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Commission takes no action on road weight limits

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

After meeting in executive session for about one hour with representatives of Alabama Sand and Gravel, the Lowndes County Commission recessed its Monday, Sept. 10 meeting without taking any action regarding weight limits on Lowndes County Road 40.

Commission Chairman Carnell McAlpine said following the meeting, “Their attorney (Alabama Sand and Gravel) will be making contact with our attorney (Hank Sanders) to further address the situation over there to try to come up with a workable agreement.”

The commission is considering imposing weight limits on Lowndes County Road 40 to prevent damage from heavy sand and gravel trucks. Potential action by the commission, however, was delayed until its Sept. 10 meeting to allow county representatives to meet with Alabama Sand and Gravel’s attorney and representatives on Sept. 4.

A possible agreement was received by commission members Monday, but the commission went into executive session to discuss “strategy” and took no action on matter.

In previous commission meetings, Commissioner Robert Harris said an estimate to repair the section of Lowndes County Road 40 from St. Clair to Robinson Switch is about $51,549. “But that still is not going to resolve the problem that we’re having,” he said, “unless the weight ls reduced on the road.”

In other matters the commission heard from Sherrie Bradley of the Alabama Department of Public Health regarding funding for proper sewage disposal in the county.

Bradley said USDA has funding and that she made application for $2.5 million to provide individual sewage disposal systems for 100 homes in unincorporated areas of Lowndes County.

She said the cost those homeowners would be $20 per month.

Bradley said the greatest problem is people with well water who have sewage running on top of the ground, which could contaminate the water table.

However, she told the commission that there in no way to cutoff service to people who are on well water if they don’t pay the $20 per month.

As a result, she told the commission she needs an ordinance from the county that if a person on well water participates and doesn’t pay the $20 per month, a property tax increase or lien could be placed on their property.

Sanders told Bradley he would have to research the matter. And the commission took no action.

Sanders also told the commission that regarding a four-day work week, the commission can close the courthouse for special circumstances and holidays. But he said his reading was that courthouse could not be closed for a four-day work week.

When McAlpine asked about employees working on a staggered schedule, Sanders said It doesn’t make any sense for an employee to work extra hours if the courthouse is not open.

Under the consent agenda the commission approved:

  • An emergency management grant to receive $17,196 to operate the county’s Emergency Management Agency.
  • A long-term detention subsidy contract with Selma for one-bed.
  • A Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurers Fund contract for $123,377 through the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.
  • An appropriation of $500 to Life Changing Community Outreach Ministries from McAlpine.
  • An appropriation to the STEP Program of $1,650 from Commissioner Dickson Farrior.
  • Payment of invoices.

The commission also heard from Verizon representatives regarding a voice over IP phone system.

The commission recessed its meeting until 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 to discuss the budget only.