Commission approves road projects
Published 9:37 am Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes County Commission approved two road projects totaling more than $2.3 million and heard a proposal to use approximately the same budget for next year, including a one-time $1,000 pay increase for full-time employees, at its Wednesday, Sept. 12 meeting.
The meeting would normally have been held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, but was moved to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in order for County Attorney Hank Sanders and County Commissioner Charlie King Jr. to attend.
“We’re just coming off a major rain event,” County Engineer David Butts said. He said the county had been busy repairing dirt and paved roads.
Butts asked the commission to approve agreements to execute two road projects.
The first he said is for an Emergency Relief Project on Lowndes County Road 37 near Fort Deposit called “The slide.”
Butts said the cost of the project is $1,228,873.33, and except for the help of Sanders, the county’s 20 percent match of federal funds would have been $245,774.67.
Butts said with Sanders’ help, the state has decided to take care of that match amount.
The second project Butts said he “hoped is the first of many” is an ATRIP (Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program) Project on Lowndes County Road 54 (Old Selma Highway) from Lowndes County Road 40 to the Montgomery City Limits in Commission Chairman Robert Harris’ district.
The cost of this project, Butts said, is $1,101,250, and the county’s match of federal funds for that project is $220,250.
Butts said both projects would be let for bid at the end of September. In the absence of Commissioner Marzett Thomas, both project agreements were unanimously approved.
While Harris would not name the source funds to match the ATRIP Project at this time, he said the county expects to have the funds when they are needed.
The governor and the state Department of Transportation asked the county to solicit matching funds, and Harris said he expects to be able to name the source after bids are let.
Commission Administrator Jackie Thomas presented budget numbers for commissioners to study for the next commission meeting.
“Basically, what I’m proposing to the commissioners is that we use the same budget for next year that we have for this year,” she said.
She said the county is expected to receive special revenue/capital improvement funds of $305,055, which is a one-time increase over the $145,000 budgeted.
Based upon that increase, Thomas asked commissioners to consider a one-time pay increase for full-time employees of at least one year of $1,000. She said in the past one-time pay increases have been made for about $600.
The commission’s next regular meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m.