The Madison County Board of County Commissioners came together for their bi-monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 27, at 4 p.m. The meeting was kicked off with a presentation from Madison's SWAT students, who are raising awareness in Madison County about the dangers of menthol cigarettes. SWAT is Florida’s statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. After their presentation, Alex Quintana, representative from the office of Gwen Graham, informed the commissioners of another successful day of mobile office hours in Madison. The mobile office is in Madison every fourth Wednesday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m at the Courthouse Annex. Next, Public Works notified the Board that the Cattail Drive paving project was complete, the Whippoorwill project was almost complete and work would be underway for Morris Stein sometime in July. New business items included the adoption of a resolution honoring Juan Botino for his 34 years of service to Madison County. The resolution was read, passed and presented to Botino, who was accompanied by proud friends and co-workers.
Next, Jordan Green approached the podium and updated the Board on the Florida Department of Transportation's county work program priorities. The Board also discussed with Green how Madison County can begin to take steps towards applying for an I-10 beautification grant. Other agenda items included the approval of an interlocal agreement between Madison County and the Town of Lee for building and planning services, the approval of a contract with Suwannee River Water Management District for RIVER Grant/County Camp project and discussion on the acquiring of a tax deed in mineral rights for a parcel in south Madison County. The discussion and possible approval of E-911 coordinator duties being transferred to the Sheriff's office communication department was of special interest. Sheriff Ben Stewart informed the Board that upon the departure of Juan Botino, who has been the coordinator for several years now, it is important to place someone in the position with the right amount of experience. “This is a very complicated job that has changed over the years... we sometimes receive 1,000 calls a day,” said Stewart. “It has gotten a lot more intricate and I feel this position is a complicated one and 'just anybody' can't do it. Terry Lenz has assisted Juan since he became coordinator... it would only be proper for her to take over the position.”
The board unanimously approved the item, allowing Lenz to take over the position of E-911 coordinator in addition to her current responsibilities with the Sheriff's Office. The Board also approved the request of Corinth Christian Church to place clothing bins at Madison County Collection sites on the condition that the church strictly adhered to the guidelines which County Attorney Tom Reeves and Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator, Jerome Wyche, came up with in order to prevent mishaps and liabilities. The church will be collecting the clothing and selling it in their thrift shop, using the funds collected for Corinth Christian School. Lastly, the board discussed the possibility of adjusting meeting times to accommodate people who do not get off work until five in the afternoon. The item was tabled for further consideration. The next County Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10 at 9 a.m.
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1. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Savannah Reams, May 27, 2015 - Ronnie Moore thanks Juan Botino for his 34 years of service with Madison County Emergency Medical Service. Pictured, from left to right, are: Ronnie Moore and Juan Botino.