County Writes Off Bad Debts Owed to DeKalb EMS

June 28, 2011
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night voted to write off over $200,000 in bad debts owed to the ambulance service.

County Mayor Mike Foster said this is being done for accounting purposes and efforts will continue to collect. "I have a list of write-offs, $277, 280. I would ask that we let (County attorney) Hilton (Conger) look it over and that it be adopted as a write-off, subject to his inspection. There will still be an effort made to collect it. These are not deemed uncollectible. They're still collectible. Its just a legal procedure to where we write off the balance. The (state) auditor tells us we have to do it. We've been pleasantly surprised by the ambulance service in that we thought it would lose about $300,000 a year, plus we had to purchase an ambulance each year. This year it is actually about breaking even. We're collecting roughly $900,000 and expending roughly $900,000," said Foster.

In other business, caution lights may soon be erected at the intersection of US 70 and highway 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant, where severl serious traffic accidents have occurred in recent years, the latest being last Saturday.

The county has been making plans to put light there for several months. The state has authorized the county to proceed at the county's expense and Monday night, the county commission voted to seek bids for the project."I have an estimate from Stansell Electric. Their estimate is $27,583. This would include overhead flashers on wood poles at the intersection. Its to put up caution lights on either side of highway 70 and stop lights highway 83. I need a motion from you to bid the caution lights," said County Mayor Mike Foster. The commission gave its approval.

The county commission, several months ago, also voted to look in the possibility of erecting street lights to better illuminate two other intersections at highway 70 and Hurricane Ridge Road and at highway 70 and Dry Creek Road near Dowelltown. But Foster said that would be a more difficult project to undertake because of state requirements. "The state has said we would have to get somebody to come and conduct a survey to tell us how many street lights we need at those dark intersections. Its ridiculous because all we're trying to do is illuminate two or three dangerous intersections. I more or less didn't do any more about it because they told us it would probably be about $6,000 to do the study. All we want to do is put up two street lights", said Foster.

Meanwhile, the county commission adopted a continuing budget resolution to keep county government operating past the end of the current fiscal year June 30 until a new budget is approved.

County Mayor Foster has scheduled budget committee meetings for July 5th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 18th, 19th, and 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse. He said the budget must be adopted by the county commission no later than August 15th.

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