West Alabama Works holds meeting to open AIDT Training Trailer at Greene Co. High School

JOB  Fair.jpgOver 150 mostly young people attended Tuesday night’s kick-off meeting for the AIDT Training Trailer, located at 14223 U. Highway 11 South, in front of the Greene County High School.
People were present to register and sign-up for classes and training to prepare for work in Greene County and surrounding counties in the West Alabama Black Belt.

Classes will be provided for Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) for entry-level work in the healthcare field. Classes will also be available for GED studies leading to a high school equivalency; Ready To Work training and certification in “work keys” which will lead to employment in the growing Alabama automotive industry; computer skills and other skill areas.
Donny Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and Director of West Alabama Works, said the AIDT Training Trailer will be in Greene County for the next three months, “to provide free testing and training for local residents who are willing to commit their time to acquire new skills and certification. At the end of this process, there are real jobs in the area but employers want to know if you have the skills and attitudes to fill and keep these jobs.”
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime and the chance to transform families and change communities. We are building a career connect system to provide you the entry level skills and credentials you need to work in the future business and industry” said Jones.
Jones explained that the Ready to Work program provides soft skills for people, interested in working in Alabama. These soft skills include team building, attitudes toward coming to work consistently and on-time, safety including avoiding drugs and alcohol on the job, basic math, precision measurement and other skills. People who faithfully attend this five-week program receive certification that they can present to employers when seeking a job.
The CNA training for the healthcare field will be an eight-week training leading to basic certification to work in nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities.
Persons attending the kick-off were able to register with West Alabama Works about their interest in training. They will be called back for more in depth testing and a recommended training curriculum to meet their specific needs. Persons who missed the kick-off can still register at: http://www.westalabamaworks.org or come by the AIDT trailer on Highway 11 at the Greene County High School.
The Region 3 Workforce Development Council, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, formed West Alabama Works to lead workforce development efforts throughout West Alabama. The regional workforce development system facilitates and implements a comprehensive, coordinated, seamless workforce development system for the region and supports workforce training activities
In the development of this mobile training unit, West Alabama Works is partnering with the University of West Alabama, Greene County Industrial Development Authority, Greene County Board of Education, Greene County Commission, Shelton State Community College, and AIDT to meet community needs. As Gary Nichols, Chairman of the West Alabama Works Steering Committee notes, “This will help individuals in the region prepare for new and existing job opportunities. We’re here to generate meaningful results.”

Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Greene County High School Community-wide kickoff to be held for AIDT Mobile Training Unit to prepare Greene County residents for employment

Greene County and West Alabama Works are hosting an AIDT Mobile Training Unit at Greene County High School/Greene County Career Center, located at 14223 U.S. Highway 11 South in Eutaw, Alabama.
The mobile unit will be available to community members for the next 3 months for the purposes of holding Ready-to-Work (RTW) job preparation classes, resume building, GED classes, computer classes, and C.N.A. certification.
A kick-off, open to the public, is to be held Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from 6-7:30 PM at the high school. The kick-off is designed to educate the community beyond high school and enable community members to qualify for available career opportunities.
The Region 3 Workforce Development Council, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, formed West Alabama Works to lead workforce development efforts throughout West Alabama. The regional workforce development system facilitates and implements a comprehensive, coordinated, seamless workforce development system for the region and supports workforce training activities
In the development of this mobile training unit, West Alabama Works is partnering with the University of West Alabama, Greene County Industrial Development Authority, Greene County Board of Education, Greene County Commission, Shelton State Community College, and AIDT to meet community needs. As Gary Nichols, Chairman of the West Alabama Works Steering Committee notes, “This will help individuals in the region prepare for new and existing job opportunities. We’re here to generate meaningful results.”
Tennyson Smith, Chair of the Greene County Commission said, “The Commission is pleased to support this workforce effort to provide greater employment opportunities to Greene County residents.”

Danny Cooper, Chair of the Greene County IDA, stated, “ We are very supportive of this West Alabama Works program which will assess the skills and qualifications of Greene County citizens. It will help them to better prepare for employment opportunities to be developed in our communities and for jobs that are currently available in our wider area.”
Area employers are looking to hire individuals who have successfully completed the Ready-to-Work curriculum, as it proves individuals have mastered essential soft skills for workplace success and have a skill level desirable to business and industry.
Donny Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the Chamber and Director of West Alabama Works commented, “Ready to Work programs are part of our efforts in connecting residents with high demand employment opportunities and training that will revitalize local communities. Not only will this assist people in becoming more employable, this project will enable us to fill workforce needs in rapidly advancing sectors.”
To pre-register, call 205-372-9974. Commitment to attend classes is required of participants.

 

County buys new trucks; adjusts for voter registrars pay raise; imposes security deposit for Activity Center

The Greene County Commission, at its regular meeting held Monday, August 14, 2017, acted on various items carried over and placed on the agenda from the work session discussions of the previous week. The commission approved paying off an existing loan at Citizen Trust Bank on a garbage truck and beginning the process to acquire a loan to purchase a new garbage truck as well a new pick-up truck.
In addition to its current fee schedule for use of the Eutaw Activity Center, the commission approved imposing a security deposit of $150 which will be refunded to renter providing no damage has occurred during use.
As part of her budget amendments report, CFO Paula Bird informed the commission of an adjustment relative to the state mandated raise for County Voter Registrars.
In 2016 the Alabama Legislature raised the pay rate for registrars from $60 per day to $80 per day with maximum number of days for each registrar not to exceed 120 per year.

