Jacksons Gap town attorney Chad Harrison explained during Tuesday’s council meeting the town has ‘no standing’ on property used by the Lake Martin Search and Rescue on Peckerwood Road.
Harrison conducted title searches on property and looked at the documentation of incorporation of various organizations that have used the property since the 1970s.
“There is no indication the Town of Jacksons Gap has anything to do with it,” Harrison said. “There is no association with the town at all.”
Harrison said his research showed the property was actually two parcels and started in 1975 as Chester Garrett deeded property to Jacksons Gap Volunteer Fire and Rescue Inc. He said this organization was different from the Jacksons Gap Volunteer Fire Department under the town’s umbrella. In 1999, the property was deeded to Lake Martin Search and Rescue.
The second parcel was deeded by J.O. Pemberton to family to Coop Pulp Wood Company Inc. to Peckerwood Rescue before being deeded to Lake Martin Search and Rescue in 2018.
Some residents had questioned the town’s involvement in the properties and the town’s liabilities.
“The town has no standing in it,” Harrsion said. “I would say you are not involved there and should say that.”
Councilmember Carl Pritchard questioned a $102,481 deficit balance on the accounting records given to the council Tuesday night. Mayor Jeff Walker said the town is not in a hole and would seek clarification from the town’s accountant.
“I know for a fact we have two funds with between $150,000 and $170,000 in them,” Walker said. “I know we are not down $102,000.”
Council discussion noted the town was $53,000 ahead of schedule in revenue for the fiscal year, something Walker was pleased with given the town’s yearly budget is about $400,000.
The council approved a 4% one-time pay adjustment and pay raise for other employees. Walker asked councilmembers about what if they wanted to only do the pay adjustment, pay raise or both and in what amount. Walker said the town had the funds to do both and 4% sounded good to him.
“I say we do both,” councilmember Troy Cruz said. “They have been writing a mess of tickets.”
Walker said the 4% raise meant one employee received an additional $1,040 in pay per year and the one time adjustment totaled $3,041.
Councilmember Heather Glenn abstained from the discussion and the vote.
Glenn asked for an executive session to discuss good name and character. During the nearly 40 minute session, raised voices could be heard from beyond council chambers. No action was taken by the council when it reconvened its regular session.
In other action the Jacksons Gap Town Council approved payment of bills. It also discussed possible annexation of the Heard Hill area but Walker said to do so would mean the town would take ownership of roads and culvert it cannot afford to maintain.
The next meeting of the Jacksons Gap Town Council is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9.