The Campbell County Commission continued to move toward finalizing the 2018-19 budget on Monday, voting unanimously to approve contracts with the Local Government Insurance Pool for county liability and workman’s compensation at an overall 10 percent rate increase and the school system coverage with no rate increase.  WATCH HERE.

The commissioners recessed in session until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, when they will again take up the budget.

The meeting kicked off with an unusual recognition, as Mayor E. L. Morton read a proclamation honoring a retired Sheriff Department officer and Marine Corps veteran. “Cowboy,” a black Labrador Retriever that has served as a K-9 officer for several years, was officially retired to spend the rest of his days in leisure under the care of his handler.

Cowboy was present to receive the honor, along with the other three dogs that are part of the CCSD K-9 Corps.

Along with several routine measures, commissioners also heard a motion from Butch Kohlmeyer to end the health insurance benefits for county commissioners. Current commissioners who are receiving county-funded insurance would be grandfathered in under Kohlmeyer’s motion, with the restriction applying only to new commissioners.

County Attorney Joe Coker told the commission that he would need to seek legal advice on whether it is possible to deny insurance benefits to incoming commissioners while allowing others to continue on the coverage. With that, Mayor Morton asked Kohlmeyer to rescind his motion until the July meeting and Kohlmeyer agreed to withdraw it.

The commission also voted unanimously to approve a suggested increase in rent for aircraft hangers at the airport, from $220 to $255 per month, and approved a motion by Marie Ayers to restrict the hours when CCSD personnel can discharge firearms at the shooting range. Neighboring residents had complained to Ayers about the noise and deputies, with the agreement of Sheriff Robbie Goins, will now use the range only from 9-5 Monday through Friday.

The commission also approved a resolution by Ralph Davis to spend $3,000 for 250 anti-bullying T-shirts that will be produced in honor of late school board member Mike Orick. Elementary school student Issac Jones, who has started an anti-bullying initiative, was designated to oversee the production and design on the shirts, which will be available for an anti-bullying night at the August “Movie Night” at Lonas Young Park.

Before the regular meeting several commissioners and Mayor Morton met with a number of concerned citizens to discuss forming a committee to address the growing opioid epidemic in Campbell County.

Medical practitioners, personnel from the Shepherd’s Home shelter and media representatives were among those who offered to serve on the committee. Several ideas were discussed, including a hot line, a website to educate the public and expansion of the committee to include a physician, a member of the judiciary and a mental health practitioner.

The working group agreed to meet again after Morton contacts the county’s judges and can select a date when one or more judges can attend.        (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/19/2018-6AM)