County to take part in new road paving program

Published 10:40 am Friday, January 4, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Commission will participate in the RAMP program to pave “major collector” roads in the county and will draft new leases for Hayneville Plaza tenants.

The commission took the actions Wednesday night in a continuation of its Dec. 10 regular meeting.

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The commission voted unanimously to participate in the Rural Assistance Match Program (RAMP) to pave roads that will not require a 20 percent match of funds, as is the case with the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) projects.

County Engineer David Butts, who was absent Wednesday night, previously reported RAMP would give the county $1 million for matching funds and $4 million for projects for a total of $5 million. He also said if the county chose this program it would not affect the Lowndes County Road 54 ATRIP project.

Butts said at a previous meeting that under the ATRIP program, the county gets $10 million for projects but must provide a 20 percent match. He said at this point the county has one of 10 submitted projects approved for ATRIP.

While Butts noted the differences between the ATRIP $10 million and RAMP $5 million totals, he said the issue of the 20 percent match required by ATRIP is key.

County Commission Chairman Robert Harris said RAMP is for the “major collector roads” in the county, and said, “We’re going to apply for funds to resurface those roads.”

Harris also said that since there are now two new commissioners, the roads submitted under ATRIP will be reviewed to see if they might want to do roads in a different area.

The commission also voted unanimously review existing leases at the Hayneville Plaza to make sure tenants know they are under the authority of the Lowndes County Commission and to draft new leases.

Commissioner Carnell McAlpine also suggested the county look at a square foot cost rental rate for the Hayneville Plaza to determine future rates “instead of just plucking numbers.”

Commissioner W. Dickson Farrior moved to appoint McAlpine, Commission Attorney Hank Sanders and Administration Administrator Jackie Thomas to determine the rental rates, which was unanimously approved.

On a motion by Commissioner Brenson Crenshaw, the commission approved security lighting for the Hayneville Plaza.

Under the consent agenda, the commission approved an inmate housing agreement and a debris removal resolution, which Sanders said were in order.