County commission passes $12.5 million budget



Melissa Ann Morrison of the CDC in Atlanta addresses the Marengo County Commission.

The Marengo County Commission passed a budget of $12, 554,528.38 Tuesday morning at the end of a long list of motions covering county projects.

The budget expects revenue of $15,371,455.10, leaving a surplus of $2,816,924.72.

Starting off the meeting, Melissa Ann Morrison, an epidemiologist with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, presented the results of a federally funded disaster preparedness survey of Marengo County, dubbed CASPER, conducted in April.

The Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response was a collaboration with the Marengo County Health Department and the county EMA, said Morrison. Two-man teams conducted surveys of county residents to determine the needs before, during and after a disaster.

At the conclusion of her talk, Morrison brought the commissioners up to date on the internal plans of the CDC in response to the ebola virus threat, how it is working closely with all states, setting up response teams and reaching out to partners to prepare for a possible the United States.

A contingent of residents from District 2 asked the commission for help in maintaining or paving roads.

The commissioners directed county engineer Ken Atkins to inspect Nolana Drive, and they said Bunchfill Road is on the long-term list of roads to be paved. Ruth Avenue, however, is a private road. The county by law cannot do any work on it.

The commission unanimously approved the lowest bidder for supplies needed by the county road department, subject to Atkins’ review.

Winning bidders were Harvey Culvert for metal, aluminized and plastic pipe; Hunt Refining for liquid asphalt; Mid-South Paving, aggregate; Pruett Gas, for gasoline; Paul Bradford for gravel.

In other action, the commission:

  • Accepted the Grand Jury report.
  • Gave permission to John Bell, Solid Waste Management officer, to send out proposals for a solid waste management plan.
  • Heard commission chairman Michael Thompson urge members to promote the Coastal Prescription Cards. The plastic cards can help customers save money on drugs not covered by insurance or if they don’t have any insurance at all.
  • Heard the latest information from Kevin McKinney, EMA director, on shelters being proposed and built throughout the county.
  • Was informed that the November meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 12, because of the Veterans’ Day holiday.