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Commissioners take into account extra College Useful resource Officers at elementary faculties

The Alexander County Board of Commissioners heard a report from Alexander County Colleges’ Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hefner and Sheriff Chris Bowman relating to doable grant funding to help with offering College Useful resource Officers (SRO) at 5 elementary faculties which at present wouldn’t have an SRO. The college system has utilized for a 2022-2023 College Security Grant from the NC Division of Public Instruction within the quantity of $220,000.

The whole value for 5 extra SROs is $750,000 for the primary yr. For every new SRO, preliminary prices would come with a totally outfitted patrol automobile for $70,000, $15,000 to totally equip a brand new officer, and roughly $65,000 for wage and advantages. If the grant is awarded, Alexander County Authorities must present roughly $530,000 for the primary yr and an estimated $325,000 yearly after the primary yr.

“The security and safety of employees and college students on faculty campuses have at all times been on the forefront of the minds of fogeys and residents alike,” Sheriff Bowman stated. “In mild of latest occasions which have occurred throughout the nation, the significance of getting legislation enforcement assets instantly accessible throughout instances of disaster on faculty campuses has change into even clearer. With the potential for this grant funding, now is an efficient time to handle this.”

Sheriff Bowman stated the sheriff’s workplace at present employs 4 full-time SROs, with two positions on the center faculty campuses, one place shared between two elementary faculty campuses, and one DARE officer that works in any respect seven elementary faculties.

Dr. Hefner stated the grant software was submitted by the August thirty first deadline, with the award announcement anticipated this month.

“We want to have a full-time College Useful resource Officer at every elementary faculty. I have been having conversations about this with Sheriff Bowman since early 2021,” Dr. Hefner stated. “The Uvalde, Texas state of affairs bought our consideration and our dad and mom’ consideration. We do not dwell concurrently after we had been at school. It is time to have a critical dialog about having an SRO at every faculty.”

Dr. Hefner stated that as a result of Alexander County has been categorized as a low-wealth county by NCDPI, the grant is a 4-to-1 matching grant as a substitute. She stated the varsity system may also apply for extra grant funding for 2023-2024. Study extra in regards to the grant program on the NCDPI web site.

Commissioner Larry Yoder requested, “What occurs if you aren’t getting the grant? What occurs then? Dr. Hefner replied, “I will be again to ask time and again, as a result of that is actual.”

Vice Chairman Marty Pennell stated, “The actual query is what value are you able to placed on the protection of the youngsters of the county? I do not suppose you may put a value on that.”

“This can be a lot of excellent info and after we hear again from the grant, we’ll meet once more and make our plans for transferring ahead,” stated Chairman Ronnie Reese.

In different companies:
• Commissioners held a public listening to to permit dialogue in regards to the proposed schedule of values ​​for use for the 2023 revaluation as offered by Tax Administrator Doug Fox and Jimmy Tanner of the Tanner Valuation Group. In the course of the public listening to, a citizen inquired in regards to the revaluation course of and the way elevated property values ​​will negatively affect senior residents. It was famous that there are state exemptions in place for individuals who are age 65+ and are completely disabled. The schedule of values ​​can be offered for adoption on the October third assembly.

• Commissioners authorized a price range modification within the quantity of $500,000 for estimated architect charges for a brand new county courthouse.

• Commissioners authorized a decision in help of Operation Inexperienced Gentle for Veterans, which inspires counties to light up buildings with inexperienced lights to indicate help for veterans who’re transitioning from energetic service to civilian life. Alexander County Veterans Service Officer Cherry Kilby offered details about this system to the board. She stated the county plans to mild up the Alexander County Providers Middle and Courthouse Park constructing. Kilby encourages residents and companies to affix the initiative to indicate their help for native veterans by burning a inexperienced mild through the week of November 7-13. The Operation Inexperienced Gentle program started in New York, was adopted by the Nationwide Affiliation of Counties (NACo), which then inspired counties throughout the nation to take part. Study extra about Operation Inexperienced Gentle on the NACo web site.

