Henry County Fiscal Court

(L-R) Henry County judge/executive John L. Brent with Baptist Health associate vice-president for real estate, Howard Ferriell, and Baptist Health regional vice-president of medical group, Chris Sizemore, after the fiscal court agreed to sell county park property to the healthcare group.

Last week, the Henry County fiscal court approved the sale of a one-acre lot in the Henry County Recreational & Services Park to Baptist Health for $110,000.

“They’d like to put a primary care office in our park,” said county judge/executive John L. Brent, adding that the healthcare group expects to build a 6,000 square-foot office that is architecturally compatible with the other services buildings in the park.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for us to expand our services into Henry County,” said Baptist Health associate vice-president for real estate, Howard Ferriell.

Ferriell also said that the primary care office for the site has yet to be designed but is expected in the near future.

“We plan to break ground within 24 months of closing,” said Ferriell.

In other action, fiscal court approved the following:

• Advertisement for hiring a full-time planning and zoning position with an annual salary range between $45,000 and $55,000.

• Amendment of the the contract with Pendleton sewer project engineer, QK4, to state that project funding is provided through federal American Rescue Plan Act funds and that the court does not have a conflict of interest in the project.

• Approved spending up to $1,500 for repair of a county dump truck.

• Approval of the first readings for the Henry County Sheriff and Henry County Clerk annual budget settlements for calendar year 2023 with excess fee balances estimated at $13,421 and $88,668 respectively.

Fiscal court also heard the following reports during their October meeting:

• Judge Brent reported that magistrate Chuck Smith is expected to return for the fiscal court December meeting after he underwent recent open-heart surgery.

• Interim road department supervisor Ed Nelson reported that the county has enough road salt ready for the first snow event with assurances that county access to salt supply is sufficient throughout the winter. However, Nelson also reported that cinder availability is limited to current supply with calcium chloride eventually expected to replace cinders.

• Planning and zoning enforcement officer Jason Stanley reported that 15 building permits and 22 electrical permits were issued in October.

• Parks director Travis Buchanan reported that the county parks are now shut down for the winter. He said the 10th year of the Trail-Or-Treat Halloween event last month drew upwards of 1,300 kids, which made it the “biggest one yet.”

• Animal services director Dan Flinkfelt reported that the new sign for the county animal shelter is installed: “When you drive by it now, you’ll be able to see it’s the animal shelter.”

• Sheriff Keith Perry did not have the monthly sheriff report available due to staff execution of a search warrant, but the sheriff took the opportunity to commend county attorney Kassidy Dees for her work with search warrants: “She goes above and beyond on the search warrants. Sometimes, it’s one or two in the morning, but she always answers.