Commission neglects to approve liquor license

For lack of a second, a motion to grant a liquor license to Majo’s Lounge died at the Marengo County Commission meeting Tuesday.

Lounge owner Nabil Musaid Algahmie told commissioners that he would address the concerns of neighbors who opposed the license by installing sound-suppressant foam in the building and hiring off-duty police officers to maintain security.

However, the Rev. Roy Scruggs, speaking for the opposition, said statistics show that the crime rate goes up when such a business opens.

“We’re not concerned with what goes on inside, but outside” the building, he said.

The Commission approved a resolution for the county to be host for a Drug Task Force requested by DA Greg Griggers.

To be funded in part by ADECA, although the amount is unknown, the task force will help in the ongoing efforts against drug trafficking. Depending on what formula is used, the Drug Task Force can receive anywhere from $18,000 to $65,000 from ADECA.

“It will help. It will certainly get us back going. It will get us back in compliance with ADECA,” said Griggers.

With the help of donations from private citizens, Griggers’office has hired an additional agent. Robbie Autrey previously had been with the Department of Public Safety for some 15 years. He strictly has done interdiction work, Griggers said.

Revenue Commissioner Sharon Barkley asked the Commission to approve a countywide orthophotography project by Atlantic Group of Huntsville.

Atlantic representative Mike Denney explained the process to the commission using samples of photography taken from another county.

Barkley said the aerial views, which are incorporated with ground surveys, are used daily by the appraiser to better review property. The last such photographs were taken in 2008. Such photographs also are of benefit to EMA responders, the county road department and realtors.

Commissioner Dan England, himself a surveyor, said the project is worthwhile, but the cost of $84,500 over two years needs to be discussed during the commission’s budget talks. Barkley said the state Department of Transportation would pay for 10 percent of the cost.

If approved, the aerial photography would be done sometime between January and March of 2014.

EMA Director Kevin McKinney received approval of a Memorandum of Understanding to borrow a generator from the state and maintain it for six months.

McKinney said the state will begin to collect fees for 911 service from telephone providers beginning October 1, instead of the money going directly to the county. The state has told the 911 offices to prepare for a two-month delay in receiving the funding.

For that reason, said McKinney, the county agency will not have the money to purchase a generator for the new 911 center now begin prepared in Linden. Borrowing the generator will give the agency time to collect the needed funds for the purchase later.

In other business, the commission:

•Approved a user fee CD rate of .75 percent for six months with Sweet Water State Bank.

•Approved hiring Deputy Curtis Maxwell with the Sheriff’s Department and Shanita Lucy with the Revenue Commission Office

•Approved a letter of support for West Alabama Public Transportation

•Took under advisement a request by Sarah Smith that the commission sponsor part time work at the Community Action Agency.

•Approved the purchase of a bush hog.