Circuit Clerk asks for help from county

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2003

Rusty Nichols, Marengo County circuit clerk, asked the County Commission Tuesday for funds to delay the layoff of an employee in his office.

Due to cuts in funding to the court system in the 2004 state budget, the Circuit Clerks office is losing two full time employees. One is already gone, Nichols said.

Money from a Restitution and Recovery Fund will be used along with money the county might provide to keep the second employee. Otherwise, the second employee will be gone by November 28.

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With two employees gone, there will be three employees left. "We’re going to be stretched out to say the least," he said. "…The wheels of justice turn slowly, and it’s just going to slow down more.

Nichols did not know of the exact amount needed. He later mentioned a few hundred dollars, and it would be a monthly amount.

Commissioner Max Joiner said Nichols’ request was "not falling on deaf ears," but the county just doesn’t have the money. The commission will have another meeting before the potential termination date of the employee, and the body will consider Nichols’ request, Joiner said.

In other action from Tuesday’s meeting, the commission officially approved the fiscal 2004 budget. Total expenditures are estimated at $2,868,819.31, larger than the total expected revenues at $2,803,656.30.

Pat Dixon, manager of Chickasaw State Park, briefed the commission on the proposed plans for building a state-of-the art education center and further expansion of the park. A planning session will be held October 22 at the National Guard Armory to present the full proposal.

The commission has received complaints about the cost change from Waste Management to Arrow Disposal Service to pick up county garbage. Arrow was the low bidder for the county contract with $15.95 per household per month; Waste Management bid $16.75 for the new contract. The Waste Management price on the old contract was $15.62.