County implementing mandatory garbage collection

At the regular meeting of the Greene County Commission on Monday, March 14, County Engineer Arzo Abrams reported that since the implementation of mandatory garbage collection, 17 new customers have signed up and three exemptions have been filed. Persons whose only income is social security or SSI checks are exempt from paying a garbage fee.
The policy was adopted when it became apparent that many of the customers of the Greene County Water Service either did not have garbage cans or were not paying for the service. This was costing the county a great deal of money. Even with the new policy, Abrams said that there was approximately $50,000 in outstanding payments,
The financial report revealed that the county had a total of $1,980,109 in cash and cash equivalencies and claims for the month totalled $279,286. Payment of these claims was approved..
In other business, the commission:
*Tabled the appointment of James Gaines to the PARA board and approved the appointment of Clinton Walton. Gaines’ appointment was tabled until the commission could get an opinion as to whether he was able to serve since he was an elected official in the town of Union. The Code of Alabama prohibits a county elected official from serving in this capacity but says nothing about any other elected official.
*Heard a presentation from Barrett Vaughn from Tuskegee University on the new programs available for Greene County residents. These programs included working with Alabama Waste Water Association on septic system licensing; a home energy education program and energy audits in the county.
*Approved travel to the NACO Annual Conference for both the County Engineer and Assistant Engineer.
*Approved travel to a CED workshop for Commissioner Tennyson Smith.
*Approved transferring money remaining in the Pandemic Flu account to the Emergency Management department. This transfer was acceptable under the terms of the grant.
*Approved August 5-7 as sales tax holidays. These are days that the county tax is not charged on school supplies.
*Approved allowing the manager of the Public Works Department to appoint a License Inspector. So far, only two persons have applied for this job.
*Discussed accepting the bid from Office Depot for county office supplies. Commissioner Nick Underwood questioned why the county did not utilize local businesses and was assured that they did. However, the motion to use Office Depot died for lack of a second.
*Discussed the lengths of terms of members of the PARA Board. It was agreed by consensus to use the same terms as the Alabama Code suggested.. It was agreed for appointments from District 1 be three and five years; District 3 be two and four years; District 4 be four years; and District 5 be six years. Commissioner Smith from District 2 asked that his decision be tabled until the next meeting.
*Approved assigning grant writing responsibilities to Terry Acuss of Community Consultants, Inc. and Marilyn Armstead of Writing, Marketing and Advertising Group. The county will not be obligated to pay either writer. Their salary will depend on their success in obtaining grants.


Commission postpones decision on closure of C&D Landfill

The Greene County Commission has spent time over several meetings trying to decide what to do about the C&D Landfill.

Although the facility is still in use, it does not bring in enough cash to justify remaining open.

During the discussion at the regular monthly meeting on September 13, 2010 Commissioner Underwood reminded everyone that the facility cost $310 per day to operate while bringing in only $120 per day.

After some more discussion, the commission agreed to put the item back on the agenda for the next meeting which will be a recessed meeting on September 23rd at 2 p.m.

Another decision made was to take Ms. Rosetta Spencer off probation as the RSVP director.

County Administrator Mattie Atkins advised the commission that the county had a cash and cash equivalency of $1,295,808.89. However she could not give them a summary of claims because they had not been left where they could be accessed. “This is not acceptable,” said Chair Bill Johnson.

Phillis Belcher made a  presentation to the board concerning converting the Industrial Development Board to the Industrial Development Authority.

The Authority will remain an 11-member board, but the elected officials on the board are not voting members. “What you do then is to appoint representatives who can vote,” said Belcher.

She also advised them that USDA will not accept GoZone or Recovery Zone bonds to help with the funding of Project Flagship at the Crossroads of America Industrial Park. However, Economic Development Bonds will still be available.

In other business, the commission:

*Approved the appointment of Ronald Edwards to the DHR Board. This appointment was made by Commissioner Donald Means.

*Postponed three appointments to the Greene County Hospital Board  until the September 23 meeting.

*Heard a request from interim Sheriff George Cook regarding some equipment he wished to purchase and a contract he wished to enter into with Maude Whatley Health Care for inmate treatment when necessary.

Chairman Johnson expressed his displeasure that Cook would bring in proposals of this magnitude without giving the commission time to study them beforehand. “In January, we will have a sheriff who will be our sheriff for four years. He can make the decisions,” said Johnson.

It was finally decided to have Atkins, Cook and the county’s attorney Prince Chestnut get together to see if the money is available and then bring the proposal back at the recessed meeting.

*Made several bid awards on material used by the Highway Department and voted to rebid Metal Pipe and Teated Bridge Lumber.

*Reconsidered an insurance proposal that had previously passed. Commissioner Underwood said that he had been approached by employees to reconsider the position he took on the insurance.

The commission rescinded the position taken on the co-pay insurance on August 9th and opted to go with the Health Blue Plan.

*Transferred funds in several areas in order to come up with the matching funds needed for road improvement.

*Announced a budget hearing on September 21 at 2 p.m. and recessed the present meeting until September 23rd at 2 p.m.