Greene County Commission names roads for Lester Brown and George Hall

At its regular meeting on January 9, 2023, the Greene County Commission approved naming County Road 191, connecting Union and Jena as the “Lester Brown Memorial Highway” to honor the deceased District 1 commissioner.
The Commission also named County Road 133 for George Hall, a former Sheriff and community leader. They also adopted a resolution honoring former Probate Judge Earlean Isaac and agreed to hang a picture of her in the county courtroom.
The Commission tabled a request to pave Savior Way in District 2, near the old Eatman School, until residents sign a resolution deeding their right of way property to the County for continued maintenance of the road.
The Commission approved a request from the County Engineer to apply for a $250,000 grant to repair a bridge on County Road 220. They also approved the Rebuild Alabama Report on on-going road and bridge improvements, supported with state funds.
The Commission also approved advertising for equipment operators for the Greene County Highway Department and for hiring an Engineer with EIT (Engineer in Training Certification). This certification ensures that the engineer has graduated from a properly accredited engineering college, has taken the first proficiency test, and is planning to take the examination to become a PE (Professional Engineer) in the future based on more practical experiences in the field.
The Commission agreed to purchase a full-page ad ($600) in the Black History issue of the Greene County Democrat. Commissioners Corey Cockrell and Roshonda Summerville abstained from voting on this motion.
Mac Underwood, CFO presented a financial report for the county finances as of December 31, 2023, three months into the 2022-23 fiscal year. His report indicated $6.4 million in accounts in Citizens Trust Bank, $4 million in Merchants and Farmers bank, and $874,897 in certificates for bond sinking funds.
He clarified that only a small proportion of the over $10 million in county funds was available for discretionary spending. Most of the funding is designated for specific purposes. The report shows a balance of $890,844 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, however, some of these funds have already been committed to projects.
The financial report also shows claims paid for the month of December 2022 at $1,487.928.10, which includes $476,975 for payroll, $774,949 for accounts payable, and $236,404 for fiduciary expenses. Expenditures for the General Fund are in line with the budget.

Greene County Commission approves funds for roads, bridges, equipment and support for the ambulance service

At its regular monthly meeting on August 8, 2022, the Greene County Commission approved funding and solicitation of bids for several road and bridge projects as well as the purchase of needed equipment to support the work of the Highway Department.

Willie Branch, County Engineer brought many of these issues to the attention of the Commission at its work session on August 3 and many of these items were placed on the regular monthly meeting agenda for action.

At Engineer Branch’s suggestion, the Commission approved projects to be funded under the County Transportation Plan in conjunction with the ALDOT Rebuild Alabama Program. These projects include repairs on  CR 100, CR 174, CR 148, and a bridge on CR220.

The Commission approved advertising bids for renovation of the William M. Branch Courthouse including bathrooms, flooring and lighting in the courtroom, and some additional work on the walls in the courtroom.

In the work session, Engineer Branch reported mechanical difficulties with the garbage truck in picking up garbage on schedule. At the meeting the Commission approved advertising for bids on a truck for the Solid Waste Department. Branch also recommended giving all county solid waste customers a two-month credit on their garbage bills to cover the period of
delayed or missed services. The Commission approved this credit for all garbage customers.

The Commission also approved Branch’s request for additional equipment to have two crews for road repairs and grass cutting on the roadways. He was authorized to purchase two spreader boxes for gravel, four tractors, a single drum roller and a replacement for the current backhoe. Mac Underwood, CFO, said this equipment could be purchased with monies saved from earlier refinancing the County’s bond issues as well as funds in the Capital Improvements Account from bingo.

The Commissioners also approved a resolution to close the 2007 Bond Warranty Account and to close two CD accounts in Robertson Bank at maturity and deposit funds in the Gasoline Fund to be used for purchase of construction equipment.

The Commission voted to give the Greene County Emergency Medical Services, which administers the ambulance in the county $18,000 towards one month’s payroll expenses. The GEMS had requested a year’s worth of subsidy of its payroll and expenses, of $40,000 a month, prorated on a population basis from the County and four municipalities.

The Commission choose between two options of giving $54,000 for a quarter or $18.000 for a month and allowing the ambulance service to report back before allocating additional funds. Commissioners Brown and Smith voted for the quarterly option which was voted down by the other three Commissioners – Turner, Summerville, and Cockrell. Chair Turner voted with Brown and Smith to approve the one-month option. Cockrell said, “We need to use our funds for things the people really want like recreation and a water park, or they will all move away from Greene County and then you won’t need an ambulance service anyway.” Commissioners Brown and Smith said ambulance services were a necessary service for everyone.

The Commission approved a resolution to support settlement of an opioid lawsuit and agreed to sell ten acres of land on Choctaw Road to Mercy and Grace for an assisted living project.

The Commission received a financial report from CFO Mac Underwood and agreed to pay all bids and claims for July 2022.The Commission reappointed three members of the DHR Board and appointed Gavin Edgar to the E-911 Board from District 2. All other available board nominations were tabled.