Security measures and museum funding discussed at Quorum Court


The Drew County Quorum Court met at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 8. The meeting opened with Justice Joe Williams giving an invocation and everyone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. County Clerk Stephanie Chisom called the roll and all of the Justices were present. After a couple of minor changes, the meeting agenda was approved along with the minutes from the June meeting.

Charlie Searcy, County Treasurer, gave his Treasurer’s Report following the approval of the minutes. Searcy stated that at the end of July 2023 County General showed a balance of negative $159,813 compared to negative $348,511 in 2024. The Quarter Cent Sales Tax Fund currently has $5.9 million and the County General Excess Fund has a balance of $1.2 million.

Searcy added that the remaining $9,000 in ARP funds must still be moved into County General.

“There is nothing out of the ordinary for the first six months,” Searcy said.

Drew County Judge Jessie Griffin presented Mike McManus, the recently retired Road Department Foreman, with a Certificate of Appreciation for his years of hard work and service.

“I want to honor you for your exemplary service from June 20, 2005, until June 27, 2024. That's 19 years of leadership and dedication,” Judge Griffin stated. “I would like to express our appreciation for your unwavering commitment to improving our county roads. The people of Drew County are indebted to your commitment. We wish you a wonderful retirement filled with enjoyment and spending time with your family.’

McManus expressed his gratitude for the honor and thanked everyone.

Jude Griffin opened his comments to the court by stating that he would like to see a committee formed to try and see what needs to be done for the county to help the volunteer fire departments. He asked the Justices of the Peace to talk amongst themselves to determine their interest and willingness to be on the committee.

Judge Griffin added that the county still has an application for a road work grant that is pending. He hopes to have an update soon.

Judge Griffin added that a list of all county employees is being compiled and sent to a third-party vendor who will begin performing random drug tests on all county employees.

He also asked the court to think about whether or not county employees should receive partial payment for stockpiled sick days should they retire. Judge Griffin said that the court would discuss this in detail soon.

Tommy Gray and Dr. Kyle Day appeared before the court on behalf of the Drew County Historical Society. They asked if the county would possibly consider upping their yearly funding to the Drew County Museum. Gray stated that the insurance on the building is more than the $7,500 that the county is currently giving. The city’s matching contribution is going to cover maintenance and payroll. Judge Griffin said that they would take a look into increasing the contribution when the next budget cycle began.

Dr. Day and Gray also invited everyone to attend a Historical Society meeting, held on the first Monday of each month, or that they consider becoming a member of the society.

The court then passed an appropriation ordinance to pay for repairs on sewer drainage pipes at the jail. The amount approved was $20,000.

The court also passed an appropriation ordinance for $75,000 to pay for repairs on two road graders and one backhoe.

Judge Robert Gibson appeared before the court to request $6,560.67 to place electronic locks on the courtroom doors. Judge Gibson stated that the design of the courthouse makes it impossible to place bailiffs at each entry point due to a lack of manpower. The electronic locks would provide a layer of security to make judges, jurors, and citizens safer while in the courtroom. The appropriation was approved.

The court also approved $75,000 for gravel, dirt, and sand for the county to use through the end of the year.

Finally, the court approved $25,000 to allow the county to open new cells at the landfill. This would pay for five cells at $5,000 each.

With no further business, the Drew County Quorum Court was adjourned.