Frankford Town Council discusses move, audit, drugs

Frankford officials are hoping to move all Town offices into the nearby former J.P. Court building at the beginning of March.

At its regular monthly meeting on Jan. 9, the Frankford Town Council said the move would be relatively inexpensive, as there is minimal work to be done and the building is “really set up well.” If the Town cannot move in by March 1, they hope to do so by April 1.

Although the council had planned to discuss the independent audit of the Town’s finances conducted by Jefferson, Urian, Doane & Sterner P.A., no one in attendance had questions, as many had yet to get a copy of the audit report.

“The short story of it: It’s a lot of the same things that have been pointed out in the last reports, that we really have no control over. The things we do have control over, we’ve implemented things to correct them,” said Councilman Marty Presley, noting there were consistent complaints of a lack of oversight.

Presley said that it is difficult to have close oversight of Town Hall when all five council members work full-time jobs and the Town is not able to afford a second employee to work in the office.

“The big thing we’re looking at as council are the things we can change… complaints about reconciliations of accounts,” he said.

Presley said a consultant was brought in to help “rectify issues” but could not immediately provide the person’s name or their salary.

As part of the move to the former court building, the Town is currently waiting on the sale of the existing police department building, which involves the town solicitor completing the subdivision of the land.

Presley said the Town also needs to evaluate the existing water plant to see if it’s a viable structure or if it would be more cost-effective to demolish the building and erect a steel building.

Police Chief Mark Hudson said that, of the 37 complaints in the month of December, 13 were heroin-related. During a check on a suspicious vehicle, Hudson said, suspected heroin, cocaine and needles were recovered. Although the driver of the vehicle fled on foot, he said, the passenger of the vehicle was arrested.

Hudson encouraged residents to be aware of the signs of drug use in others — including changes in behavior.

“Try to get some kind of intervention… Maybe you can help them before they overdose and die,” he said. “I’m looking more at helping them than making an arrest.”