Highland County Commissioners officially made Katie Adams director of the Highland County Department of Job and Family Services during their meeting on Wednesday.
Commissioner Shane Wilkin said that, on June 30, Adams was named acting director. He then moved to modify her title, stating that she has “done an outstanding job.” The motion was passed, and Wilkin added that Adams’ position as director was “well-deserved.”
Commissioners also passed a resolution concerning Adams’ requests to abolish two social service Supervisor 1 positions. Commissioner Tom Horst said these are part of “reorganization” in the department.
Adams had to deal recently with an unplanned shakeup at JFS when adoption coordinator Ronda McAdams was fired after an allegation that she deliberately falsified records including timesheets, time clock cards, reports, allowance forms, employment application record, purchase orders and receipts, and also allegedly falsified accident reports.
Evidence against McAdams has been turned over to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation, Adams said last week.
An analysis of impediments to fair housing in Highland County was also discussed during Wednesday’s session. The analysis found that more affordable housing is needed, and that by 2020, the elderly in the county will increase by six-percent. An increase in senior or assisted living will also be needed.
In other business, Wilkin said the “Leesburg (industrial) park is moving forward,” and should get certified “relatively soon.”
He added that work is still being done to move the Greenfield Industrial Park forward.
Wilkin said that one element still to be considered are new names for the industrial parks, as the consulting company recommended that the parks have names that would make them more easily recognizable.
Wilkin also discussed a revolving loan with the Corvac company, which he described as a good economic tool.
Also on Wednesday, commissioners received a bid from WAI for a handicap ramp outside of the administration building. The bid was for $104,048. In comparison, the county engineer had estimated the project to cost $35,000.
Wilkin said that the next step for the project will be solicitation.
Also discussed on Wednesday was a plan concerning limited English proficient (LEP) persons. This plan is a part of requirements for a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The plan found that there are a total of 804 individuals in the county (or 2.1 percent of the population) who speak a language other than English at home.
The plan also found that “Spanish speakers are the largest group of LEP persons in Highland County.”
The county provides services, such as a 1-800 number and a “Your Right to an Interpreter” sheet, for LEP individuals.
Finally, Horst said that landscaping of the Hi-Tech Center is set for next week.