Following conclusion of required advertisement, the commission approved hiring a person in the solid waste division. Engineer Willie Branch oversees that process.
The commission approved a credit card policy which was adopted from basic policy drafts available through the Alabama Association of County Commissions.
Other actions approved by the commission included the following.
* Hiring a temporary driver for the Eutaw Nutrition Site.
* Providing access to courthouse restrooms during the annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival.
* Purchasing items for the shop ($69,500) and equipment repairs ($5,000) from General Fund bingo funds and amending budget to reflect approved expenditures.
* Material agreement with Archie Bird, LLC.
* Developing a pit on County Road 117, providing basic standards are met.
* CD investment in amount of $110,416.41 with Robertson Banking Co., highest bidder.
* Budget amendment for expenditure for RSA retired members one time lump sum payment, funded from 2007 Bond Warrant.
* Renewed contracts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama; S&W – Revenue/Appraisal; TriState-Appraisal; Delta Software-JOP; Digital Information Systems – IT Management for courthouse, jail and highway department.
The commission tabled an item dealing with requests for bridge abandonment.

Commission supports election equipment maintenance, E911 site construction, emergency siren repair

The Greene County Commission met Monday, June 12, 2017 and considered and took action on the following:
* Approved Maintenance agreement with Elections Systems & Software relative to AutoMark equipment. (The AutoMARK® ballot-marking system provides autonomy to voters who are blind, visually impaired, or have a disability or condition that makes it difficult to traditionally mark a ballot) In the commission’s work session held the previous week, it was noted that the county has HAVA (Helping America Vote Act) funds to cover this maintenance costs of $6,039.25.
* Approved Resolution in support of cost and obligations of CDBG grant to E911 for site construction. The E911 has received a CDBG grant to construct a building to house its central operations, however the three bids submitted for the construction have all been above what is provided in the state grant. The E911 board has assured the commission that it has sufficient funds to meet the additional cost, however, since the grant is issued through the county, that entity must pledge its support toward these obligations.
* Approved contract for construction of Mantua Safe Room.

* Approved Warranty Deed for Greene County Industrial Development Authority. The commission agreed to deed approximately 1.9 acres of county land to the IDA which in turn may work out an arrangement for use of the property by Rock-Tenn Company.

* Approved Error/Insolvent Report as submitted by the Revenue Commissioner.
* Approved 2017 Sales Tax Holiday which has been moved from the first Friday in August to the third Friday in July.
*Approved license transfer of Clinton One Stop to an LLC.
* Approved request of E911 to have county’s siren system repaired, with costs covered by county’s general fund bingo resources.
* Approved staff travel as follows: Accounts Payable, July 26-28, Montgomery (AAPPA Conference); County Appraiser, June 28-29, Prattville County Government Institute; Appraisal Staff Conference, August 6-11 (2 employees); Appraisal Fundamentals of Real Property, Sept.11-15; ACI Concrete Training, 2 engineering assist, June 22-23, Birmingham; Assist Engineer and Engineer’s Assist., August 8-9, Grove Hill (ACI Concrete Training; Assist. Engineer and Engineer’s Assist, June 27-30, Auburn, Roadway Technical Course; Error/Insolvent Report, Brenda Goree, Revenue Commissioner.

Proposed 3 cent bond issue could net county $10M for roads and bridges

At it regular meeting, held Monday, February 13, 2016, the Greene County Commission approved a resolution in support for the three-cent ATRIP-2 bond issue proposed by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama as priority legislation for the 2017 Alabama legislative session. The revenue from the proposed bond issue, which would increase statewide gasoline and diesel fuel tax by 3 cents per gallon, would be dedicated to improving the state’s declining road and bridge infrastructures.
According to the county engineer’s office, the three-cent bond issue would generate over $1.2 billion for Alabama’s 67 counties and would be spent exclusively on roads and bridges.
If the bond issue is approved, the Greene County Commission could receive approximately$10 million for road and bridge improvements, which would include 50 miles of resurfaced roads in the county. The bond issue would also benefit the road and bridge infrastructures of local towns, with $2M of the $10M awarded to the municipalities.
If the measure passes the legislature, the increase would be effective as of July 1, 2017.
As stated in the Resolution: “It is estimated that a three-cent bond issue would cost the average Greene County driver less than $2 per month, but would produce a county economic impact of over $50 million in the form of new jobs, safety improvements, lower vehicle maintenance costs, and other economic development opportunities.”
The Greene County Commission approved the bid from Boligee Electric for replacing lighting at the Eutaw Activity Center. The improvements will also include placing lights outside the facility. Boligee Electric was deemed a qualified vendor with appropriate license and insurance.
Mr. Spiver Gordon was reappointed to the Greene County Housing Authority Board representing District 1 and Mrs. Cillia Morrow was reappointed to the J. C. Poole Memorial Library Board also representing District 1.
In the financial report ending Jan. 17, 2017, CFO Paula bird reported that cash in Citizens Trust Bank totaled $3,551,710.69; cash in Merchants & Farmers Bank totaled $1,884,849.56. The CD Bond Sinking Fund totaled $682,649.23 and funds in the Bank of New York totaled $827,694.81.
Bird noted that some adjustments were made in the Sheriff Department’s budget relative to new vehicle purchase.
In other business the commission approved the following:
* Levying of 2017 taxes
*Levying of Wet County Fees
* ACCA Liability Self Insurance Fund
* Travel for staff and commissioners to various meetings and workshop.

