Commission addresses host of issues

Published 8:59 pm Thursday, December 13, 2018

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

In a busy session, Monday, Dec. 10 the Lowndes County Commission made decisions regarding road projects, holidays and appropriations.

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The commission voted to authorize Lowndes County Engineer David Butts to negotiate the cost, up to $14,000, to have the Pintlala Water System relocate a 6-inch waterline on Lowndes County Road 6 near Love’s Travel Stop and Country Store in Hope Hull.

Butts told the commission that it was discovered that a 6-inch waterline is located one to two feet off the pavement where the county has already accepted the bid for a road project to widen Lowndes County Road 6. He said with the county widening that road, the waterline could wind up under pavement.

Butts also told the commission the state Highway Department is not going allow and will not to want to provide 80 percent of the funding for a road project with a waterline underneath the road.

He said the 870 feet of 6-inch waterline belongs to the Pintlala Water System, which will have to move it.

While the commission voted unanimously to approve Butts to negotiate the cost up to $14,000 with further approval of Commission Chairman Carnell McAlpine, Butts said, “We need it moved… and we really need it moved without a lot of controversy.”

Butts told the commission that the county’s boom cutter is back up and running. He also announced Lowndes County Road 32 is the next federal aid project.

Butts announced that the state has the plans for repairing the culvert on Lowndes County Road 17. However, he said the project should be let for bid in February or March.

Butts said a scope of work is also scheduled for a road project on Lowndes County Road 37 from Alabama Highway 97 to U.S. 80.

Commissioner Dickson Farrior asked Butts to check rusted pipes on that road.

Butts said the state has contacted the contractor regarding some bad spots on Blue Hill Road, which were pointed out by Commissioner Joshua Simmons.

The commission unanimously approved holidays for the county Highway Department, which will be off from a luncheon on Dec. 20 until Jan. 7.  Butts, stressed, however, “We always have someone on call.” And, he said, part of the time off will actually be vacation days.

In answer to a question from McAlpine about rocks cracking windshields on Alabama Highway 21, Butt said the state considers that a hazard a driver takes on when driving on the road. “They are not going to pay for anything,” he said of the state. However, he said, the state did sweep the road.

The commission unanimously approved New Year’s Eve along with New Year’s Day off for county employees.

County Administrator Jackie Thomas said county residents can pay their property taxes that Wednesday. “If the county is closed, you can’t pay your taxes,” she said.

County employees will be off as a result Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The commission also voted unanimously that it will not meet the fourth Monday in December, which falls on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

Under the consent agenda the commission unanimously approved:

  • Payment of invoices.
  • An appropriation to Royal Ambassadors Main Art-R-We Production in the amount of $2,500. That amount included $500 from Simmons, Commissioner Joseph Barganier $250, Farrior $250, McAlpine $1,000, Commissioner Robert Harris $500.

The commission previously received a request from

Pastor Rodney Wilkerson of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church to support a theater arts program in the county.

Wilkerson said he is planning year-round productions involving students in Lowndes and Montgomery communities.

  • An appropriation to the Fort Deposit Library from Simmons in the amount of $1,000.
  • An appropriation to the Lowndes County Department of Human Resources for foster children Christmas in the amount of $300 from each commissioner.

Barganier ask that the county look into making repairs to the Lowndes County Courthouse ceiling.

The commission also discussed progress on job descriptions and a pay scale for county employees, efforts to finance road repairs, picking up trash in the Lowndes County Road 40 area and damage from trucks on Lowndes County Road 40.

Butts once again suggested waiting until after Alabama Sand and Gravel stops using the road as a result of a new rail spur to make repairs.