The Greene County Commission held a work session on Wednesday, January 4 and its regular meeting on Monday, January 9, 2017.
The Commission appointed John Robert Isley II to the position of Assistant County Engineer to assist Willie Branch, County Engineer. Isley is a native of Springfield, Ohio who attended Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama and graduated in 2007 with a B. S. degree in Civil Engineering from A&M.
Isley has eight years experience with private engineering firms including Civil Solutions LLC of Huntsville (now Goodwin, Mills and Caywood), Geo Solutions, LLC and Babbs Engineering Consultants, LLC.
“Greene County is the first public organization that I have worked with but I bring a skill set with similar projects in the private sector,” said Isley. He is not married and plans to live in Greene County.
“ I went to Alabama A & M because I wanted to go to an HBCU which had all the engineering classes that I needed. It was a good choice for me and I urge young people who are interested in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to study hard and you can achieve any goal you set for yourself. Be patient and ask questions, people will help you learn, develop and grow on the job, “said Isley.”
Paula Bird, Chief Financial Officer gave the Commission a financial updated report for the first quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal year from October 1 to December 31, 2016. The Commission had $4.3 million in all bank accounts, plus $681,728 in bond sinking funds and an additional $390,094 and $86,031 in other bond servicing funds. The expenditures are within the 25% range, which is on target with the quarterly budget requirements.
In the General Fund, which covers salaries and expenses for most basic county services, $803,338 (26%) of the $3,143, 228 budget has been expended to December 31, 2016. The Commission approved $445,897 to pay all bills and claims for last month.
The Commission has received bids on the lighting project for the inside and outside of the Eutaw Activity Center. The bids are being evaluated for several factors and no action was taken at this meeting on this project, which is funded by grants.
Willie Branch, County Engineer reported that the solid waste exemption period has ended for persons on fixed incomes to apply for garbage stickers. Garbage will not be picked up unless the garbage can has the appropriate sticker, which has a number that has been assigned by the Solid Waste Department. Stickers are not available from the garbage truck operators but are issued only at the Greene County Engineers office.
Phillis Belcher, Executive Director of the Greene County Industrial Development Authority reported on an anticipated expansion of the WestRock box manufacturing plant in the Eutaw Industrial Park, which is expected to begin in the next six months. She will return to report on more of the details when they are available for action by the Commission.
The Commission requested and heard a report on the work of the Community Services Program of West Alabama which offers services to low income people in the Greene County community including help with utility bills, weatherization of homes, food pantry, Headstart and other programs. The Commission urged CSP of West Alabama to do more outreach and contact new people about its services instead of cycling the same people through each time. Latonji Hamilton who made the presentation for CSP promised to do a better job in the future.
The Commission approved travel for the County Engineer and Assistant County Engineer to attend training and regional meetings.
Probate Judge Judy Spree presented a resolution at the work session from the Alpha Epsilon Iota chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Shelton State Community College concerning an honors project for Greene County officials to symbolically reaffirm their oath of office and maintain ethical standards of operation. The Commission at the regular meeting tabled the resolution.