Quorum Court selects Culclager for Watson Chapel School Board because Bradford ineligible

After the Education Committee of the Jefferson County Quorum Court voted last week to approve the application of Toni Bradford to fill a vacant position on the Watson Chapel School Board of Directors, the committee had to rescind that vote Monday when it discovered that Bradford does not live in the zone that the position represents.

Education Committee Chairman Dr. Conley Byrd convened a special meeting of the committee before the regular Quorum Court meeting and said the district had discovered that only Shade Culclager Jr., who was one of three applicants for the position, lives in the proper zone. Neither Bradford nor the third applicant, Ron Womack, was eligible for the position.

The ordinance to appoint Bradford was amended to appoint Culclager instead and was adopted without dissent.

Jefferson County Judge Dutch King said the district used the wrong map when its advertised for applicants for the position. Because the current board did not fill the vacancy within 30 days, it was up to the Quorum Court to fill the position.

During the regular meeting, a 2014 budget of $12,764,625.95 budget for the county general fund and the county road department was approved unanimously.

The budget calls for spending of $3,534,504 by the road department next year, and $9,230,121.95 for County General.

In addition, 2014 budgets were approved for both the juvenile detention center and the adult jail, with Byrd asking before each vote if the budgeted funds would be enough to run the two facilities for an entire year.

“It will have to be,” King said. “They have got budgets and they will have to live with them.”

The juvenile detention center is slated to receive $1.43 million next year, with $830,000 of that coming from the one-cent Public Safety Sales Tax and the remaining $600,000 from other sources.

The adult jail is scheduled to receive $3,818,966 next year. Of that, $985,333 will come from the Public Safety Sales Tax, another $1,866,333 from the quarter-cent sales tax for jail operations and the remaining $947,300 from other sources.

“That’s all the money we can give them,” King said.

During its November meeting, the quorum court amended an appropriation ordinance that would have transferred $210,000 to the sheriff’s department construction fund by designating $32,591.36 to cover existing bills for the jail construction and holding the rest of the money back to see if it could be used for other purposes — specifically to pay salaries and benefits for employees of the Juvenile Justice Center through the end of the year.

On Monday, the remaining $177,408.64 was put back into the construction fund after the county’s legislative body received word that the funds could not be used for salaries.

Asked by Byrd if that additional money would be enough to start Phase Two of the construction on the sheriff’s new building, Public Safety and Emergency Services Chairman Herman Ginger said “No.”

“We’re not finished paying for Phase One but this money will probably be enough to make that happen,” Ginger said.

Phase One of the construction program was designed to get the department’s criminal investigation division out of its existing office space in the 100 block of South Main Street and into the new building. Phase Two will move the department’s patrol division, also located in the 100 block of South Main Street, into the new building.