Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 29, 2014

Supervisors stick with deadline for damage claims

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Jan 09, 2013

Jefferson County Engineer Scott Cline said the county is still processing 23 claims submitted for windshields damaged while driving on Salina Road between early August after the first chip and seal to mid-October, after a second seal coat.

“Those are claims submitted that someone hasn’t followed through with repairs or turned in a bill for repairs,” he told the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors Monday.

At a December meeting, supervisors had set a deadline of Monday, Jan. 14,, for all follow-through paperwork regarding repairs to windshields to be turned into the county. If the Monday deadline is missed, the county will not reimburse the outstanding claims.

No new claims are being accepted; a deadline for submitting initial claims had been set at an early November meeting.

Newly seated supervisor Becky Schmitz asked if people had been notified in writing about the deadline.

“Not in writing,” said Cline. “But we’ve given the information in phone calls.”

Supervisor Dick Reed said the process of accepting damage claims regarding driving on Salina Road has been ongoing.

“This has been discussed for quite some time,” said Reed. “We’ve talked about it as a board several times and it’s been on the radio and in the newspaper.”

In mid-December, former supervisor chairman Steve Burgmeier brought a late claim he had been given by a man who said he didn’t know the county had established a deadline. The claim said the damage happened Sept. 17, and he got an estimate for repair Dec. 5.

“The deadline had been in the newspaper about three weeks in a row when we were discussing this,” said Reed in December. “I realize not everyone reads the paper, but if anyone went to any glass repair shops around here, they could have told him, because they were aware of our deadline.”

Reed had said he believed the supervisors needed to stick to the previous deadline to submit a claim. The supervisors voted 3-0 in December to not allow the new claim.

Monday, newly elected supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt said he’d received a phone call about another new claim.

“The guy was upset,” said Dimmitt. “He’d had a conversation in October, advising him to go to the county engineer. He got repair estimates Dec. 11, and called again to ask directions to the county engineer’s office.

“I called him back and left a message, giving directions to North Eighth Street, and telling him the cut-off date for submitting claims,” said Dimmitt. “He was upset because he only heard about the process through word of mouth. And he’s missed the deadline.”

A second new claim also had been brought to the supervisors’ attention.

The supervisors voted 3-0 Monday to deny the two claims turned-in past the deadline for initial submission.

Cline reported a road sign at a trail crossing had been shot at and the bullet cut wires to a caution light. He said the lighted sign has been repaired and updated.

Owner Charlie Kessler surveyed the Devi Nagar Subdivision in July to prepare for a re-subdivision of lots, Sheri Blough, county assessor told the supervisors.

“He’s not changing ownership boundaries, so it wasn’t necessary to have a survey for what he wants to do,” she said. “The homeowners association is in agreement with Charlie’s plans to do the farming he wants to do there.

“But since he did do a survey, I have to file it and the supervisors need to approve it.”

Reed pointed out the agenda item said only to discuss, so the supervisors could not take any action Monday.

“I’d like Scott [Cline] to review it and talk with the associate county attorney about it,” said Reed.

Dimmitt said he didn’t anticipate any problems with the re-subdivision, and it could be placed on the next meeting agenda for approval.

Blough also brought up a phone call she received from someone planning to build a cattle facility and asking for a property tax exemption.

“The board of supervisors must pass an ordinance to have a tax exemption,” she said. “The facility is not built yet, but an exemption cannot be filed until an ordinance is approved.”

Associate county attorney Pat McAvan is reviewing the proposed facility and request for a tax exemption, said Blough.

In other business, supervisors discussed:

• The board’s weekly deadline for agenda items to be placed on the regular meeting schedule. It was agreed to keep noon on Thursdays as the cut-off time to submit agenda items for Monday meetings.

• Newly seated Jefferson County Sheriff Gregg Morton reappointed all 29 county employees at the law enforcement center, to include deputies, jailers and civilians who worked under retired Sheriff Jerry Droz. Supervisors agreed to increase Morton’s previous chief deputy salary to sheriff’s salary as earned by Droz. And deputy Bart Richmond was appointed to take Morton’s previous position, chief deputy, and will be paid at the same level Morton earned as chief deputy. All other sheriff office pay levels stay the same.

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