Commission to seek legal review of Pioneer

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, June 14, 2011

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Commission voted to seek a legal review of Pioneer Electric with regard to high power bills charged to county residents, Monday.
The commission also voted to employ 10 high school students for the summer and to allocate certain tax funds to local fire departments.

The commission also heard from Fort Deposit attorney Arlene Richardson on the town’s bond refinance issue and from Lowndes County Emergency Management Director Walter Hill on the county’s readiness to face a variety of emergencies.

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At its regular meeting, the County Commission voted to spend up to $15,000 for a legal review of Pioneer Electric by the law firm of Thomas, Means and Gillis in regard to the high cost of electricity for county residents.

Henry “Hank” Sanders, county attorney, said it is legal for the county to hire someone to look into Pioneer Electric.

He told the commission, however, “People have been looking at it for some time trying to find a way.” But he said, “You never say someone can’t find a more creative way to get at something that you couldn’t get at.”

The commission voted to employ 10 high school students for the summer at an estimated cost of about $1,000 per student.

Commissioners voted to allocate 1 mill ad valorem tax revenues for county fire departments as follows, Burkville and Hayneville, $10,793.50 each; White Hall, Lowndesboro and Hicks Hill $7,196 each; and Collirene and Mosses $8,383.

The commission agreed not to wait until Wednesday for a test of the county’s storm warning sirens, which were actually tested during the meeting, and the commission voted to approve invoices and minutes.

Arlene Richardson, Fort Deposit attorney, said Fort Deposit is looking at raising their sales tax by a half cent and increasing business licenses taxes. “We’re still going to need the county’s support. We want you to understand we are working on it,” she said.