Commission approves signage identifying locations of storm shelters

The Greene County Commission met in regular session, Monday, October 9, 2023, with all commissioners present. The commission acted on the items discussed at the work session held Wednesday, October 4. These included the following:
* Approved County Highway Department to install storm shelter signage at each storm shelter location. Commissioner Garria Spencer stated that county residents need to know the exact location of their community storm shelter.
* Approved School Resource Officers contract.
* Approved annual contract with Digital Information for IT services and hardware maintenance.
* Approved annual contract with Digital Information for IT services and hardware maintenance for Appraisal Office.
* Approved annual contract with Harris Local Government for Revenue Commission Office.
* Approved attendance at Smart Fusion Class in Birmingham, November 2, 2023, for CFO, Administrator, and Accountants Payable personnel.
* Approved 2024 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday for February 23-25.
Approved ABC License for Soul Out Cafe.
Approved the financial report and payment of bills presented by CFO, Macaroy Underwood.
Other items discussed at the Oct. 4 work session included the County Engineer’s report relating to options for billing county garbage collection. One proposal is to let bids for an outside company to bill or the county would do billing. Seemingly it is more expensive for an outside company to bill. Currently there are 1,800 garage pick-ups. The Engineer’s office was directed to get proposals and evaluate the best approach. The commission noted that many residents are delinquent in paying their garbage pick-up bills, including some county employees.
The engineer’s office stated there are exemptions that the county is required to absorb regarding pick-up fees. The county is currently accepting exemption requests.
Mr. Luther Winn requested an extension regarding Greene County Entertainment’s rental agreement with the county. The commission seemingly will give this some consideration.
Ms. Bobbie Morgan presented a plea for the commission to repair County Road 125, Boligee, where she resides. She said the road is virtually impassable. Ms. Morgan noted that, since she lives in District 5, she has brought this to Commissioner Roshanda Summerville’s attention on previous occasions, with no results. Summerville then asked the Engineer to accompany her to visit that site on the following day and determine what could be done.
Ms. Morgan also asked for a storm shelter in Mt. Hebron. “There are many families in mobile homes who need a safe place to go when there are warnings of strong weather conditions,” she said. Commissioner Summerville responded that a storm shelter is scheduled for the SCORE Center on County Road 39.
Representatives from the University of West Alabama requested that the commission assist in getting broadband surveys completed. This will help in determining the need in the rural areas. The UWA representatives did not have sample surveys with them but will follow-up. Commissioner Spencer suggested that they consult with Ms. Phillis Belcher, CEO with the Industrial Development Authority.
CFO Macaroy Underwood presented the financial report ending September, 2023. Accounts payable totaled $469,531.87; Payroll transfer totaled $273,817.66; Fiduciary totaled $122,381.49; Total Claims paid totaled $865,731.02. Electronic claims totaled $103,240.65. Bank balances are as follows: Citizen Trust Bank – unrestricted $2,438,866.76; restricted $4,179,277.52. Merchant & Farmers Bank – unrestricted $2, 979,181.57; restricted $1,183,498.60. Bond Funds totaled $889,506.78.

Commission extends rental agreement with Greene County Entertainment, Inc.

The Greene County Commission met in regular session Monday, August 14, 2023. In the absence of the Chairperson, Commissioner Corey Cockrell, the meeting was called to order by Commissioner Garria Spencer, Vice Chairperson. Cockrell arrived when the body was in executive session.
Prior to the agenda being approved, Commissioner Allen Turner noted that there was nothing on the agenda regarding the rental extension request form Greene County Entertainment Inc. The commission approved amending the agenda to include request from Greene County Entertainment Inc. to adjust the company’s payment plan with the county.
Following the executive session, the commission approved an extension for Greene Entertainment, Inc. to October 2, 2023.
In a special session held April 7, 2023, the County Commission approved a four year agreement with Greene County Entertainment Inc. for use of the facilities previously occupied by Greenetrack, Inc. The county holds one half ownership of the said property. The initial agreement called for Greene County Entertainment Inc. to pay the county approximately $260,000 annually, through monthly disbursements of approximately $21,000, beginning in May 2023. The lease agreement also called for an advance payment of one month’s rent.
Sources indicate that Greene County Entertainment, which opened its doors to the public on May 4, 2023, has not been in a position to remit any rental payments to the county.
The commission authorized hiring a full time laborer in Solid Waste. The position will be advertised. The commission also approved hiring a General Superintendent at the Highway Department. This selection will be in-house, following appropriate postings of the position.
Other actions of the commission include the following:
Approved re-appointment of Reginald Spencer and re-appointment of James Darden to E-911 Board, District 2.
Approved soliciting annual bids
Approved 2024 Rebuild America County transportation Plan
Approved request for engineer to attend annual Alabama Road safety Conference
Approved long-term detention subsidy contract.
Approved paying three commissioners difference in air fare and mileage for trip to Austin, TX.
Tabled consideration of change in Policy and Procedure regarding travel.
In his financial report, CFO Macaroy Underwood shared the following information. Bank balances as of July 23, 2023 included Citizen Trust Bank – unrestricted $2,500,743.84; restricted $4,617,689.62; Merchants & Farmers Bank – unrestricted $2,903,783.57; restricted, $1,085,256.65; Total Bond Sinking Funds Investment – $886,302.19. Accounts payable totaled $257,615.26. Payroll Transfer totaled $239,308.59. Fiduciary totaled $62,428.23. Electronic claims said totaled $88,252.35.

