Highlights of the Calhoun Commission meeting September 10th.

- Diane Ludwig advised the commission she would be applying for a grant to repair the courthouse steps.

- Dick Ullum advised the commission they should be pro-active to revise the prevailing wage schedule for the county, which uses wages from other counties to set the scale, often preventing the use of grant money from doing local projects. Commissioner Weaver agreed to work on the issue.

- CEO Barb Lay of MHHS asked for and received a renewal of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, with a number of additions and deletions to the committee.

- Following a request by County Clerk Richard Kirby, the commission agreed to consider the hiring of an Administrative Assistant. Kirby said the volume of work he has done for the commission over the years has increased.

- Brenda Dickey from the Sheriff's Department spoke about dog problems in the county.

- Rick Sampson made a motion to give county employees a "one time pay raise" of $2,000 from county funds, expressing discontent that most county employees are underpaid since Assessor Jason Nettles gave his two employees a $2,500 raise from a state funded account. The motion did not receive a second.

Sampson felt that "one time increases" which do not increase the employees salary base is a practical way to help county employees and not place the annual budget at risk.

Commissioner Weaver said he wants to have the elected officials and county employees agree on a new handbook, working toward equalizing county employees wages on a permanent basis.

Commissioner Helmick said many county employees in neighboring counties make less money (including benefits) than Calhoun workers.

County Clerk Richard Kirby has been trying to give his office workers a pay increase, saying there was not enough money in his budget to give his employees increases.

- The commission approved a budget revision of $4,500 for Diane Ludwig's retirement, which does not come from county funds.

- The commission gave a $500 grant for the Foster Grandparents Program for the county.

- The commission approved a tax adjustment increase of $23,000 for Creston Oil discovered by the State Tax Department.

- Henry Cooper was approved as the new director for the Calhoun County Park.

- Richard Kirby resigned as asst. county OES Director.

- Discussion regarding a request to transfer ownership of the old 911 tower at Mt. Zion to Calhoun EMS.

- MSAG, data consultants, appeared regarding a proposal to complete E-911 addressing and mapping for the county.

- 911 Director Gary Buchanan reported on the serious lightning strike at the facility.

The next commission meeting is October 16 at 9 a.m.