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Commission Work Session 12 Mar 2019

Work session started with Ms. Nettles, a Jag specialist from Hillcrest High School coming before the commission. She announced Hillcrest has a program to help guide students into a form of higher education or possibly help them get some experience in a job force. She basically was looking for some type of work experience opportunity for these students within the county itself or possibly the courthouse.

The commission noted at this time there has been no budgeting for items of this nature but they did help her with recommendations and guidance in other areas that might be in a better position to offer these students some form of employment.

EMA Director Johnny Brock announced he had an emergency management check from the state in the amount of $796.00. This check is typically awarded annually and each year, thanks to Mr. Brock’s efforts, the county EMA department qualifies to get these funds from the state. All that’s needed to put the funds in the counties bank account is a signature by the chairman.

Mr. Brock also noted that over the weekend tornado warnings were activated for the Evergreen area and he opened the safe room up however, no one showed up. Mr. Brock suggest using social media, the radio, newspapers and local websites to get the word out to the public so here it is:

People, Conecuh County has a safe room for emergency situations such as this past weekend’s tornado warning. It’s located at the corner of Wild Avenue and Rural Street by Emerald Valley. In the event of an will be made available to the public. It was built to help and protect the citizens, use it.

Mr. Brock also noted there is an ice machine in the safe room and suggest that the county should start using it instead of purchasing ice for some of their functions.

County Engineer Foshee approached the commission body asking if he could move forward with the previously agreed to purchase of new dump trucks. He noted that now is the time to make a decision on either getting new trucks or holding onto what we have now. To be brought up in regular session.

Mr. Foshee noted the loss of the assistant engineer has hampered and somewhat crippled the County Road 43 project. He requested permission to hire outside help in finishing the project. To be brought up in regular session.

Commissioner Riley noted that, in his opinion, county equipment (primarily backhoes) and crews were underutilized and encouraged the other commissioners to look into alternatives. Mr. Riley noted that he had a major area of concern about the ditches on both dirt roads and highways. He noted the county has 6 backhoes, one for each district and one for the engineering department. One commissioner keeps his backhoe in a dirt pit and uses it to load his trucks instead of using the pit with the excavator in it. That cuts it back to 5 usable backhoes counting the one for the engineering department. Mr. Riley suggested the county establish dedicated backhoe crews using 4 of the remaining backhoes and have them split up between dirt roads and paved roads and work to keep the brush and weeds beat back and keep the ditches clean. That idea did not get any support.

(My opinion. Sounds like a good argument for going to the unit system but there is too much friction against making this practical time, equipment and personnel usage a fact. If the county were placed under the unit system the commissioners would be put into a position whereby they would have more time to dedicate to taking care of county business. It would, however, put the county engineer into a position whereby he would be held accountable for getting more road work done. Remember, the commissioners use those men and equipment for reelection incentives. remember the engineer is paid over $111,000.00 annually. Pretty good pay for Conecuh County. A little more responsibility toward earning that pay. Several counties that border us use the unit system. Can’t be all bad and, if it doesn’t work, change it back. Again, my opinion)

Ms. Stephanie Brown, , announced the 1 quarter sales tax from the Piggly Wiggly and Shrimp Basket were in the amount of $11,136.99.

There was no other business brought before the work session and it ended at 9:30 AM.