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County to enforce stricter regulations at Cherry Lake

The Madison County Board of County Commissioners came together for their bi-monthly meeting on June 10 at 9 a.m. It was announced upon the meeting's start that Deputy Alan Whigham would take over the position of Director of Emergency Management, since former director, Tom Cisco, resigned. Whigham expressed his enthusiasm to work with Coordinator, Leigh Webb, as well as other departments, including EMS and the Sheriff's Office. He asserted one of his main goals is to open communication with other departments. Next, Mayor Ina Thompson requested a letter of support from the County Commission for the Competitive Florida Partnership Grant. According to, communities that take action to build and enhance their local economy while staying true to what makes them unique have a competitive advantage. Competitive Florida helps communities map their strengths and identify what makes them unique. Communities can then target opportunities that fit within their character and vision. Past awards have included $40,000 in grant funding in addition to staff support. The Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to send a letter of support for the grant application process. Later, auditors from Lanigan and Associates, John Keeler and Frank Mercer, presented the Madison County Annual Financial Report as of September 30, 2014.

There were no disagreements or difficulties and Madison County received a good report except for a minor recommendation: an allowance for doubtful accounts with EMS. Providing an allowance for doubtful accounts presents a more realistic picture of how much of the accounts receivable will be turning to cash. By recording an amount in the allowance for doubtful accounts it will also mean that the bad debt expense will be reported closer to the time of the sales--instead of waiting until the account is determined to be uncollectible. Despite the minor upset, it was agreed Madison County has come a long way in EMS financing. After the auditors' presentation, Sheriff Ben Stewart, Nathan Kendrick and Tim Ressler (Cherry Lake groundskeepers) approached the podium. Due to complaints about the number of boats exceeding capacity at Cherry Lake, as well as issues with parking and an inconvenient dumpster location, Sheriff Stewart found it pertinent to make some regulation changes. The Board agreed the resolution should include the removal of the dumpster, the roping off of unwanted parking areas and the establishment of a closing time from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekends and holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fourth of July in order to prohibit unwanted boats from entering the lake before management can arrive to regulate. The Board passed the new resolution and will begin to advertise the new changes in the near future. Boaters be warned.

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