Commission approves volunteer fire department funding

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

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The Lowndes County Commission recently approved funding aimed to assist the efforts of local volunteer fire departments (VFD).

At the commission’s June 10 meeting, commissioners voted to grant over $87,000 to area volunteer fire departments with money coming from each district’s discretionary funds. District 3 Commissioner Joshua Simmons directed funds totaling $43,414 be given to the following departments:

* $19,000 to Fort Deposit VFD;

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* $19,000 to Calhoun VFD; and 

* $5,414 to Collirene VFD.

District 1 Commissioner Robert Harris appropriated $14,197 each to three departments within his district: Lowndesboro, Whitehall and Blackbelt/Hickshill. Commissioners voted to unanimously approve the allocations.

Appearing before the commission was Tana Shealey, Lowndes County Extension Office coordinator. Shealey introduced the new Regional Extension Agent, Kali Gilbert, to commissioners and explained that Davenport now serves Lowndes County residents. Shealey also requested the commission consider granting funds to support efforts for providing senior residents with weather radios.

Minnie Tolliver also appeared before the commission to request funding to help purchase playground equipment for the Calhoun Community Park through the Calhoun Community Organization. Tolliver told commissioners the organization received buy-in from all Lowndes County elementary schools. 

Simmons suggested giving the organization $2,000 and made a motion to give the funds from the District 3 discretionary funds. The motion was approved by the commissioners.

District 5 Commissioner Dickson Farrior appropriated $3,000 to the Lowndes County Public Schools Student Tutoring and Enrichment Program (STEP) from his district’s discretionary fund. He also funded a request from Fannie L. Davis, coordinator of the Jonathan Myrick Daniels and the Martyrs of Alabama Pilgrimage for $477.50 to defray costs of the annual event.

In other business, the commission:

* Heard Lowndes County Engineer David Butts’ report that six dump trucks were to be auction off on June 10;

* Received a request for support of a little league football team;

* Discussed supervising Enforcement Office employees; and

* Asked Lowndes County Attorney Prince Chestnutt to review the jail contracts for housing inmates from outside agencies.

The Lowndes County Commission will hold its next meeting June 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers.