Marengo County Commission approves $20M budget in Tuesday meeting

Phillip Spence, right, post surgeon for the Marengo County unit of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, accepts a resolution from Commission Chairman John Crawford Jr., passed by the Commission to proclaim Sept. 15 as POW/MIA Recognition Day. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Marengo County will operate with $20,118,622.52 for the next fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 after the County Commission voted to adopt the budget Tuesday. Estimated expenses for the year are expected to be $17,369,274.28.

That will leave a difference of restricted funds of $2,749,348.24.

The Commission made it possible for Demopolis voters will have a chance to approve a 3 mil tax renewal for Demopolis schools by putting the issue on the December ballot.

Demopolis City Schools Supt. Kyle Kallhoff said the tax is renewed every 10 years and brings in some $225,000 per year to the school system.  He said the funds in the past have been used for nurses, transportation and School Resource officers.

Only ballots in Demopolis will have the tax issue.

Phillip Spence, post surgeon for the Marengo County unit of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, accepted a resolution passed by the Commission to proclaim Sept. 15 as POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The resolution “honors the commitments and the sacrifices made by our nation’s prisons of war and those who are still missing in action.

County Engineer Ken Atkins presented bids on road repair materials. Commissioners approved the lowest bidder for each item with the stipulation that the bids meet specifications.

Also approved at the meeting was a contract with the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center. The contract, renewed annually, guarantees one bed per day.

Juvenile Probation Officer Darren Glass said if the county uses more than 365 days, it will be charged $60 per bed per day.

Commissioner Jason Windham forwarded a request from the Demopolis Industrial Development Board for a contribution toward the ribbon-cutting for Two Rivers Lumber Company, now set for Oct. 19.

Windham said the Marengo County Economic Development Authority and the IDB also are helping to pay for the event.

The Commission voted to contribute $1,000, but the money was made as a budget amendment to MCEDA, since the county cannot directly give to the company.

Probate Judge Laurie Hall told commissioners that the primary election went well, with only one complaint about moving a polling place.

Commissioner Freddie Armstead thanked all of Marengo County for the effort to help Hurricane Harvey victims. He said the Demopolis Fire Department especially went above and beyond to man the trailers that held the items that were donated.

In other action, the Commission approved:

  • Leaving the Tobacco Tax CD at Sweet Water State Bank.
  • The Grand Jury Report.
  • The first step in declaring Peace Lane a public road.
  • A consultant for work on Sparks Road.

VFW, Bryan Whitfield Hospital hosting Veterans Day Ceremony

Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital will host a Veterans Day Flag Ceremony, performed by the local VFW chapter, on Friday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the hospital’s front courtyard. The public is invited to attend.

Commission approves budget, views new Bookmobile

Marengo County Librarian Joyce Morgan with the county's new Bookmobile at the Marengo County Commission meeting in LInden on Tuesday, Sept. 13. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Marengo County Librarian Joyce Morgan with the county’s new Bookmobile at the Marengo County Commission meeting in LInden on Tuesday, Sept. 13. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Marengo County Commissioners took care of routine business matters quickly Tuesday before taking a short break to admire the new Bookmobile.

Librarian Joyce Morgan proudly showed off the van that is gaily wrapped in a colorful mural featuring a bookworm. “We’ve had so many comments off this,” she told commissioners.

In one route last week Morgan said she saw 25 people, 20 of whom checked out a total of 148 books. Commissioner Freddie Armstead joked that Marengo County may be the first one in the state that has home delivery.

As she thanked the commissioners for the funding, Morgan said that so many counties in the state don’t have the support of their commission like Marengo County has.

The budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 was approved. The county estimates revenue of $16,814,308.27 and expenditures of $13,111,971.25. The remaining $3,702,337.02 will be restricted funds.

Marengo County Commission Chairman Dan England, left, presents a proclamation to Phillip Spence and Lee Belcher. Spence and Belcher represented the Marengo Memorial VFW Post 5377. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Marengo County Commission Chairman Dan England, left, presents a proclamation to Phillip Spence and Lee Belcher. Spence and Belcher represented the Marengo Memorial VFW Post 5377. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

The Commission voted to vacate two roads in an undeveloped subdivision off County Roads 19 and 21. The roads never were built, and all adjacent property owners have agreed to the vacation.

Probate Judge Laurie Hall received the okay to temporarily relocate the voting site in Myrtlewood from the town’s center to the United Methodist Church. The move is necessary while repairs are being made to the center to fix water damage.

Commission Chairman Dan England read a proclamation recognizing Friday, Sept. 16, as POW/MIA Recognition Day by the VFW. Phillip Spence and Lee Belcher accepted the proclamation.

Belcher told the commission that two men perished during the Pearl Harbor attack 75 years ago. Norman Bragg Woolf went down with the USS Arizona. The second, Walter Henry Sollie, was on board the USS Oklahoma. More than 400 bodies recovered from the ship could not be identified until modern forensic methods were used on the remains. As a result, Sollie was positively identified.

Marengo Memorial VFW Post 5377 is working with distant family members to determine final internment or disposition of Sollie’s body.

