WEDOWEE - Randolph County Emergency Management Agency director Donnie Knight gave an update on the damage caused by the tornado during the Randolph County Commission meeting on Monday. Knight said 98 of 128 applications for assistance had been approved, for a total of $859,000.
"Some have not applied and will not apply," Knight said. "It's not something we can make residents do, but we are still in the Corinth community seeing people."
Knight said the deadline to submit a FEMA or Small Business Loan Application is June 25. "If residents have done work, they can be reimbursed by FEMA, but they will need to submit documentation and possibly pictures."
He said the cost for debris removal has not yet been approved. Commission Chairman Larry Roberts said if the removal cost is not approved, it would virtually shut down the road department. He explained, "Our crews will be busy cleaning up and hauling off debris instead of mowing right of ways and scraping dirt roads."
Request for additional facilities on Lake Wedowee
At Thursday's workshop meeting, Carol Knight and Donna Matthews addressed the commission concerning support for additional recreational facilities on Lake Wedowee.
Alabama Power Company has applied for a new license for R.L. Harris Dam with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It has been 50 years since the reservoir was first licensed.
"We just want you to join other groups in the county in writing a letter supporting additional recreational facilities on the east side of the lake," Matthews said. "We would also like to see some access below the dam in the Malone and Wadley areas. On our lake, 29 miles above the dam and downstream, some 49 miles to Horseshoe Bend, there are only seven public boat launches and one public swimming area, that being Flat Rock Park."
Suggestions and ideas must be submitted online and can even be submitted by private citizens. She said, "The deadline is June 11, so we need to move quickly on this matter."
At Monday's meeting, Knight said support is coming in from the chamber, the towns in the county and private citizens. The commission agreed to send a letter of support for any future projects suggested during the license renewal application. For public submissions, citizens can go online at https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx.
Engineer and sheriff's reports
As requested in a meeting earlier this month, Randolph County engineer Burrel Jones and Sheriff David Cofield gave a report on their department's activities at Monday's meeting. Commissioners had asked the sheriff and engineer for the reports so the citizens of the county would know what is going on in the departments.
Cofield said as of Monday there were 79 inmates, 68 male and 11 females, in the county jail. For the month of April, the department had answered 1,540 calls for service patrol and 75 calls for other service. The department opened 66 incident reports while closing 62, a total of 128, There were 93 total arrests, four for drugs and alcohol for a total of 209 charges, six related to alcohol and drugs. The department served 141 civil papers during the month.
Jones said his highway department crew had been busy working on county roads. The county is divided into four sections with a crew in each section. The east side mowing crew cut a total of 31 miles of right of way with the west crew cutting 48 miles. For road work, Jones stated weather and sickness had affected work on the dirt roads, but a total of 16 miles had been graded and worked.
"The numbers will vary from week to week depending on the weather," Jones said.
The commission thanked the engineer and the sheriff for their reports. The reports will be given at each meeting by the engineer and each month by the sheriff.
In other business, the commission:
- Officially met Nikki Wynn, the new director of the Department of Human Resources.
- Approved the expenditure agreement between the sheriff and the commission.
- Approved financing for the chairman and financial officer to finance four new 2021 Mack truck dump chassis and four elliptical bodies.
- Authorized the chairman to execute bid documents for resurfacing projects on County Roads 29, 105 and 120.
- Agreed to participate in the back-to-school tax holiday July 16-18.
- Approved combining the June 10 workshop with the June 14 regular meeting.
- Discussed setting up a resurfacing plan for the coming years based on the yearly budgets.
- Agreed to look at pay scales and benefits in working on the 2021-2022 budget.
- Agreed to have the engineer to research Holloway Road in the Mt. Pleasant community to make sure it is not a county-maintained road. Residents on the road want to pave the road themselves.
The courthouse and annexes will be closed on May 31 for the Memorial Day holiday
June 6-12 is Randolph County Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad Appreciation Week.