Greene County Commission agrees to assist E-911 with parking lot

Highway 14 in Eutaw to be closed starting Monday, September 17, 2018 for maintenance work on Colonial Pipeline The Eutaw City Council approved closing of Highway 14 (Mesopotamia Avenue) where the Colonial Pipeline crosses, at the junction with Greene County Road 170, about a mile from the Interstate 20/59 Exit (Mile Marker 40). This closing will begin on Monday, September 17, 2018 to allow for maintenance and removal of a covering on Colonial Pipeline. The closing will last for ten (10) days. Eutaw Police Department will reroute traffic around this closure. This will require using Highway 11 to go to Boligee or to Highway 208 (Union) to reach Interstate 59/20. Traffic coming North from Meridian, will have to exit at Boligee (Exit 32) or Union (Exit 45) and make their way into the city.

 

At its regular September meeting on Monday, the Greene County Commission approved providing assistance to the E-911 program for the parking lot at its new building site on Highway 43 in Eutaw. The Commission also appointed Dorothy Bambarger to serve on the E-911 Board of Directors. The Commission approved routine matters dealing with its finances, payment of claims and budget amendments to complete its fiscal year at the end of this month. Financial reports showed $2,463,180 in Citizens Trust Bank and $1,923,635 in Merchants and Farmers Bank. An additional $919,946 in funds are on deposit with The Bank of New York in trust accounts for bond issues. Overall in the Budget Report Recap, the Commission has spent an average of 89.7% of annual funds budgeted, which is in line with eleven of twelve months in the fiscal year budget period. Based on the budget, some departments and functions are at differing levels but all are below budget. Paula Byrd, Financial Officer presented some budget changes in shifting funds between accounts, which were approved. The Commission also approved awarding a bid to Merchants and Farmers Bank to handle CD’s related to bond maturities. The Commission adopted a resolution requiring county workers to deal with employment concerns and complaints through their direct supervisor. In other actions, the Greene County Commission: • approved an ABC license for Docs Store and Grill in the Pleasant Ridge – Sipsey Community, owned by Matthew Eric Eads; • allowed County Engineer to advertise and hire an Equipment Operator; • vacated a 1,500 foot portion of Outland Road in the Boligee Community; • approved a Traffic Safety Grant from ALDOT; • approved EMA Performance Grant from the state; • approved recommendation of the Revenue Commissioner to employ an Administrative Clerk; • supported travel by the Engineer and Assistant Engineer to various training sessions in September and October. • approved contract for School Resource Officers in conjunction with the Board of Education and the Sheriff’s Department. The Commission also agreed to allow the County Engineer to provide a report on needed resurfacing and patching of county roads for future action by the Commission.

Greene County Commission holds April meeting

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Shown L to R: Commissioners Corey Cockrell and Michael Williams, Chief Jeremy Rancher, Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Officer Denise Armstead, Commissioners Tennyson Smith, Allen Turner and Lester Brown

The Greene County Commission held its regular April meeting on Monday, April 9, 2018 at the William M. Branch County Courthouse in Eutaw. The meeting was relatively routine and uneventful with not apparent controversies.
Paula Byrd, the County’s Chief Financial Officer gave a financial report for the county. Her report showed a total of $5,199,690 in bank accounts as of March 31, 2018, including $2.945,469 in Citizens Trust Bank and $2,254,221 in Merchants and Farmers Bank. The county has another $ 1 million in bond funds in various accounts.