• Commissioners authorized an settlement with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments to offer administrative help with the $650,000 Rural Transformation Grant that was awarded to Alexander County by the NC Division of Commerce for the “Housing Our Lecturers” undertaking. The undertaking includes the renovation of county-owned property at 16 West Fundamental Avenue, offering ground-floor retail area and two second-floor residences that can be leased to public faculty lecturers. The WPCOG will obtain $32,500 for its providers.

• Commissioners authorized a decision to enter right into a memorandum of understanding with the NC Administrative Workplace of the Courts to put in cable within the courtrooms essential to function audio/video gear to permit distant proceedings. Alexander County pays a complete of $17,226 in addition to any vital electrical upgrades, with NCAOC masking the price of the gear and set up.

• Thomas Mitchell, Social Providers Director, offered info relating to the Alexander County DSS grant software for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and People with Disabilities Program within the quantity of $155,674, which requires a ten % native match. Commissioners authorized submitting the grant software.

• Within the County Supervisor’s Report, Rick French made notice of a number of upcoming occasions, together with the Hiddenite Celebration of the Arts on September 24, the Vertical Night time Problem on October 1, Nationwide Night time Out on October 4, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band live performance on October 8, the Taylorsville Apple Pageant on October 15, the Run for the Canine on November 5, the Veterans Parade on November 11, and the Christmas Parade on December 3.

Following the common fee assembly, the board agreed to the Consolidated Human Providers Board assembly.

• Well being Educator Kimberly Edmisten reported that the Alexander County Well being Division handed the accreditation course of with honors. Edmisten associated that state well being officers stated the accreditation was distinctive, particularly contemplating the pandemic and having new management. Because the final accreditation, the well being division added an administrative constructing, expanded the scientific foyer, added three clinic rooms and an immunization room, added a behavioral well being clinic, and extra. She stated the state was additionally impressed with the commissioners’ function on the Consolidated Human Providers Board. Edmisten additionally reported that the well being division can be conducting the 2022 neighborhood well being evaluation survey this fails.

• Emily Vick, Communicable Illness Nurse, offered the 2021 communicable illness report. Moreover COVID-19, the highest three reported communicable illnesses in Alexander County had been chlamydia (68 instances), gonorrhea (28 instances), and hepatitis A (12 instances). There have been 4,576 instances of COVID-19 in 2021 with 83 deaths reported on account of the virus. She additionally famous that the well being division can be providing a drive-thru flu shot clinic each Friday in October from 1:00 to three:00 pm

• Kristy Hunt, Senior Middle Director, stated participation numbers are on the rise with 75 individuals in attendance on the latest ice cream social and 130 individuals on the latest well being honest. She famous that the senior middle will rejoice its thirtieth anniversary on October 7 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm with refreshments, music, socializing, and sharing reminiscences. Hunt stated the middle continues to save cash for native seniors by working with them on discovering the perfect Medicare drug plan. Up to now in 2022, $147,836 has been saved, with open enrollment starting in October.

• Thomas Mitchell, Social Providers Director, stated that DSS vacancies have decreased from 27 % when he began as director to 12 %, having employed 17 new staff since June and selling three staff. He stated that produce from an area farmer is obtainable all through the week freed from cost. Mitchell stated he has been working with Emergency Administration Coordinator Garrett Huffman on emergency shelter preparedness. DSS can be engaged on enhancing its playground with a fundraiser to start in late September. He stated the variety of youngsters in foster care has decreased from 68 to 63, with 19 youngsters accessible for adoption.

The following assembly of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners is ready for Monday, October 3 at 6:00 pm on the CVCC Alexander Middle for Schooling (room #103). Common conferences are recorded and will be seen on the county’s Authorities Channel on Spectrum channel 192 or the county’s YouTube channel at Assembly agendas, minutes, movies, and extra can be found on the county’s web site at

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