County Commission meets, discusses new business

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

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The Lowndes County Commission met on Oct. 30 to discuss a few topics at hand within the county.

One issue of importance was a new geographic information system (GIS) contract which has been awarded to Keet Consulting Services. 

According to a letter sent by Keet representative Allen Anderson, Lowndes County is not currently a part of the program, but has been asked to participate.

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“The state of Alabama has awarded the new GIS contract to us [Keet Consulting],” Anderson said. “This will be for a system utilized by the Board of Registrars.”

The purpose of the system is to map where voters live in order to ensure they are voting in the correct precinct and will come at no cost to the county.

Secretary of State Wes Allen announced recently that his office would begin providing this service for all Alabama counties, covering the associated fees from Oct. 1 through July 31, 2025.  

“Utilizing GIS for voter district assignment and precinct assignment is highly accurate when compared to paper mapping and drawing,” Allen said. “We are proud to utilize these funds to assist our local election officials on whom the security and accuracy of our elections depend.”

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a request for Lowndes County to opt-in to utilize the system.

Commissioners also discussed a request for a tax abatement for a company who has plans to bring their business to the county to set up shop.

County Attorney Prince Chestnut said the request was made by an ammunition company who plans to bring 175 jobs to Lowndes County over the next three years.  

While commissioners are interested in the opportunity to bring the business into the county, no decision has been made at this time as to whether an abatement will be granted.

Chestnut said there is paperwork needed still from the company in order to ensure the deal meets necessary specifications.

“The memorandum of understanding [MOU] is not completed yet, they haven’t sent it over to me,” Chestnut said. “We need the MOU and the tax abatement agreement to complete the request for the abatement.”

Chestnut recommended that commissioners wait to approve the abatement until he receives these documents in order to ensure that they meet the state statutory requirements.

The Lowndes County Commission will hold its next regular meeting on Nov. 13 at 10:00 a.m. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting.