County looking at new location for com tower

Howard County commissioners will have a number of issues to consider when they meet Monday morning, including moving a communications tower and addressing staffing issues at the local Department of Public Safety office.According to County Judge Mark Barr, the court is expected to consider selecting another location for one of the county’s communication towers.“The tower is currently located on another tower, I believe on South Mountain,” Barr said. “My understanding is that tower has been condemned, so we’ve been looking at other locations for it.”Barr said the county has found a new location for the communication tower — also on South Mountain — that will allow the Howard County Sheriff’s Office, road and bridge administration and ambulance service to continue utilizing the signal, should the move be approved.Also Monday’, the court is to consider discontinuing its financial support of a secretarial position at the local DPS office, according to Barr.“The county has paid for the secretary position in the past because it allows the troopers to spend less time in the office doing paper work and more time out on the roads,” Barr said. “However, we’ve seen a pretty sharp decline in the fines and fees they have been generating out of the office.“This is something we’ve talked about in the past and it’s something we’re considering as part of our planning for the coming budget. DPS is supposed to have someone here Monday to explain the drop-off, so we’ll have to see what comes of that before any decision is made.”Also part of Monday’s meeting is a budget work session.“The work on the budget is moving along nicely,” Barr said. “We’ve gone through and met with all of the department heads. Now, all we’re really waiting on now is some hard numbers, like the tax rates and the revenue numbers, before we can really move forward.”County Auditor Jackie Olson is to discuss invoices, purchase requests, budget amendments and employee reclassifications.County Treasurer Teresa Thomas will present personnel considerations, while Road and Bridge Administrator Brian Klinksiek is expected to meet with commissioners regarding road maintenance, pipeline crossings, seal coat bids and equipment purchases.The meeting will get under way at 10 a.m. Monday in the commissioners courtroom, located on the third floor of the county courthouse. For more information, contact the county judge’s office at 432-264-2202.Contact Staff Writer Thomas Jenkins at 263-7331 ext. 232 or by e-mail at