Commission seeks funding use reports from volunteer fire departments

Published 7:25 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2016

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Commission repeated a request Monday night that all volunteer fire departments in the county submit a report on how they are using ad valorem tax funds to the commission in order to receive those tax funds.

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In May, County Commissioner Brenson Crenshaw announced that every volunteer fire department in the county is required to send information on what they have done with the ad valorem tax funds they received last year.

He said then, “No fire department will get any of those funds until that paperwork is turned in.”

According to commissioners, as of Monday night, only about three or four of the departments have responded with the requested reports.

County Commissioner Robert Harris said there is no mandate that the county provide the ad valorem tax funds to the fire departments.

Lowndes County Engineer David Butts reported on progress with an ADECA funded Debeck Road paving project stating the aim to pave Debeck, Lakeberry Lane, a portion of Lakeberry Road and Fleeton Road by the end of July.

He also said a repaving project on Lowndes County Road 23 should be let for bid in September and reports for a Lowndes County Road 79 repaving project have been turned in.

County Roads 23 and 79 are federal aid projects.

The commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution to join a seven-county Southeast Region for county highway department bids that are not covered by the Alabama Association County Commissions  bids subject to approval by the county attorney.

Butts said the region would seek bids for items not covered by the Alabama Association of County Commissions bid process. He said, “The people who are going to be bidding are looking at what seven counties bring to the table as opposed to one county. I think it will certainly drive the prices down.” And in answer to a question from Harris, Butts said more suppliers will be involved.

Butts also reported that if all goes well, storm sirens should be installed by the end of July.

The commission approved appropriations to the Lowndes County Board of Education in the amount of $2,900, to Edgewood Tutorial plus of $1,000 and REAC of $500. And the commission also approved a destination letter to West Alabama Public Transportation.

The commission went into executive session to discuss a legal matter, but took no action.