Byrd reported that half of the fiscal year had passed since October 1, 2017 and most county agencies had spent 50% of their budgeted funds, which is generally in line with the forecasted expenses. Overall county agencies spent $1,650,745 (50%) of the $3,327,528 budgeted for this fiscal year.
The Commission approved $667,743 in claims paid in March including payroll and bills for supplies. $55,579 in automatic payments for various services was also paid during the month.
The Commission members and Sheriff Joe Nathan Benison and Chief Deputy Jeremy Rancher presented a certificate to Denise Armstead for completion of a course in operation and management of a jail from the State Department of Corrections. Ms. Armstead is employed at the Greene County Jail.
In other business, the Greene County Commission, also approved:
• a Sales Tax Holiday for Back to School items on July 20-22, 2108;
• use of the Courthouse restrooms for the Greene County Health System Foundation for a health fair at the Courthouse Square on May 12, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM;
• the County Engineer to hold a public hearing in regards to vacating County Road 128;
• the County Engineer vacating of an un-named road leading to Johnson Hill Cemetery; and
• travel for an Appraisal Department Employee for state training in Hoover, Alabama on April 9-13, 2018.
The Commission went into an Executive Session to discuss legal strategy and the good name and character of a person. The Commission returned from the Executive Session and said there was no official business to decide whereupon the meeting was adjourned.
In the public comments section, Iris Sermon, Director of 911 reported that the third week in April was National Radio Dispatchers Week and asked the Commissioners and the public to thank people who worked in these capacities for the county.
At the Commission’s work session, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, several commissioners expressed interest in raising ad valorem millage to assist the Greene County Health Services (hospital) as well as millage for the county’s highway department. Commissioner Allen Turner expressed a strong position in support of generating millage funds restricted for roads, bridges and other infrastructure improvements. No further action was taken in this regard.

Greene County Commission acts on County Engineer’s requests

At a routine meeting the Greene County Commission approved requests coming from Willie Branch, County Engineer, for sale of surplus property and vehicles as well as improvements to the William M. Branch Courthouse and Eutaw Activity Center.
The Greene County Commission approved the following requests from the County Engineer:
• declare equipment and materials, a pile of scrap metal, as surplus and eligible for sale;
• declare surplus and sell three dump trucks and one low-boy, for a guarantee of $526,000;
• purchase three dump trucks at $131,644 each and one low-boy for $114,989, to replace the ones sold. This arrangement allows the county to have new equipment for a small annual lease payment;
• approve placement of a sign by the Extension Service on the Eutaw Activity Center building;
• approve agreement with KDM to install 5 thermostats for the cost of $10,000 in the Courthouse and an annual contract of $4,600 to maintain the HVAC service in the Courthouse;
• approved agreement with ADS Security for the Eutaw Activity Center, at an installation cost of $1,098 and $49.95 a month for three years for the system; and
• approve travel for Highway Department Office Manager for training on June22-24, at Orange Beach, Alabama.
Paula Byrd, Chief Financial Officer gave the Commission a detailed financial report through the end of March, which is the six month period of the fiscal year which bean October 1, 2016. The report showed bank balances of $ 2,786,484 in Citizen Trust Bank and $2,172.444 in Merchants and Farmers Bank for a total of $4,958,929.
Another $684,146 in bond sinking funds are in the Bank of New York.
Ms. Byrd also reported on payment of bills and claims of $686,540 for February and that the total of expenses from all accounts were running at 44% of budget, which is below the 50% goal at the middle of the fiscal year.

The Commission also approved transfer of 1.96 acres, in the Eutaw Industrial Park area, to the Greene County Industrial Development Authority. The Authority plans to enter into agreements to make the land available to WestRock to expand their manufacturing facility and create new jobs.The Commission did not approve a request from the City of Eutaw to move a power pole from one corner to across the street.
The Greene County Commission approved the appointment of Jasmine Smith to the Greene County Hospital Board and Mattie Strode to the Greene County DHR Board. Both appointments were from District 2.
In the work session, preceding the regular meeting, the Commission heard from Marilyn Gibson, Chief Librarian, who asked the Commission to reconsider an appointment to the Library Board. She argued that the person that was replaced was very experienced and helpful in writing proposals to secure funds for the library. The Commissioners said they could not change an appointment but that the Library Board could give special status as an emeritas member, without a vote, to anyone they thought could assist and support them to make the library better for Greene County.