Monday’s storm hits Courthouse Square

Early in the Monday night County Commission meeting, 911 Director Iris Sermon advised the commission that the county was under a tornado watch and no one should leave the courthouse. During the storm period, several trees in various parts of the county, such as this tree on Mesopotamia Street as well as a tree in Courthouse Square were severely damaged as were at least one business and several other homes throughout the county.

Mandatory garbage pickup fees and rules were discussed at length at the regular meeting of the Greene County Commission.
Chairman Nick Underwood advised the group that he had spoken with Engineer Arzo Abrams, Vincent Atkins with the Greene County Water Authority and Iris Sermon with E-911.
“We ran into some snags but we have it pretty well mastered. Each resident will pay $13.90 per cart per month. Each business will pay the same rate.”
Underwood said that this rate could go up in a year and that the only exception allowed was for people whose only income was social security. The deadline on this plan was March 16.
Commissioner Tennyson Smith asked if churches were expected to pay the fee and was told they were in the same classification as businesses.
One of the big problems facing the garbage department is outstanding bills in the amount of $71,000 plus owed by current customers. Undwood said that the commission had three options – declare them uncollectable; take legal action; or place a lien on the property making it mandatory that past-due garbage bills be paid within one year.
No decision was made, but Underwood said he favored the lien process.
Another lengthy discussion was held concerning the county’s hiring the firm of Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders and Pettaway. Two of the commissioners still had some problems with the firm. Commissioner Marvin Childs said he felt one of the items needed to be excluded. Underwood had problems with the language in two items in the retainer agreement of the contract and Smith said he felt the attorney represented too many people and entities in the county to be able to represent the county commission.
Underwood said that the hiring of the law firm was already confirmed – the only problems were in the retainer agreement. “We need to revisit the cost to the county and try to find common ground,” said Commissioner Allan Turner.
After more discussion, it was voted 3-2 to delete item 6 in the contract.
In other business, the commission:
*Approved the financial report which showed the county had $1,726,011.41 in cash and cash equivalencies.
*Approved paying claims in the amount of $337,252.51 $289,619.09 of this was for payroll.
*Discussed the $583,000 matching funds the county had to have to secure the $2.9 million highway project. To date, the county has been able to put aside $200,000 of this money in a special account, which Underwood said would help keep the state from taking the grant somewhere else.
*Heard the recommendation from the Finance Committee headed by Ralph Banks, III to hire Paula Bird as the county’s financial manager. It was agreed to hire Bird, who has had prior work experience with both the city of Demopolis and Tuscaloosa. She is a resident of Forkland, AL.
*Was advised by Engineer Arzo Abrams that he was interviewing people for the positions of three CDL Drivers – one for the Solid Waste Department and two for the Highway Department.
*Approved bidding out the blades for the motor grader.
*Approved entering an agreement with West Alabama Planning Commission concerning any possible redistricting based on the results of the 2010 Census.
*Signed a proclamation proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Week.
*Decided to participate in a statewide spring clean-up april 16-23 sponsored by PALS. It was discussed to have someone in each district coordinate the clean-up; to collect bottles and cans and separate them for recycling; to contact someone about recycling old cars.
*After some discussion concerning the fact that Greene County pays for both the Greene and Sumter County RSVP programs, it was decided to refund the program. However, the commission is planning to meet with the Sumter County Commission as soon as possible to seek help in funding the program, which had 195 senior volunteers who help out everywhere they can from the hospital and nursing home to any place they can be of help to the community.
*Unanimously agreed to participate in a cooperative purchasing agreement, but will not exclude purchasing from local vendors.
*Okayed a $17,000 reimbursement to the Probate Judge for funds expended by her office,
*Okayed placing a monument in honor of Viet Nam War Medal of Honor winner Matthew Leonard, who was born in Eutaw.
The plan is to dedicate the monument on May 30, 2011, which is Memorial Day.
*Approved transferring funds from the sheriff’s fund to cover $25,000 spend over the budget for personnel. The funds came from the jail fund and the sheriff’s office funds. The commission stressed that the money did not come out of the General Fund

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