Mitchell County Commisioners Meeting Monday April 23



Mitchell County Commissioners



Monday, April 23, 2018


By Terry Bailey




The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their weekly meeting at the Courthouse Monday morning to oversee the business of the County. All Commissioners were present as was the County Clerk.

The major topic of deliberation was centered on what is commonly referred to as the “burn ban” as it relates to the intentional setting of fires in Mitchell County. This regulation came about a number of years ago when Virgil Palen, Bill Bunger, and Terry Collins were serving as County Commissioners.


At that time there was no regulation of burning and citizens of the County could set fires at will. The result was that folks in the rural areas would see plumes of smoke here and there and, not knowing the details of the smoke, would call the Sheriff’s department to report a fire. At that time a deputy or Rural Fire Chief would then be sent to check out the fire which usually was well controlled and managed. During the burning season many personnel were sent to check on fires throughout the week.

In an attempt to get a more firm control of deputies and fire chief running all over the county to check out sightings of fires, the Commissioners created the “burn ban.” This policy restricted all burning in rural Mitchell County. Should someone want to perform a controlled burn, they were required to call the Sherriff’s dispatcher and provide the pertinent information concerning the request for the burn. The dispatcher would then contact the appropriate Rural Fire Chief in the area where and when the burn was requested. The Chief would consider the current weather condition and provide a “Yes” or “No” answer. If the response was No, the person requesting permission to burn was advised to call back when conditions were more favorable. If a Yes response was given this permission was passed on the person and they could proceed with the burn. Should folks call in during the time of the burn, the dispatcher would be aware about what was going on.

In all reality under this policy, all burning is banned unless permission is given by calling and requesting permission to burn.

Recently due to extremely dry conditions and some disastrous fires within the area, the Commissioners announced a ban all burning in Mitchell County in the name of public safety.


At Monday’s meeting the Rural Fire Chiefs appeared at the Commissioners meeting. This group consisted of Rick Horn, Mitchell County Emergency Director, Bill Bunger, Jerry Clark, Larry Heidrick, Dane Emmott, and Virgil Jeardoe.


The group reminded the Commissioners about the policy that had been formed years ago where people had to call in to get a permit to burn and permission was given or denied by the Fire Chiefs. They expressed their desire to return to that policy

In the end, the Commissioners gave the Fire Chiefs permission to do the work that they had been entrusted with years ago.



The Fire Chiefs and the Commissioners then conducted a fifteen minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. No decisions were made as a result of this closed session.

Dawn Synder, assistant director of the 12th Judicial District, was present to give the Commissioners their yearly budget request. The request to perform juvenile services was $237,851 which is the same amount requested as last year. The request for adult services was $190,142. The request for Behavioral Health was $89,367

The Commissioners approved the payment of Mitchell County’s share of these three funding requests.


Having dealt with all items on the printed agenda, the meeting was adjourned.


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