Controversy during discussion for city/county interlocal agreement
During both the Commissioners Court and city council meeting from last week the topic of an interlocal agreement between the city and county, raised more than a few eyebrows.
A rough draft of a potential contract was presented during the Commissioners Court meeting.
In this draft it stated several different facts regarding the obligations from both parties.
According to the document the city would be obligated to pay up to $130,000.00 plus an additional amount to cover maintenance fees.
They would also supply the county jail with three dispatchers, who would also be crosstrained as jailers.
The addition of employees would also come at no cost to the county; it would all be paid for by the city.
Marlin would also be responsible for supplying the equipment needed to perform the job.
Obligations from the county would only be to answer all 911 calls and direct them to the city of Marlins police department, fire department and EMS as needed.
The county commissioners and city council are currently at a stand still in the progression of this agreement.
As both sides agree that several things need to be worked out in the contract to make it fair for both the county and city of Marlin.
The county discovered that the city was previously paying up to $200,000.00 and more in fees for dispatcher’s salaries plus benefits.
From this they feel the $130,000.00 fee is more than an acceptable price and some on the court even feel that they should be charging more than the $130,000.00 amount.
Of course the city does not share the same feelings, they feel that $130,000.00 is too much and would not be beneficial to the city or the council’s budget.
The city also feels that the request from the county for the first payment to be due in October of 2017 is “ridiculous” as the new budget year will not have even started by then.
Which means the city would already be in debt to the county.
Also the city does not agree with having to supply the county with three new employees that would be trained by the county but paid for by the city.
Both Sheriff Scaman and Police Chief Pesses were asked for their opinion on the agreement.
According to Scaman he is fine with it either way but ultimately it is up to the county and city.
Pesses basically feels the same way about it as Scaman does with one exception.
If the agreement were to be made right now with the contract as is, there would be no rotation service for the wrecker companies in the city.
Only one wrecker would receive the right to service the city and county in need of road clearing.
Which could potentially push out the other two, Jerry Christians and Don’s wrecker services.
Connie Christian and Don were present during both meetings last week to give their opinions on the agreement.
Both agree that it would, without a doubt force them to close down their businesses.
As a large portion of their business comes from servicing the city and county for road clearing services.
Upon hearing their concerns the city council all agreed that they were uncomfortable with putting local businesses out of business.
With that being said they would like to go back and revise the contract to include the rotation service for the city somehow, or it will be a “no deal” type of situation.
The county voted to table the agenda item until the city could read over the draft, while the city voted the next day to go back and revise the contract.
Do not look for this agreement to go into effect in time soon, it will take at least six months to a year, if at all.
If both parties cannot come to an agreement then they have both stated that it would be a “no” to the agreement.
The idea of the agreement was to provide better and quicker service the citizens of Marlin.
As well as increase employee numbers at the county jail.