County commission holds May meeting

Sheriff Richard Bates will purchase a new car this year out of his budget and, if a grant application to the USDA comes through, two additional cars next year.

Frank Dobson, chairman of the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission, received unanimous approval of a resolution by the Marengo County Commission at its monthly meeting Tuesday requesting $24,991.01 in a 35 percent matching grant for two cars in the next fiscal year. The county would match that amount with $46,411.87, although there is no guarantee the funds will be made available.

Dobson also received approval for a second resolution approving work by Krebs Architecture to adapt the old Armory building in Linden for the Marengo County Economic Development Authority.

Marengo County is the ninth county in the Regional Commission area to have its water systems mapped with GPS coordinates, Dobson continued. The Regional Commission is putting up $5,000 toward the mapping, and the various water systems in the county will add another $5,000 for the match. Only Clarke County will remain to be mapped.

Tax Assessor Sharon Barkley received approve for her final settlement report to the commissioners detailing the monies raised during the year and their disbursement.

She also said the new web site for the county is up and running, and she expects it will prove to be beneficial for county residents.

The web site address is

Barkley also asked the commission to consider paying employees their hotel fees in advance when they must attend training. She said for those employees who do not have credit cards, paying for their lodging and waiting to be reimbursed can cause financial hardship.

Commissioner Dan England said if the commission does it for one employee, it must do it for all. However, county attorney Woody Dinning Jr. said such a practice would give the commission more control over costs.

The commissioners decided to take the request under advisement.

EMA Director Kevin McKinney received approval for reimbursement for two private storm shelters that have been completed using FEMA grant money. The total for the two shelters is $7,971.25

He introduced Carter Little who thanked the commissioners for the grant money. The storm shelter for Little and his wife was completed last week, and he said they feel much more safe should a severe storm hit the area.

With these latest approvals, the county now has built eight of the 16 private shelters that had been approved, McKinney said.

The commission tabled any action on declaring public certain roads in the county that until now have been considered private.

The action would allow county equipment and personnel to maintain such roads up to one-quarter mile.

By the time of the meeting not all the commissioners had determined which roads in their districts should be considered being classified public. Commissioner England also said he would like to set up criteria to determine which roads would be eligible and to make sure they can be maintained by the county.

Brenda Tuck, director of the EDA, said bids are going out for the road through the Linden Industrial Park with hopes work can start in June. Once completed to specifications, she will request the road be turned over to the county.

Tuck reported that the county is on a short list of sites for a new company that would bring in 54 jobs. Marengo is in competition with five other states and three other sites in Alabama. She hopes the county will make the next cut, which will be announced Wednesday, May 15.

The EDA will be going to every employer in the county this summer to conduct a survey to determine needs for expansion and retention, Tuck said.

She added that both public and private grant funds are being pursued to complete the inter-modal complex in Demopolis. She asked the commission to allow the EDA to draw money from the vehicle tag fee at the beginning of each month. Commission executive secretary Meredith Hammond said that $9,000 has been collected from the fee so far. The $5 fee from owners who are registering their vehicles goes toward funding the EDA. In other action, the commission approved:

·Tax abatement for Rock-Tenn Mill Company

· Hiring Cody Key and Cheree Travis in the Sheriff’s Department

· Resolutions honoring Marengo Academy for its junior varsity basketball and baseball teams and varsity softball team winning state championships.

· Reclassification of a County Engineer employee.