Commissioners Larry Roberts, Lathonia Wright, Doyle Allen and Terry Lovvern

WEDOWEE - District 5 Commissioner Lathonia Wright was honored for his 28 years of service during Monday's commission meeting.

Wright has chosen not to seek re-election as he looks forward to spending more time with his family, specifically his grandchildren. Individuals who work with him showered him with generosity and love, stating how they, "enjoyed working with him" and "benefited from his leadership." Statements were also made that Wright, "has always been there for all of the staff, always treated everyone equal, and always been someone that you could ask a question to."

This engraved award acknowledges Wright for his outstanding and dedicated service.

Road department

At Thursday's workshop meeting, the commission held public hearings on the closing of two county roads. The first road, County Road 431, is in the Smyrna community in Commissioner Larry Roberts' district. Speaking in favor of closing the entire road was Ricky Gibbs, a resident on the road. "There's a lot of unwanted traffic, and I own most of the property on the road," Gibbs said. "It's kind of dangerous because you don't know what is going on and who is coming up and down the road."

Larry Hill, a resident of County Road 92, said he owns property on the road. "I don't have any problem with closing a portion of the road, but I need access to my property." Larry Morris, another resident on County Road 431, said there needs to be a way out in the event of an emergency.

Commissioner Roberts said he would like for the landowners to get together and work together on what portion of the road to close. This matter was tabled.

Another road to be possibly closed is County Road 525 at Newell, also in Roberts' district. The only person to speak in favor of the closing was Joey Lipham. "I have property on that road and some buildings, and they have been broken into several times." Roberts said he would recommend to close the road, which was approved.

In other road closing matters, Mark Johnson spoke to the commission concerning County Road 651 (Rock Mills to Springfield) in Chairman Doyle Allen's district. "I have been told so many different stories I don't know what to believe," Johnson said. "I have been told residents want it closed, drug traffic has been reported on the road, and I've heard it is beyond repair. I have called and called, and I have not heard from anyone. I did talk to the foreman, and he said he was told not to scrape the road." Johnson went on to say he wants the road repaired, and the closed signs taken down. Chairman Allen asked engineer Burrell Jones to meet with Johnson. Jones said the road is closed only to through traffic.

Road closing procedures have also been approved to begin on County Road 255 near Morrison's Crossroads.

County Road 340 near Omaha has been placed on the restricted access list for truck traffic.

The contract has been let on County Road 87, and the contractor will schedule when work will begin. The county is pursuing all available funds for this project.

Other business

Kevin Spears was appointed to the 911 Board for District 3 due to the current board member's term ending.

The county's old computers, copiers, printers, phone equipment and other unused electronic devices have been declared surplus property. If the items do not sell, a Community Recycling Day will be held to allow for community members to join in and recycle their old electronics, along with the county's unsold property. Commissioner Larry Roberts made the motion for this Community Recycling Day.

The commission tabled providing uniforms for highway department employees and the grounds and maintenance supervisor.

Commissioner Terry Lovvorn said he was being accused of selling watermelons out of the back of his county truck. He said it was a lie, it wasn't true and he would plead not guilty. He said he would begin selling pumpkins next week but not out of the county truck.

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