In the 2013-14 fiscal year budget, commissioners made a commitment to emergency services in Macon County. Funds were appropriated to update emergency vehicles including two new ambulances and six new patrol cars.
After completing the bidding process, Macon County commissioners formally approved a bid from Franklin Ford for six new 2014 Police Interceptor Sedans at $23,996.33 each. The bidding process attracted two bidders, Franklin Ford with a total project bid of $143,978 and Iiderton with a total project cost of $145,134 for six 2014 Dodge Chargers.
Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland explained that the vehicles needing to be replaced were identified by the maintenance garage.
“We work closely with the county garage on which vehicles need to be replaced,” explained Holland. “They inspect our vehicles and whenever they inform us that a vehicle has run its course and needs to be replaced, we begin the process of doing so.”
Commissioner Paul Higdon asked Holland what the procedure was for disposing of the six vehicles that were being replaced. “We either deem them surplus and sell them off, or we donate them. In the past, we have donated some to Southwestern Community College for their training programs,” said Holland.
Funding allocated in the budget not only includes the cost of the vehicles, but will also pay to fully furnish the patrol vehicles with technology and equipment to ensure the new vehicles are brought to the same standards as the vehicles already in use for the department.
Commissioner chair Kevin Corbin noted that after seeing the bid for the patrol vehicles, after the project is completed and the cars are ready for patrol, the replacement project should come in just under budget.
According to Holland, the Macon County Sheriff's Department has 25 active patrol vehicles, but the entire fleet is just over 40 cars. Each year the department works with the maintenance garage to maintain a schedule for replacing cars as needed and to ensure the entire fleet wouldn't need to be replaced at one time.
Macon County Board of Commissioners recognized two members of Macon County's youth who have worked to keep agriculture alive in the community.
“Macon County has always been a strong agricultural community, so it is always so nice to see the youth in our county taking an interest in keeping that part of our heritage alive,” said Corbin.
Corbin and vice-chair Ronnie Beale presented Katie Gibson and A.J. Carpenter with a plaque from the county in recognition of Gibson's and Carpenter's success at the North Carolina State Fair Agricultural competitions. Gibson was the winner of the Born and Bred Grand Champion Steer and Carpenter took top honors for the Grand Champion Steer.
On behalf of the entire board, Commissioner Jimmy Tate presented former planning board member Karl Gillespie with a small gift in appreciation for his volunteer service on the Planning Board.
“I think it was about the same time that I was elected to this board, that you were appointed chairman of the Planning Board,” said Tate. “And we were both kind of tasked with revamping the Planning Board and working out some problems that it had.”
Tate commended Gillespie for not only volunteering on the Planning Board, but for working to build a board with open communication not only between its members, but also with commissioners. While he served about two years as chairman of the board, Gillespie has served on the Planning Board for many years.
The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee recognized both current and past members of the Macon County Board of Commissioners for their work in preserving and developing The Macon County Heritage Center at the historic Cowee School. LTLT named the Macon County Board of Commissioners the recipients of the 2013 Robert and Virginia Ramsey Brunner Land Conservationist of the Year Award.