Commission imposes landfill fee, puts weight limits on county roads

The Blount County Commission in a long business meeting Monday requested the Blount County state legislative delegation to pass local legislation that would allow it to impose a landfill fee not to exceed $6 per ton. The fee would apply only to landfills that accept medical waste and/or household garbage.

Commission Chairman David Standridge commented that the fee would not apply to any existing landfill in the county. The landfill currently proposed by the town of County Line would accept medical waste and household garbage. Five dollars of the fee would be used exclusively for road improvements in the county; the remaining $1 would assist county volunteer fire departments.

“I’ve made it clear I opppose the landfill,” said District 4 Commissioner Waymon Pitts, who introduced the resolution, “but if they’re going to tear up our roads anyway, they should pay the cost of repairing them.”

The commission also passed a resolution allowing it to set weight limits on county roads that are more restrictive than those prescribed by the state. The resolution instructs the county engineer “to issue and manage the permit- and bond-process for the use of these roads.”

District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong, who introduced the resolution, said that specific weight limits on certain road segments will be set later as they are needed.

The commission also passed two motions related to a request by Circuit Judge Steven King. The first was to pay from county funds an annual salary supplement to the court reporter for the 41st Judicial District (Blount County Circuit Court). In making the motion to pay the $8350 this year, Pitts said he continues to oppose paying the amount as an unfunded annual mandate from the state, but is willing to pay it on a year-to-year basis as a result of the circuit judge’s request for accommodation each year. The motion passed by the commission was so worded.

In a related matter, King asked the commission to notify the Blount County legislative delegation of its position with respect to increasing costs in cases in Blount County district and circuit courts. According to a bill that could be introduced this session, court costs would be increased by $10 per case, the proceeds to go to the county law library fund for use in paying miscellaneous law-library and court-related expenses.

The delegation had asked any request made to them for a legislative bill be accompanied by a resolution or letter from the county commission explaining the commission’s stand on the matter. Pitts’s motion on the court cost increase indicated the commission does not oppose the increase since it does not require commission expenditures or otherwise negatively impact the county budget.

The bill would become law only if advertised for four consecutive weeks, then is passed by the Legislature, then is approved by a majority of the qualified electors of Blount County voting in a referendum in the next regularly scheduled state or local election to be held in the county. In other actions, the commission:

authorized the sheriff to manage all public and reserved parking area to assure appropriate use of parking space; action is taken as a result of inappropriate parking in county parking areas.

authorized commission to review and adopt the Blount County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, a five-year plan that identifies major natural hazards in Blount County and reviews and encourages activities among participating municipalities that are effective in mitigating them.

authorized commissioners to adjust the work schedule of their employees as needed.

authorized the engineering department to begin the process to abandon the end of Cherry Blossom Lane off Shipptown Road in District 1.

authorized administrator Ralph Mitchell to transfer funds from the Palisades Park Board donations fund to the contingent fund to cover lunch expenses for volunteers assisting with installation of new playground equipment. Authorized the following appointments:

Daryl Sherrell, Cindy Augustine, and Joy Speakman to the Mental Retardation/ Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) board.

Bob Sanford of District 1 to the 9-1-1 Board.

Charles David Wallace of District 2 to the Joppa/Hylaco Water Authority.

Tessa Hughes of District 4 to the Pine Bluff Water Authority Board.

Shelia Gilliland, Welton Carter, and Jimmy Trotter submitted to Gov. Bentley as candidates for the county Board of Equalization; governor will choose one of the three.

Dean Calvert to the Blount County- Oneonta Agribusiness Board to fill the unexpired term of Darryl Copeland. Equipment transactions and other items:

accepted bid of $16,975 from Jace Chandler & Associates (only bid received) and approved purchase of road reflector installation machine.

approved purchase of bucket truck from Thompson Motors for $12,000; districts will contribute $2500 apiece toward purchase with the final $2000 from the countywide maintenance budget.

approved purchase of Massey Ferguson six-cylinder tractor from the Alabama Department of Transportation for District 3 for $26,800.

approved tractor lease for District 4 from Snead Ag, provided lease amount does not greatly exceed last year’s cost; if it significantly exceeds, purchase of new tractor from the state bid is approved for up to $30,000, to be paid in October.

approved the transfer of $1296 from District 4 to District 1 for grader blades.

approved district attorney expenditures of $2421 from the worthless check 761 fund.

authorized administrator to move $6575 from fund 761 to fund 760 to accommodate district attorney request for correction.

approved family medical leave of absense for sheriff’s department employee.

approved District 2 contract with Roland McCoy for $5200 for concrete work. Approved the following budget amendments:

$20,000 for tax maintenance department to allow for federal grant for aerial photography.

$1430 from the general fund to allocate previously authorized funds to Hope House.

$5079 for District 1 scrap sales.

$3664 for District 2 scrap sales.

$23,788 for District 3 scrap sales.

$38,130 for sale of District 1 fixed assets.

$9021 for sale of District 2 fixed assets.

$14,322 for sale of District 3 fixed assets.

$3441 for sale of countywide fixed assets.

first quarter 2011 RRR adjustments. Engineering items

At the request of the county engineer, the commission:

authorized the administrator to issue invitations for bids for tar and gravel paving in District 2.

acknowledged removal of four county roads from the Alabama Department of Transportation annual inspection list: Reid Road in District 3; Susan Moore Road and Gilliland Road in Susan Moore of District 2; and Acton Bend Circle in District 1.

County attorney Jeff Sherrer reported that an answer cannot be given yet to Leisa Wolff’s request to use the Frank Green Building for evening meetings of the Alabama Campaign for Liberty political group.

He said in the process of researching the subject he had determined that additional organizational work is needed by the commission to meet security requirements for all county buildings. A comprehensive security plan must be developed for all buildings and a security committee appointed before a definitive meeting policy can be adopted, he said.

At the end of the regular business meeting, the commission voted to go into executive session to discuss pending litigation and adjourned for about 15 minutes. When it returned, county attorney Tom Prickett moved “to authorize the commission chairman to settle all sales tax claims pending as of this date.” The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioners attending the business meeting were District 1’s Allen Armstrong, District 2’s Andy Neill, District 3’s Dean Calvert, District 4’s Waymon Pitts, and Commission Chairman David Standridge.

The next commission work session is Thursday, May 5 at 9 a.m. in the commission board room at the courthouse. The next business meeting is there May 9 at 9 a.m.