The commissioners voted 6-0, with Commissioner Liz Hausmann absent, to pay $12,500 to Janis Jones, whose information helped lead to the arrest and 2009 conviction of Kenneth Reese.
Chairman John Eaves asked interim County Attorney Larry Ramsey to give background on the reward and why it hadn’t been paid earlier.
Ramsey said $25,000 was in the fiscal 2004 budget but moved out in the following years.
He also said he found little in the way of a paper trail, except for records of a press conference with the then-police chief, the former chairman and current Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards.
“More recently, District Attorney [Paul] Howard recommended the state and county provide Jones with half the reward money,” Ramsey said about a $38,000 total to be split between multiple informants.
Commissioner Tom Lowe made the motion to approve the $12,500 payment, which was unanimously approved.
Eaves asked where the funds would come from.
Interim County Manager David Ware said the commission can make a budget amendment next month.
In other matters, the commission approved more than $400,000 in information technology purchases and $2.7 million for gasoline for county vehicles.
Transportation Director David Ricks said the county gets the “best rate based on the national index” from its provider, Gainesville-based Mansfield Oil Co., that is adjusted every day.
“Good job. Keep doing it,”said Lowe.
The most recently listed prices per gallon the department provided were $3.35 in January and $3.69 in February.
The commission also debated before approving $1.85 million for Housing and Human Services for nonprofits’ programs benefiting children.
“How do you measure success?” Eaves said repeatedly.
Edwards agreed with Eaves the “shotgun approach” to helping children in poverty was not effective.
“How much is going to administration?” Edwards said. “I’m not going to give money to government hustlers.”
Department District Manager Dedrick Muhammed agreed to provide a report on the program’s results.