commissioner Lout seconded the motion and it carried.

Stephanie Elswick with Happy Tails Adoption Center (HTAC) addressed the Court regarding a Spay and Neuter Low Income Program Proposal and future plans for the Adoption Center. Elswick provided statistics for the commissioners, and the mission statement of HTAC which is to transform the lives of cats and dogs by providing humane education, affordable spay and neuter services and by finding loving homes.

Elswick stated HTAC is not here to judge anyone, or tell them what to do with their animals. Instead, Elswick says they are here to educate, hopefully help with strays in the county, and educate kids. She explained the goal is to eventually have a shelter, which would be the last thing to come, and she hopes for that to be 2026-2027. A couple of starting points Elswick outlined are their “Spay It Forward,” program and “Pet Pantry,” as well as a foster program they are planning to begin in 2024.

The meeting went into an executive session at 10:21am and returned to open session at 10:54am.

Commissioner Bellmyer moved to reassign a jailer to a clerical position at the front office at a rate of $17.44 an hour effective August 31, the motion was seconded by Commissioner Smith, and the motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 10:56am.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Pay weekly expenses.
2. Current Payroll.
3. Declaration and Order Prohibiting Outdoor Burning.
4. Collins Pest Control to treat the Historic Courthouse for termites.
5. Appoint Election Judges for the County Election Precincts.
6. Commissioner PCT 4 FY2023 budget amendment to recognize Miscellaneous Income and increase expense budget.
7. Donation of HP DesignJet Z5200 Post Script Plotter Serial number CN7378K016 From DETCOG to the 9-1-1 addressing office.
8. Two projects for the Shelby County Historical Commission, to be paid out of their allocation of fund 10-0660-0635: 1) the placement of gutters and a French drain on the 1913 Annex for a cost of $14,347 with a down payment of 40% and 2) power washing the building for a cost of $1,958.50.
9. Reassign a jailer to a clerical position at the front office at a rate of $17.44 an hour effective August 31
10. Adjourn at 10:56am.