WEDOWEE - At Monday's meeting of Randolph County Commission, the commission approved for the chairman to issue purchase orders in the amount of $740,256 to purchase new equipment for the highway department.

The breakdown for equipment is $509,248 for four 2021 Mack trucks, $105,112 for four elliptical dump bodies and $125,896 for a 2021 Mack truck lowboy tractor.

The approval came after commissioners approved a list of surplus equipment established by the former commission and the present commission. Added to the list were two track loaders and another Mack dump truck. All the equipment will be sold at auction in Montgomery. Chairman Larry Roberts said the proceeds from the sale could possibly be enough to pay off or almost pay off the current equipment loan. In addition Roberts said they are going to have to buy some crew trucks and other equipment, but that would come later.

Sheriff's report

Sheriff David Cofield, back after an extended period of time due to having COVID, told the commission there were currently 77 inmates in the new county jail, 63 male and 14 female.

Cofield said the transition to the new jail began Feb. 1. He went on to say the old jail is being cleaned out, and any equipment that can be used at the new jail is being carried there.

"Things seem to going well," said Cofield. "We have had a few glitches but nothing major. We hope to have the old jail cleaned out and locked up in the next few weeks."

Courthouse sewer problems

Commission Chairman Larry Roberts updated the commission on the sewer problems at the courthouse main building. The courthouse was closed for a day or so last week while the problems were being worked on. The sewer is backing up and flooding the basement.

Roberts said the bathrooms in the building are closed, but portable toilets had been brought in for employees and visitors.

"We have different companies come in and work on the problem, but the sewer just keeps backing up on us," he explained. Roberts said another company was coming Tuesday to do some additional work. "I think what our problems is there are roots that have grown into the sewer lines. We have cut several trees but the roots remained. I hope the company coming tomorrow will be able to cut out the roots and that will correct our problems. If not we may have to dig up the street and install new lines. I just hope we don't have to do that."

Roberts went on to say that eventually, down the road, the entire plumbing system might have to be replaced.

Other business

In other business, the commission:

  • Tabled a decision on a proposal from Avenu Insights and Analytics for collection of sales tax.
  • Approved an alcohol license for Lakeside Market and Grill due to ownership change with Commissioner Derek Farr abstaining.
  • Approved minor changes in wording on loan documents for the new jail.
  • Announced the courthouse and annexes would be closed Monday, Feb. 15, in observance of President's Day.

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