Greene County Commission ratifies agreement with Sheriff on budget

The Greene County Commission held a special called meeting on Thursday, December 29 at 4:30 PM to ratify an agreement to approve the Sheriff and Jail Budget based on the Sheriff’s Department collecting $5 per bingo machine in fees from each bingo operator retroactive to February 2016.
County Attorney Hank Sanders reported on an agreement that he had worked out with Sheriff Benison, in the presence of the special judge handling the on-going dispute between the Sheriff and the Commission over the budget, personnel, repairs to the jail and the Sheriff’s contribution from bingo funds to the Commission’s operating account.

The Commission adopted the following motion, “Be it resolved, that the Sheriff and Jail Budget for Greene County be based on the FY 2013-14 budget amount; and based on the installation of additional security cameras in the amount of $7,687; and based upon the Sheriff certifying that notice was given to the bingo operators and charities to pay the additional $5 per machine retroactive back to February 2016.”The Sheriff and Jail Budget for 2013 and 14 was $1,623,177. The retroactive payment at $5 per machine for the eleven months, since the agreement in February 2016, is estimated to be $70,000 .
The Commissioners questioned Attorney Sanders before their vote as to how the Sheriff was going to pay the retroactive amount. Sanders said that the amount would likely not be paid in a lump sum but in periodic payments over time. He said that a timetable was not specified but that the Judge would be monitoring the agreement to be sure both sides complied with their obligations under the agreement

Eutaw City Council approves formal resolution accepting Branch Heights roads

officer

Chief Derick Coleman and new officer Patrick Shearry.

 

At its regular meeting on December 13, 2016, the Eutaw City Council approved a resolution accepting the streets within Branch Heights for city maintenance.
The resolution discusses the history of problems with repairs to the streets and roadways in the Branch Heights Subdivision, a predominantly Black housing area that was built with HUD funds through the Greene County Housing Authority. The subdivision is named for the first Black Probate Judge of Greene County. Some of the houses have been sold to individual families after the family had occupied them for at least 15 years.
In 2004, Branch Heights was annexed into the City of Eutaw and the city has made some repairs to the streets on an “as needed” and “as funds were available” basis without formally accepting responsibility for the streets.
This resolution officially accepts the streets in the William Mckinley Branch Heights subdivision for city ownership and maintenance and pledges to seek funds for the repair of the streets. The resolution lists the streets to be maintained as including the following:
– William McKinley Branch Drive
– Joseph Wilder Circle
– John Chambers Court
– Vassie Knott Court
– Howard Irvin Drive
– Office Lane
– Levi Morrow Sr. Court
– Harry Means Court
– Frenchie Burton Road
– Howard Brown Court
– Joseph Court
Many of these streets were named for pioneering Black members of the Greene County Commission and Greene County Housing Authority.
In other business, the Eutaw City Council:
• approved payment of November claims and bills;
• heard a report that Mason and Gardner, CPA’s were updating the city computer system to handle the digital self-reporting water meters;
• were introduced to new police officer, Patrick Shearry, of Scoba, Mississippi, who has completed officer training; and told by Chief Coleman that two other officers: Marlo Jackson and Tommie Johnson Jr. are planning to attend the police academy training in Tuscaloosa;
• approved travel for Councilman Joe L. Powell to attend a committee meeting of the Alabama League of Municipalities
• deferred the December 27, 2016 meeting due to the holidays; and set December 23 and 26 and January 2 as official holidays.
Mayor Steele reported that the city employees were working to fix leaks in the water system to increase water pressure for the system. Work will soon be starting on the major $3.1 million approved USDA Rural Development water project. The Mayor also announced that work was about to begin on the resurfacing of Prairie Avenue.
Council members reported problems with street lights on Springfield Avenue and the need to remove a dilapidated house on Tuscaloosa Street adjacent to the Eutaw Elderly Village.
Councilwoman Sheila Smith asked about the policies on vicious dogs. She was told by the Mayor and Chief of Police that vicious animals, like Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and Doberman Pinchers had to be identified and secured by their owners to prevent attacking and biting people. “Stray dogs in Eutaw, have always been a problem and we have to pay animal control from Tuscaloosa to round them up and carry them away, “ said Chief Coleman. Smith said, “ I hope this policy on vicious dogs is being carried out because people have been bitten and intimidated by dogs in recent days.”