County Court barrels through agenda in quiet meeting


Compared to the crowds jamming the past two Madison County Commissioners’ Court meetings, Monday morning was a rather thinly attended affair, with no contentious items on the agenda.

When the time came for public comment and county judge Tony Leago was informed nobody had signed up to speak, Leago whispered a quiet “thank the Lord,” creating a wave of giggles from the rest of the room.

The past two meetings of the County Court were rife with debate and public comment, focused on a proposed proclamation – later passed – naming April Confederate Heritage and History month.

Even the auditor’s report for Monday’s meeting was subdued, with county auditor Toni Joyner prefacing her report with the comment “there’s nothing scary in there.”

Commissioners on Monday were able to plow through the agenda, gathering information on roof repairs at the County Courthouse Annex and putting up for bid a property at the intersection of FM1428 and Little Rock Lane, seized for back taxes in the 1990s.

“The taxes [on that property] haven’t been paid since 1979,” Tax Assessor/Collector Karen Lane told commissioners. “The value of the property is only $500.”

Lynn Jeffries, the county’s Designated Representative reported to the court that the various leaks in the roof of the Courthouse Annex were likely caused by faulty pipe fittings on the roof, leaking and pooling in a few places and soaking through the ceiling of the Annex.

Jeffries is working to gather three bids for the needed repairs.

Commissioners approved spending $20,000 from contingency funds to secure a new industrial washer and dryer set for the county jail, replacing what Lynne Standley of the Sheriff’s Office described as “household” machines.

“We’re pretty much washing clothes all day,” Standley told the court. “They’re just not going to last forever.”

Prisoners at the county jail get three changes of clothing per week. With the industrial machines, Standley said, it would only take two loads to do the jail’s entire run of laundry.

Earlier in the meeting, Lane reported that the city has collected $305,522.25 in sales taxes for the year to date, running ahead of last year’s totals.