Commission approves intent to terminate contract

Published 6:41 pm Thursday, August 25, 2016

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
As a result of concerns raised by County Commissioner Robert Harris, the Lowndes County Commission voted 4-1 Monday night to send a letter of intent the terminate a contract with Barbara Evans to produce a Solid Waste Plan for the county.
Harris, who cast the lone “no” vote wanted the commission to terminate the contract with Evans Monday night as he pointed out it was already two years past the due date of the plan she was to create for the county. And, he said, the county’s current solid waste plan has expired.
County Attorney Hank Sanders told the commission that it does have termination power regarding a contract with the commission that has not been fulfilled. However, he said, “I always believe you are on stronger grounds whenever you put it in writing.” He said, “I think if you give her (Evans) notice of intent and she comes and says has a plan and provides a plan, that’s a good reason not to do it (terminate the contact).”
County Commissioner Brenson Crenshaw said that Evans has said the plan was ready to go before a public hearing and that she would appear at the next meeting to set a date for the hearing.
Harris said his concern was the contract was given to Evans “two and one half years ago and it was supposed to have been completed at the end of that particular year in which she had six months to complete.”
He said, “Here we are sitting out there hanging and being warned by ADEM that it could cause us problems.”
He asked the commission to be consistent in the way it deals with contracts.
Harris also said, “My motion is the contract be terminated immediately.”
That motion died for lack of a second.
A motion by Commissioner Dickson Farrior and seconded by Crenshaw that Evans be given notice of an intent by the commission to terminate the contract was then approved with Harris voting no.
The commission unanimously approved advertisement of a bill that would restore the present sheriff’s salary to the level of the previous sheriff.
The commission also unanimously approved contracts with the Lowndes County Board of Education to provide policing services at Calhoun and Central High Schools for which the board will compensate the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department in the amount of $45,240.
And the commission approved a second contract between the commission and the board for security at extracurricular activities for which the board will pay an hourly rate of $16 per hour.
In other matters:
Under the consent agenda, the commission approved appropriations of $3,964 to the Mosses Volunteer Fire Department and $10,938 to Black Belt/Hicks Hill Volunteer Fire Department.
In a separate action, the commission unanimously approved an off premises only beer license for St. Clair Grocery & Hardware at 1109 St. Clair Place, Lowndesboro. The applicant is Jesse C. Tremer.
County Engineer David Butts reported the bid letting date for the federal aid project on Lowndes County Road 23 will be in September.
He said Lowndes County Road 79 with be the next federal aid project. However, he said that project has been designated for 2017, which means that January or February would be the earliest that work could begin on it.
Butts said work is complete on the ADECA Project on Debeck Road in preparation for it to be paved. He said rain showers gave the Highway Department problems. But he said sand and gravel have been put down to help the problems.
He said his department is now working on Fleeton Road, which he said should be completed shortly and paving on the ADECA projects can be done.
Butts said all the new storm warning sirens are up in the county. However, he said there will be some training before the sirens are tested.
He explained the sirens work off of batteries, which are constantly charged.
Crenshaw asked the public to support a 6 cent tax on gasoline to help counties with road and bridge work.
Sanders told those in attendance, “There is no need to contact me. I strongly support it.”

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