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Midway gets probation fee report
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During its January meeting, Midway’s City Council received a report from its probation company and scheduled a Jan. 31 discussion regarding an effort to reopen the SkyBox Bar and Grill.
Janelle Wilkes of Misdemeanor Probation told the council that her firm provides supervision of the probationers from Midway’s city court free, at no cost to the city. She said her company pays an average of $6,000 each month to Midway from fines imposed on violators by the city court’s Judge John Harvey.
Wilkes attended at the council’s request because Midway is considering hiring a city employee to supervise probation in-house. Misdemeanor Probation estimated it might cost the city as much as $125,500 annually to do this.
The company provides general supervision, counseling, collection services and other assistance for Midway. “We collect every dime that we can collect,” Wilkes told the council, adding, “We follow the judge’s orders.”
Another benefit of using her company, Wilkes told the council is, “You are insulated.” She said some probationers call her at home and she is sure Midway officials would not like that if it happened to them.
Wilkes also introduced another Misdemeanor Probation worker, Faith Mitchell.
Councilman Terry Doyle, who is leading the city’s fact-finding effort, said a letter had been received asking that $10,500 in uncollectible fines be written off. Wilkes said she had not made such a request and Doyle said he would investigate further.
Regarding the eatery reopening efforts, the new owners of the SkyBox have appeared before the council and the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission several times. They are seeking zoning and license approvals to reopen the bar and grill, to be called Starlite, near the intersection of U.S. Highways 84 and 17. Parking, safety and security concerns have been addressed and the council will discuss the SkyBox matter at the Jan. 31 meeting at 6 p.m.

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