WEDOWEE - Randolph County Commission met in executive session with County Attorney John Tinney following their workshop meeting on Thursday and in executive session among themselves for 30 minutes on Monday.
It was noted in the workshop the county has spent well over $150,000 on the Wadley quarry access road project and has had no reimbursement from the quarry. The Alabama Department of Transportation is demanding payment for their contractor and is requiring the project be completed.
"County money is being tied up with this project, and it seems the quarry is refusing to pay us for what we have spent," said Commission Chairman Doyle Allen. "We need our money just like the contractor does."
It is not known what steps will be taken to collect the money, but Allen did note both Thursday and Monday the executive sessions were to discuss pending litigation. No further business was conducted after the closed session.
In January 2017, the commission approved sponsoring a funding request for an industrial access road for the quarry. At that time, the quarry offered to indemnify the county of the responsibilities and expenses of the project and asked only for help with the application process. When the commission approved the sponsorship, it was with the understanding it would be of no cost to the county.
Revenue Commission clerk
At Thursday's workshop, the position of a financial clerk instead of a chief clerk for the Revenue Commissioner's Office was discussed.
"I feel like we can save some money if we just hire a financial clerk at a rate of $14 per hour at this time," said Chairman Allen. "Let's see what this does, and after the fiscal year starts in October, we might move to a chief clerk."
At Monday's meeting, the commission approved the job description and salary. Allen said, "I think this will really help out over there and keep down any confusion."
Alabama Gas Tax Plan
As a requirement by the state, the commission must have detailed plan as to how they will spend the newly enacted statewide gas tax. The program, called Rebuild Alabama, will allow counties to repair roads, paved and unpaved, and will allow repair and/or replacement of bridges or drainage pipes. The tax rate for 2020 will be 6 cents and will increase by 2 cents over three years, 2020 through 2022.
For fiscal year 2020, the county will receive $432,203. In the proposed plan, that must now be detailed by the county engineer: $340,200 will be spent on resurfacing County Road 87, $63,000 on resurfacing various roads, $12,000 on repair /maintenance on non-paved roads, and $17,004 on repair/replacement of bridges and drain pipes.
The commission will approve the final plan when the engineer completes his list of needed projects.
In other business, the commission:
- Agreed to accept a letter of understanding from Tanner Medical Center East Alabama that will give a 40 percent discount to county jail inmates for medical services. The commission will also have the county attorney seek an Attorney General's opinion on using the indigent care funds of the hospital tax to pay for additional inmate medical expenses.
- Approved a resolution to begin road-closing proceedings on County Road 525 from the intersection of County Road 507 to County Road 51 at Newell.
- Approved the Randolph County Procurement Policy as a housekeeping matter in order to receive grants.
- Reappointed Bill Caypless from District 3 to Randolph County Healthcare Authority.
- Nominated Ann McCord, Joe Lambert and Terry Eason to be considered by the state in the selection of one member for the County Equalization Board.
- Tabled any decision on an agreement of shared costs with Wedowee Utilities Board at the sewer lift station until the utility board meets the first week in August. The commission held an informal meeting with the board on Monday prior to the regular commission meeting.
- Heard a report from Chief Deputy Donnie Grant that there were 81 inmates in the county jail, 68 male and 13 female. It was noted that completion of the new jail is about a year away.
- Heard a report from County Engineer Burrell Jones of how the remodeling is coming along at the new commission offices, formerly the clinic offices on Woodland Avenue.
The commission will hold Fiscal Year 2020 budget hearings on July 30 and Aug. 1 from 3-5 p.m.