County commission acts on mileage reimbursement, vehicle lease agreements

ARDMORE – Carter County employees using their personal vehicles to perform duties inside the county can now be reimbursed for mileage after the Carter County Commission on Tuesday approved clear guidance on the issue. The commission also approved vehicle lease agreements between the sheriff’s department and two county fire departments.

Commission action on some travel reimbursement for county employees came after what Commissioner Bill Baker said was a common but incorrect belief among some that reimbursements weren’t available. After the meeting, commissioners could not think of a time in the past decade when county employees were reimbursed for mileage.

Baker said he reviewed state statutes with District Attorney Craig Ladd before presenting action on reimbursement to the commission. Ladd believes that state statues entitle county employees to reimbursement when “using their personal/private vehicles in the performance of official duties,” according to a letter to Baker dated January 6.

“So in the future, when our employees of our county have to use their vehicles to travel inside the county to perform duties that are related to their job as employees of this county, they will be able to be reimbursed with that money. There’s nothing we can go back and do to right the past, but we can make sure that it’s right from here on out,” Baker said.

The commission on Tuesday also agreed to lease two vehicles from the sheriff’s department to other fire departments in the area. The Lone Grove Fire Department will receive a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab pickup, and the Sneed Volunteer Fire Department will use a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe that was once used as a K-9 unit.

“We’ve done a lot of work on it. Top-end, low-end,” said Sheriff Chris Bryant of the Sneed VFD vehicle, which is expected to be used as a rescue vehicle. He told commissioners that Tuesday’s agreements are similar to previous lease agreements with area public safety agencies, with each vehicle being leased for $1 per year and being maintained by the respective department.

In other business, the Carter County Commission on Tuesday:

  • approved four road crossing permits for Targa Pipeline Mid-Continent LLC;
  • transferred appropriations from E911 Capital Outlay to E911 Personal Services;
  • transferred appropriations from County General M&O to County General Law Library M&O;
  • approved shared leave request for a county employee;
  • approved final plat for Meridian Meadows Addition;
  • approved advertising for bids on new maintenance building (bid 2022-2023-13);
  • approved bid for up to 10 miles of road striping in District 1 from Advanced Work Zone Services for 26 cents per linear foot (bid 2022-2023-11);
  • approved county officer reports and purchase orders for County Highway, General Government and cash accounts.

This story was updated on Jan. 19 to include information from District Attorney Craig Ladd and to correct the cost of road striping from Advanced Work Zone Services.