Commissioners' meeting

Saying there has been tension between the Newton County Commissioners and the Newton County Council the past few years would be an understatement.

That tension seemed to be only mounting the past few weeks and it may have reached its peak Friday as the commissioners by a 2-1 vote decided to create a special fund for the redevelopment commission in case a portion of fees collected from the landfill are redirected there.

Commissioners Tim Drenth and Mickey Read voted to create the fund, while Kyle Conrad voted no.

On March 16, the commissioners voted to ask the council to create the fund. The following day, the council took no action on the request after a lengthy discussion.

“I have to question why the commissioners want to do this,” said council President Michael Mark. “Why would that want to redirect around $400,000 in money from the landfill away from the county?”

“If the commissioners have a specific use for this money they can come in front of us (the council) and request it,” said council Vice-President Scott Carlson.

When asked what the commissioners’ intention for the money was, Conrad responded, “to get your attention.”

“I have an idea on how to use the money but this was done simply to get your attention,” said Conrad. “There are issues we need to get resolved. We knew you would deny the creation of this fund.”

This past Friday, The commissioners went ahead and created the fund themselves but did not redirect any money to that fund.

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