Nursing Care Facility to Receive Re-testing; CARES Act to Bestow $188,000

June 10, 2020 - Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison shared a nursing care facility in the county will be included in a re-testing of 14,000 tests given in Texas which reportedly turned up abnormal through a particular lab.

"They're going to have to all be re-tested because one of the labs that tested over 14,000 cases in the state of Texas are going to have to be re-tested," said Judge Harbison. "The good news is, our numbers may go down if those tests are false positives." (Related Dallas Morning News article).

Although Judge Harbison didn't name the facility, she stated the facility is one which has several cases.

Commissioner Tom Bellmyer asked if there have been any cases in the Shelby County Jail and Judge Harbison stated there was a scare early on; however, there haven't been any cases.

As a result of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, Shelby County is set to receive $188,000 according to Judge Harbison.

"Anything that we have spent on the Coronavirus can be reimbursed, and this is money that they're going to send to us $188,000," said Judge Harbison. "What we don't use at the end of the year we'll just write them a check and send it back to them."

Judge Harbison said the City of Center has already received $58,000. She suggested the county could replace the metal detectors in the courthouse with sensors to check temperature. Sheriff Willis Blackwell has expressed interest in having one at the Sheriff's Department and Judge Harbison suggested one for the Historic Courthouse.

The estimated cost of the scanners would be $8,000 to $8,500.

"Before we spend any money, we are going to have confirmation from the government that it will be reimbursed," said Judge Harbison.

Judge Harbison outlined for the commissioners several of the expenses which should call under the CARES Act funding including things like, gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer.

"Any elected official that has bought anything to do with the safety and prevention and everything of your employees to do with Corona," said Judge Harbison.

Judge Harbison also hopes indigent care funding that may have gone to cover expenses of someone dealing with COVID-19 will also be reimbursed, so that funding can continue to help those fighting other serious conditions.

A motion carried to move forward with making the application for the funding to allow for reimbursing and to establish a fund.

A request was made of the commissioners to consider closing County Road 1546 which runs through the H.L. Bryce Family Farm. Norrell Thomas, whose wife owns property adjoining that property stated the Commissioners' Court previously closed another road that accessed the property.

"We did have a road access from the other side and y'all closed that one, for some reason. Somebody told you they owned it on both sides of the road, which they didn't," said Thomas. "We don't have any access to our property, that's all there is to it, they put in a gate so the county doesn't maintain that road anymore so I've been maintaining it."

Thomas claimed he has spent $30,000 on maintaining the roadway since the gate was installed. Judge Harbison asked if Thomas has spoken with the other property owner and Thomas said the man approached him with a contract allowing access on the road, but with approval of whatever was done on the road, and that there would not be a chicken farm on the Thomas property.

Commissioner Roscoe McSwain stated Thomas should never have had to maintain the roadway and the 911 system has the road going to the Thomas property.

"I want to resume maintenance of the road of what I have on 911," said McSwain. "What an ambulance is supposed to be able to go to and what a mail carrier is supposed to be able to go to. I'm going to contact this fellow, and he can take the gate down or I'm going to tear it down."

Judge Harbison said she has done extensive research on the roadway and found no record of it ever being closed.

A motion carried to resume maintenance of CR 1546.

The commissioners considered a HAVA (Help America Vote Act) grant resolution during the meeting regarding safe election procedures and practices for County Elections.

"The government's going to give us some money to make our elections COVID-free I suppose," said Judge Harbison. "It's totally possible that when November gets here and it's the Federal governments election that they may require us to do all sorts of crazy things for this COVID."

Judge Harbison explained Jennifer Fountain, County Clerk, hasn't received any requirements for November safety protocols.

"This is just in anticipation for equipment, goodness only knows what, if we have to hand everybody a mask that comes in who knows. This at least will give us some funds to be able to do this," said Judge Harbison.

A motion carried by the commissioners for a HAVA Grant resolution.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Minutes of the May 6, 2020 Special meeting, May 6, 2020 Workshop, May 13, 2020 Regular meeting, May 20, 2020 Special meeting, May 26, 2020 Special meeting, of the Shelby County Commissioner’s Court.
2. Pay weekly expenses.
3. Current payroll.
4. Officers Report.
5. Shelby County to resume maintaining County Road 1546.
6. HAVA (Help America Vote Act) Grant Resolution regarding safe election procedures and practices for County Elections.
7. Resolution for the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund allowing application for funds allocated for Shelby County.
8. Master Software License and Services Agreement with KNOWink, LLC for election poll books. 
9. Adjourn.