Local News

Kenneth Kirsch, likely the new Barry County Animal Shelter director, asked for an addition of one week’s vacation to the contract he is being offered by the county. Commissioners Tuesday officially approved him as director, pending agreement of a contract, with the week’s vacation and a salary of $49,108.80, one step above starting wage, because of his vast experience.


During discussions at the committee of the whole meeting last week when Kirsch was recommended for the position, he was strongly favored by County Administrator Michael Brown, County Commissioner David Jackson and Animal Shelter Oversight Board member Tami Dickinson.

The three made up a committee that reviewed 25 applications and held telephone and personal interviews. Jackson said they focused on education and experience and Kirsch impressed them with wide experience in both. Now in the process of moving to Barry County, Kirsch will be ready to go to work around the first of October.


Commissioners Tuesday also approved spending up to $43,000 for a mini-excavator for the county drain commission’s use. With several of their concerns answered after Drain Commissioner Jim Dull’s first request on Aug. 1, they approved his plan for him and Deputy Drain Commissioner Tammy Berdecia  to remove trees and branches from county drains to improve drain efficiency and save costs. Also approved was a policy covering the use and transport of the new equipment.


The largest objection was that a drain commissioner is elected to administer work by others on county drains, not take time from administration to do the work themselves. Many counties have mini-excavators and do the work, Dull said, with one drain commissioner doing the work himself.

Dull and Deputy Drain Commissioner Tammy Berdecia will remove debris from drains for four hours every other week.


That will not affect the administration of the drain commission, he said. “We have four hour blocks of time to do other things; we can use that.” Dull has experience with heavy equipment as a contractor; he will be the only operator of the machine.










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