By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) signed off on a change to the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Morgan County School System regarding shared costs at the new Transportation Faciltiy. Originally, the agreement called for the monthly costs for utilities and maintenance of the new facility to be split evenly between the county and the school system. However, a new ratio was calculated based on the amount of space used at the facility by the county and the school system, which amounts to the school system paying 80 percent of the monthly costs and the county paying 20 percent.
Although the new calculation results in a 30 percent cost savings to the county, two of the newest county commissioners expressed reservation over the entire IGA.
Commissioners Ben Riden and Philip Von Hanstein, who were not BOC members at the time of the IGA’s original negotiation and approval, lamented over the county’s deal to share monthly costs in return for some of the county’s equipment and vehicles to be serviced at the $4.1 million facility.
“I just don’t think this is a good deal,” said Riden at the last work session. “The facility is not even designed to handle all of our equipment.”
“It looks a lot better than what we had, but is it what we really need?” asked Commissioner Philip Von Hanstein.
Riden and Von Hanstein were not impressed with the deal, noting that the county was not seeing enough benefits considering the county provided the land, grading and site preparation for the Transportation Facility. However, both commissioners ended up signing the revisions to IGA, but still expressed worries that since the new facility cannot service the county’s tracked equipment, only the county’s ‘rubber-tired’ equipment, that the benefits were not sufficient enough since the county will still have to utilize the old service station at Morgan County Public Works’ facility.
“I’d like to see us negotiate a better deal—something more conducive to what we need to work on all of our equipment and this is not it,” said Riden. “But this is what we got for the time being.”