By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
County employees will not be allowed to use medical marijuana while working under a new policy being considered by officials.
The state will soon allow marijuana use via a prescription, but that won’t apply to county employees who work under a zero tolerance policy, which includes termination if caught.
The new law won’t change current practice.
Commissioners Alan Word, Lewis Hilkert and Brian Davis heard from JFS Director Fred Lord and County Prosecutor Katie Middleton to discuss the proposed changes.
The policy should read the same as current rules which demand a drug-free workplace and zero tolerance, Middleton said. No one will be exempted from the policy.
Training will be offered to department heads to teach them how to identify when someone is using marijuana. Despite the change in the state law, the county will still follow federal laws which prohibit the use of marijuana.
A resolution approving the new policy will come for a vote a later date.
The commissioners were also updated on the current status of the Northwest Water District. Board President Brian Davis wanted a general conversation and convened several officials.
According to Davis, the county has spent $95,000 year to date on the operation. Davis wanted to know if the operator was ready to run things on his own so the county could sever the contract with AOP.
Cameron Baer said he had a Class I license, but was also working part-time for AOP so he could have liability coverage. He has also been paid by the Water District.
For Davis, it’s a matter of reducing costs until the site is developed. Pilot, which owns the site, is not expecting to build on the property for many years, Davis said.
In the meantime, Flying J is making interest payments on the $2 million loan for the water district.
There will be some investigation into the benefits of creating a Tax Increment Financing Authority if and when development comes. While Flying J is making payments now, if the site is developed the county has to pay back all the money paid into it by the company.
In other news:
The board approved the transition of Michael Levy from trainee to full-time 911 Emergency Telecommunicator.
Approved advertising for sealed bids for the Dunham Estate Sanitary Sewer Improvements project. The bids will be opened at 10:30 a.m., Sept. 12.
James Pruitt may be reached at