England takes over County Commission as chairman

County Commissioner Dan England made clear his priority for the year as he accepted the gavel from outgoing Marengo County Commission chairman Freddie Armstead on Tuesday.

England wants to set up a media center in the commission’s meeting room to facilitate presentations and access of information.

Commissioners opted to do further study on the need for a media center and the cost since England’s proposal was the first time three of them had heard of it.

The commission also will study whether the county should continue the Safety Incentive Discount Program Training, sponsored by the Alabama County Commission Association (ACCA).

Under the program the county is reimbursed a percentage of its liability premium for having certain safety-centered departments meeting training requirements set by the ACCA.

Kevin McKinney, EMA director, said the county had 100-percent compliance the first two years and was reimbursed the maximum of $4,919.10 each year. This last year one segment fell short because of a misinterpretation of requirements, and the county received only $1,204.46, not enough to cover the cost of the training.

Commissioner John Crawford said the county needs to be completely committed or opt out of the program.

McKinney said training videos are available for free to the departments. Sheriff Richard Bates added that his deputies take part in safety training three times a year.

Ken Atkins, county engineer, said the requirement is one way for the ACCA to make sure the training classes it offers are full.

In other action, the commission approved:

  • Hiring Terry Hinton Jr. to the sheriff’s staff.
  • The Title VI anti-discrimination plan.
  • Temporary employment of Randy Sanders by Probate Judge Laurie Hall during elections.
  • The appointment of Charlotte Hinson to the Marengo County Economic Development Authority Board from District 5, subject to her acceptance.
  • Promotion of Cheree Travis as chief deputy
  • The bid of $7,105.43 by The Demopolis Times for publishing the Marengo County voters list.