Discussions regarding the use and potential sale of county property consumed much of Tuesday’s Carter Fiscal Court meeting.

Grayson Mayor George Steele addressed the Court with questions about the existing deed and whether or not it would allow the county to sell the property which is adjacent to the detention center.

“I was prepared to come here and offer $25,000 to purchase the property but, after reading this deed, I’m not even sure it’s legal for you to sell it,” said Steele.

He also alleged that grant money had been received by the county for development of a recreational park on the land as part of the deed agreement that restricted its use.

“I have Sen. Robin Webb looking into the matter for me right now but there’s allegedly a grant that was given to the county, either for $75,000 or $100,000, that was intended to be used to put a park on that land,” he said.

Later in the meeting, Steele produced a budget ordinance from September 2003 showing that the county received $75,516 in grant money that was earmarked for “recreational programs” in the general budget.

“This county is sitting on a keg of dynamite and the fuse is burning,” said Steele.

Steele asserted that the existence of grant funding for a yet-to-be-built park could create legal hurdles in the sale of the property, a sentiment that some members of the Fiscal Court echoed.

“I can’t speak for other members, I can only speak for me. I want to work with the city but we need time to check with our legal counsel to determine what we can legally do with the property,” said Magistrate Mary Ellen Greenhill.

Magistrate Clifford Roe, however, was outwardly irritated with the discussion and called multiple times for the matter to be dropped.

“Can we just shut up about this?” Roe said at one point, visibly frustrated by the proceedings.

No action was taken on the property at the meeting.

County Attorney Patrick Flannery asked Steele for copies of the information he referenced so that he could advise the Fiscal Court on how to proceed.

Roe also continued his push to put a security camera in the waiting room of the Little Sandy District Health Department, which is housed in the first floor of the courthouse.

The issue came to light when the court opened sealed bids for the installation of cameras throughout the courthouse during the meeting.

When asked if the bids included plans to install a camera in the health department’s waiting room, Roe replied, “Yes, it does.”

During last month’s meeting, health department employees advised the Fiscal Court that installing cameras not only would constitute a violation of patient privacy laws, but also is a decision that ultimately would rest with the department’s board of directors.

Plans still appear to be moving forward for installation of a camera in the space, however.

Carter Fiscal Court will next meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 15, in Room 221 of the courthouse.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.

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