Siphon hoses

WEDOWEE - At Thursday's workshop meeting, Randolph County Commissioners continued to discuss the situation at Crystal Lake.

Engineer Burrell Jones stated the water is being siphoned by one hose, and the second hose is going to have to be installed again. "We're just waiting for the water level to go down so needed repairs can be made. We are doing all we can do right now."

At Monday's meeting, Jones said he is trying to get a timetable on when the other siphon hose would be reinstalled. As of Monday, the project has cost the county more than $48,000. When the second siphon hose is operable, it will be costing the county some $9,000 a month to lower the water level so repairs can be made.

Commissioner Doyle Allen asked what fund the money spent so far and the monthly amount is coming from. The county's chief financial officer Travis Heard said the money is coming from the road repair/resurfacing fund.

"We hope that money will be reimbursed, but no one knows when and by who," said Chairman Terry Lovvorn. "We have asked the City of Roanoke, USDA (soil conservation) and the Roanoke Utilities Board to meet with us to discuss this situation, but we can't get any response from anybody. We are trying to negotiate, in fact there have been letters sent. I guess we'll keep doing what we're doing, and if the rain doesn't let up, we'll keep paying that $9,000."

Jones did say the county is still working under an emergency situation. A motion was made to take the matter off the table and continue putting money into the lake, and the vote was 4 to 1 with Allen voting no.

Payment for work on quarry road

After an executive session to that lasted an hour and 25 minutes to discuss pending litigation, the commission voted 3-2, with Commissioners Lathonia Wright and Doyle Allen voting no, to approve a payment of $359,000 to Gary Ingram Paving for work done on County Road 908, known as the Wadley Quarry Road.

Allen noted the road is failing in two locations and made a motion to close the road till repairs are made. Allen and Wright voted to close the road, and Commissioners Farr and Larry Roberts voted to keep it open. Chairman Terry Lovvorn broke the tie with a vote to keep it open.

It was noted the Alabama Department of Transportation should reimburse the county for the work.

Problems/Changes at new county Jail

At Thursday's workshop meeting, Mike Rutland gave the commission an update on construction of the new county jail. "I've got some bad news, but I also have some good news too," Rutland said. The first issue discussed was a minor delay being caused by the weather. "We are doing the best we can do, but it's even difficult working inside."

The second issue concerned the pump and lift station for the sewer system. "I hate to inform you, but the price has increased to $92,000. There's nothing we can do about it though because we can't build a sewer system just for the jail."

The third issue is the water supply lines required by Wedowee Utilities Board. "Originally we were going to put pvc pipe into a steel pipe, but according to the board, we had to change and put a steel pipe inside a steel pipe." This change is resulting in a cost increase of $11,000.

The three bits of good news are a change in duct work insulation that will save $2,300, a savings of $15,000 in changes in electrical work and $23,000 in contingency funds has not yet been spent.

At Monday's meeting, the commission approved a work order to install two pumps at the sewer lift station at a cost of $92,000; approved a work order for the installation of iron piping for the water supply at a cost of $11,375; approved a work order for duct installation at a cost of $2,300; and awarded a bid to Harris Security Systems for a structured cabling system at a cost of $48,225.

Legislative Update

Commissioner Larry Roberts gave his fellow commissioners an update on activities in the 2020 legislative session. Roberts said there were some key bills that had passed the house, passed the Senate or had to be sent back to committee. Those bills included: A statewide emergency notification system, expansion of the state retirement board, streamlining appointments to the board of equalization and prison reform laws that would cut the amount of money counties have to spend on state prisoners housed in county jails.

Other business

In other business, the commission:

  • Tabled an appointment to the E-911 Board from District 4.
  • Tabled appointments to the Department of Human Resources Board from Districts 2 and 5.
  • Approved a resolution to participate in the Alabama County Commission Association Liability Fund for a two-year period starting in 2021 and ending in 2023. This will save the county money on liability insurance.
  • Heard a report from Sheriff David Cofield there were 64 inmates, 49 males and 15 females in the county jail as of Thursday.

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