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Kauffman voted as new county coordinator

The Madison County Commission gathered in regular session on Wednesday, May 25 at 6 p.m. with much to discuss.

In petitions from the public, Mack Primm stepped up to the podium offering a solution on the issue of the tactical training facility that was discussed during a special meeting on Thursday, May 5. “Something that's going to effect many people [and] makes a lot of noise should be done at the industrial park or somewhere where houses are undisturbed,” said Primm. Primm stated that, if the commissioners allow the firing range to operate, it could open the window for others, and the commissioners could consider this option for future occurrences.

Starting with Public Works, the commissioners reviewed bids for SE Rogers Sink Road and voted to use Music Construction for the road reconstruction of this road. The topic of roadway striping estimates was tabled for the next meeting, as several commissioners had other roads they wanted to be re-striped.

Moving to new business, the commissioners made their decision about the next County Coordinator, as Allen Cherry is retiring in July.  The commissioners held a special meeting on Thursday, May 19 to go over the process of interviewing each applicant. The applicants were interviewed by each commissioner individually on Friday, May 20.

The rankings were tallied and reviewed for each applicant. “All three applicants were outstanding,” said Commissioner Ronnie Moore. “We just had to make a tough decision. I hope no one goes away feeling bad about our process.”

A motion was made to vote Jerome Wyche as the next County Coordinator, but this motion died, 2-3. Commissioner Justin Hamrick motioned to vote Brian Kauffman as the new County Coordinator. This motion was seconded by Wayne Vickers. Brian Kauffman was voted the new County Coordinator with a vote of 4-1.

Turning back to Public Works, the commissioners then discussed appointing a new dangerous dog committee with Animal Control Director, Jamie Willoughby. The dangerous dog committee consists of one representative from the Madison County Sheriff's Office, one representative from the Florida Department of Health of Madison and one concerned citizen. If there is a dog out in the community that is considered dangerous, these three members will decide whether or not this is true based on several factors. The committee was approved, and the board voted to hold a special meeting to approve the candidates and review the ordinance that covers what is considered a dangerous dog.

Willoughby informed the commissioners that the roof on the Animal Control facility is leaking, and it would cost from $3,500 to $4,000 to repair the damage. The commissioners approved this request as long as the repairs do not exceed $4,000.

Willoughby also informed the commissioners that the transmission on a truck operated by Animal Control has shut down. A used transmission would cost $3,000, but a new vehicle could be purchased under state contract. This vehicle would cost about $5,000 per year for five years. “I'd hate to spend three grand on [a used transmission],” said County Coordinator Allen Cherry. Willoughby agreed with Cherry, stating that the truck has over 200,000 miles on it, and if it was his personal vehicle, he would go ahead and cut his losses as well. The commissioners voted to purchase a new vehicle for Animal Control and declare the old vehicle a scrap surplus.

Lastly, Willoughby updated the commissioners on how his mosquito control methods were going since the last meeting. He stated that the mosquito population has declined, and his efforts have paid off. “We're back to where we should be in regards to mosquito population,” said Willoughby.

In new business, Barney Bennette and Bill Henderson brought the commissioners up to date with the Florida Department of Transportation discussing county work program priorities.

Next, Leslie Ames and Tom Singleton of the Suwannee River Water Management District gave a short presentation on their plans to update the surface water improvement management (SWIM) plans, stating that virtually any project that improves the water quality or spring flow will qualify for funding. The Aucilla River and the lower portion of the Suwannee River are included in these new plans, but as of right now, things are still being reviewed.

The commissioners then decided to sell a property by the Blue Springs boat ramp and inform the surrounding properties that they will be receiving bids. To conclude the meeting, the board approved the interlocal agreement between Jefferson and Madison County for a building official. The building official will travel to Madison on an as-needed basis to handle any concerns within the county.

**web**Brian Kauffman

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