Commissioners approve replacing bridge on County Road 213

The Greene County Commission met in a call meeting, June 27, 2023 to consider action on an ADEM Waste Water grant application and accompanying resolution to replace timber bridge on County Road 213 over Minter Creek. The total cost of the project is $231,883. The ADEM grant will provide $150,000 (75%) of the cost, with the county providing a cash match of $11,927 and in-kind labor valued at $69.956. County employees will be assigned the tasks needed for the project during the regular work schedules. Commissioner Allen Turner offered the motion to approve implementation of the project as presented, Commissioner Garria Spencer gave the second. The motion was approved.

Storms leave Greene County communities powerless for days

picture (1) Shown are Commissioner Garria Spencer, State Representative Curtis Travis and School Board Member Robert Davis with Knoxville and Jena residents receiving hot meals from food truck vendor. and picture (2) Shown are Commissioners Garria Spencer and Corey Cockrell at food truck vendor giving hot food to Knoxville and Jena residents.residents

Storms bearing strong winds swept through Greene County Friday, June 16, 2023, downing trees and power lines, leaving many residents without electricity in their homes for up to six days. Residents of the Knoxville and Jena communities were among the many families who suffered great food losses due to the lack of power. On Wednesday, June 21, Commissioner Corey Cockrell partnered with Commissioner Garria Spencer to sponsor a Food Truck Vendor, providing hot food to the residents at no cost to them. On Thursday, June 22, Commissioner Garria Spencer partnered with State Representative Curtis Travis sponsoring another food truck vendor that provided complete meals to local residents at no cost. School board member Robert Davis was on site to assist. At press time, the Democrat learned that on Tuesday, June 27, a food truck from West Alabama Food Bank delivered 144 boxes of grocery, including meats, to distribute to the Knoxville and Jena communities. According to Commissioner Garria Spencer, the food bank will send additional grocery boxes to Union on Friday, June 30. Anyone wishing to assist these communities, please contact District 1 Greene County Commissioner, Garria Spencer at 205-496-0145.

Commission fills District 1 vacancies: Marcia Belgrave appointed to IDA; Geraldine Thompson appointed to E911

Union Town Clerk, Marilyn Sanford, administers Oath of Office to newly appointed Councilperson, Geraldine Thompson, as her granddaughter Imani Thompson holds Bible.


The Greene County Commission held its regular meeting, Monday, June 12, 2023, with all Commissioners present. The Commissioners acted on various items discussed at the monthly work session held the previous Wednesday. In his District 1 report at the work session, Commissioner Garria Spencer stated that the Jena storm shelter was still in progress, but the site, the Jena Fire Department, needed at least 15 loads of dirt. The County’s Attorney commented that since a maximum of three loads is currently authorized, the Commission would have to approve a raised amount accompanied by the appropriate resolution. Other actions taken by the Commission included the following.
* Approved Sunday Alcohol Sales beginning at noon.
* Approved appointment of Marcia Bygrave, Ph.D to the Industrial Development Authority for District 1.
* Approved appointment of Geraldine Thompson to E911 Board for District 1.
* Approved Federal Bridge Investment program,
* Approved acquiring a printer for the new system in the Judge of Probate’s office.
* Approved Insolvent Errors Report for the Revenue Commissioner.
* Approved resolution to give 15 loads of dirt to Jena Fire Department site.
* Awarded bid to S.T. Bunn for County Road 100 in the amount of $206,826.30.
* Awarded bid to S.T. Bunn for Creekhill Road in the amount $237,193.
* Approved ratifying $1,500 toward grant writer’s cost in participating with ACCA ’s grant seeking opportunities.
The Commission tabled the request from the Greene County Water Authority, suggesting more conversation at the work session.
The Commission also tabled renaming a bridge for Mrs. Leona B. Morrow, until further input from the Boligee Community.


County Commission and Greene Entertainment Inc still working on lease agreement agreement

The Greene County Commission met in regular session, Monday, March 13, 2023 with all commissioners in attendance.
Prior to action on the agenda items, Commissioner Garria Spencer moved to amend the agenda, however, his motion failed since there was a motion on the floor to adopt the agenda as presented. Commissioner Tennyson Smith moved and Commissioner Roshanda Summerville seconded. That motion to adopt the agenda as presented passed.
It was later learned that Commissioner Spencer’s amendment concerned the lease agreement between the county and Greene Entertainment Inc. The County Commission approved the original lease agreement at its February meeting, but the officials of Greene Entertainment Inc had concerns with a component of the agreement and had not signed the document. The commission took no further action in this regard at the meeting, however, following adjournment, seemingly, informal discussions continued.
The commission acted on the following agenda items:
* Approved replacing the roof at the public library.
* Approved advertising for a clerk for the Probate Judge’s office.
* Tabled the appointment to the IDA Board for District 1.
* Approved allowing the engineer to sell three dump trucks.
* Approved travel for the engineer and assistant engineer for class in Alexander City.
Approved amending the contract for closure of the landfill to include bonding for the contractor not to exceed $20,000, authorizing necessary signatures. The amendment also indicated the removal of taxes not applicable to the county, generating a saving of approximately $17,000.
CFO Macaroy Underwood presented the financial report indicating the following bank balances as of February 23, 2023. Citizen Trust Bank – 5,448,624.44 of which $3,385,804.55 is restricted; Merchants & Farmers Bank – $6,513,733.82 of which $3,127,929.27 is restricted; Bond Funds Investment – $877,979.73; Accounts payable including payroll transfer and fiduciary – $651,795.36; Electronic claims paid – $84,708.23. Underwood reported that in the General Fund Budget Recap, 66% of funds remained.
The commission approved the finance report, then realized that the payment of claims was not listed on the agenda.  County Attorney Mark Parnell advised the commission to reconsider action on the finance report. A new motion was offered to accept the finance report including payment of claims. The motion carried.