In other action the commission voted unanimously to:

  • Accept the lowest bids on clay, liquid asphalt, corrugated metal, aluminized and plastic pipe, fuel and stone.
  • Tobacco Tax & EMA CD rate of .75 for six months with Sweet Water State Bank.
  • Accept the Grand Jury Report.
  • Approve the Alabama Department of Youth Services contract.
  • Approve the 2017 Grant Procedure and Agreement for Service for the Elderly.

VFW Post 5377 to hold April meeting at BWWMH

VFW Post 5377 will hold its April meeting on April 14 at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room of Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital, Post Surgeon Phillip Spence has announced.
“Greetings to all VFW members and those who are eligible for membership in one of this nation’s oldest veterans organizations,” Spence said. “We are sincerely looking forward to seeing you all at our April meeting, and be sure to invite a friend who is not a member to come and join in with us.”

VFW bestows honors on student, fireman

VFW Post 5377 held its annual community awards ceremony at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Casey Roberts with Post Commander Billy Drake

Casey Roberts with Post Commander Billy Drake

This year, Demopolis Fireman Colby Martin was recognized as the post’s Firefighter of the Year. He was awarded a check for $50 and a certificate signed by Post Commander Billy Drake.

In addition Casey T. Roberts, a junior from Demopolis High School, was presented an award for the VFW Scholarship program, known as the Voice Of Democracy.  Casey won first place at the local post level and third place in VFW District 6. Roberts was awarded two certificates, one from each command, and two $50 checks, one from each command level.

Colby Martin, right, with Drake and Fire Chief Tommy Tate

Colby Martin, right, with Drake and Fire Chief Tommy Tate

“We are extremely pleased to be able to recognize each of these young people for their service to the community, their hard work and their patriotism,” said Post Surgeon Phillip Spence. “We were honored to have in attendance with us that evening Colby’s grandmother, his mom and dad and girlfriend as well as his Chief Tommy Tate, Lt. Michael Pope and Lt. Justin King representing the Demopolis Fire Department. And representing Casey that evening were his grandparents Mr. and Mrs Roe Tucker and Mrs. Leslie May, Demopolis High School Guidance Counselor.”

VFW Post 5377 to meet Feb. 10, will make special presentations

VFW Post Surgeon Phillip Spence sends greetings to all VFW members and those who are eligible for membership in one of this nation’s oldest veterans organizations.

“This announcement is to inform you of the next scheduled meeting of VFW Post 5377, on Feb. 10, starting  at 6 p.m.,” Spence said. “We will be meeting in the Conference Room at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital in Demopolis. On the same night following our regular meeting, we will be opening the meeting up at 7 p.m. to acknowledge the Firefighter of the Year and recognizing one of Demopolis High School’s bright young people with a scholarship award for the Voice of Democracy competition.”

Spence added, “We would love to have a great turnout, especially to honor those who are going to be recognized for their hard work, devotion and patriotism.  This would be a great opportunity to invite a veteran who is currently not a member to come and join with us for an evening of recognition.  We are sincerely looking forward to seeing you all there as we begin a new year growing VFW Post 5377.” 

VFW Post 5377 plans Christmas party Dec. 9

VFW Post 5377 Surgeon Phillip Spence sends greetings to all VFW members and those who are eligible for membership in one of this nation’s oldest veterans organizations.

Spence has announced that the post’s next scheduled meeting will be its Christmas party on Dec. 9, starting  at 6 p.m.

“We will be meeting at the Red Barn Restaurant in Demopolis and we will be having our annual Christmas Party at that time,” said Spence. “This is a dutch treat event, so please bring your spouse or friend with you.  Also, this would be a great opportunity to invite a veteran who is currently not a member to come and join with us for a night of festivities.

“We are sincerely looking forward to seeing you all, and Merry Christmas,” Spence added.

VFW Post 5377 to hold October meeting

VFW Post 5377 Surgeon Phillip Spence sends greetings to all VFW members and those who are eligible for membership in one of this nation’s oldest veterans organizations.

“This announcement is to notify you of the next scheduled meeting, on Oct. 14th at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital,” said Spence. “We sincerely hope that you will come and join with us in our new meeting location. We’re really looking forward to seeing you all. Don’t forget to bring a friend and come and join us.”

VFW Post 5377 to host golf tournament Sept. 27

VFW Post 5377 will sponsor its annual golf tournament September 27 at the Ravine Golf Course, located at the Demopolis Sportsplex. The tournament is a two-man scramble and the cost of participating is $60 per person, which includes the cost of golf cart and refreshments.
golf1
Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and tee time will be at 8:30. Prizes are: First place, $300.00; Second place, $200.00 and third place, $100.00.
“We also really need sponsors that will sponsor between one and 18 holes,” said Post Surgeon Phillip Spence.
“Remember all proceeds go to support Veterans of Foreign Wars,” he continued. “Freedom isn’t free, sooner or later someone has to pay the price. We are really looking forward to seeing you all. Don’t forget to bring a friend and come and join us for a day of fun, fellowship and supporting a great cause.”

VFW Post 5377’s September meeting in new location

VFW Post 5377 Surgeon  Phillip Spence sends greetings to all VFW members and those who are eligible for membership in one of this nation’s oldest veterans organizations.

“This announcement is to notify you of the next scheduled meeting, on Sept. 9th at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital,” noted Spence.  “We sincerely hope that you will come and join with us in our new meeting location. We’re really looking forward to seeing you all. Don’t forget to bring a friend and come and join us.”