Commission authorizes expenditures from ARPA funds for ambulance; payments to employees and designated service groups

 the Greene County Commission’s regular session, held Monday, June 14, 2021, considerable time was spent adjusting the agenda before approval. Commissioner Lester Brown questioned why the purchase of an ambulance for the county’s EMS component was not on the agenda. Commission Chairperson, Roshanda Summerville responded that there is still ongoing discussions in that regard. Brown noted that the Commission could act on the allocation and then follow the required federal guidelines and state bid law requirements. Commissioner Tennyson Smith voiced his support for adjusting the agenda to include the ambulance purchase. This discussion was followed by a unanimous approval to add to the agenda consideration of purchasing an ambulance with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The commission later in the meeting revised this action to include a cap not to exceed $90,000 for the ambulance. Commissioner Allen Turner, Jr. proposed, as another addition to the agenda, payments of $2,000 each to several other county entities, including each Volunteer Fire Department, E911, and Rural Alabama Prevention Center (Greene County COVID group). Turner’s proposal was approved for the agenda. These added agenda items were considered as 3b and 3c and were subsequently approved. CSFO Macaroy Underwood emphasized to the commission that all ARPA funds must be spent in accordance with the federal and state guidelines. “When the commission gives money to a third party, the entity or agency must present documentation on how the funds will be spent. Use of the ARPA funds must comply with guidelines, or the county becomes liable for the repayment,” he said. The commission also approved a one time payment of ARPA funds to all employees working during the COVID pandemic, with $1,100 going to each full time employee and $550 for each part time employee. The commission noted that this would meet the guidelines since all county employees are considered as essential. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession. Greene County Commission received $787,734 for 2021. In other business the commission acted on the following: *Approved payment of services to Attorney Hank Sanders. *Approved ratifying asphalt treating from TTL, Inc. for road material used for County Road 133 at a cost of $2,976. *Approved replacing #2 air conditioner at the courthouse and one unit at the Eutaw Activity Center. *Approved opening Eutaw Activity Center to the public. *Approved ABC License for Boligee Food Mart. *Approved paying Grant Management LLC for administration of CDBG grant to pave dirt roads, not to exceed $32,000, to be reimbursed by ADECA. The commission acted on the following open board appointments: Mark Odom was re-appointed to the Board of Equalization; George Hall was re-appointed to the Water Authority Board; Margret Carpenter was re-appointed to the PARA Board from District 3; and LaJoycelyn Davis was appointed to the Library Board from District 3. In his finance report, CSFO Underwood noted the following bank balances as of May 21, 2021: Citizen Trust Bank – $5,382,919; Merchants & Farmers Bank – $9,539,751.48; Bank of New York – $450,170.64; total Investments – $1,088,674.22. In claims paid for May, accounts payable totaled $304,167.34; payroll transfer – $216,468.60; fiduciary – $38,718.90; electronic claims – $78,661.76. Underwood noted that 21% remains in the general fund budget. Commission Attorney, Mark Parnell, proposed that the commission go in executive session as a continuation of the executive session held at the commission’s work session, Wednesday June 9. He stated the purpose was to discuss matters that may relate to litigation. Several commissioners had questioned the appropriateness or legality of holding an executive session during a work session when the same had not been given public notice or formally voted on by the commission. This concern was not presented or discussed further in the open session. The commission did retire to executive session and the meeting was formerly adjoured upon their return to open session.

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