Commission recognizes retiring employees, approves landfill application, other matters

Blount County Commission

Two District 1 road department members receive retirement certificates of appreciation for their years of dedicated service to the citizens of the county. From left, commission chairman Chris Green, Lonnie Dale Thompson (16 years), District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong, John Johnson (11 years), District 2 Commissioner Mike Painter.

Two District 1 road department members receive retirement certificates of appreciation for their years of dedicated service to the citizens of the county. From left, commission chairman Chris Green, Lonnie Dale Thompson (16 years), District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong, John Johnson (11 years), District 2 Commissioner Mike Painter.

The Blount County Commission approved Monday the expansion application of B&B Tire Landfill, following a public hearing on the matter as the first order of business. No comments in favor of or opposed to B&B’s application were made in the hearing. The commission was notified by county attorney Jeff Sherrer that the Blount County Solid Waste Authority approved the application by a unanimous 4-0 vote. The application specifies an expansion of operations at B&B’s existing location off County Highway 9 in West Blount.

The commission recognized five sheriff’s department employees – Capt. Ron Adkins, Lt. Jeremy Rudy, Sgt. Derrick Moody, Kathy Irvin, and Sgt. Anthony Economes – for advanced training achievements. Adkins and Irvin received National Certified Corrections Executive awards; Rudy received the National Certified Corrections Supervisor award; Moody and Economes completed all four of the Alabama Jail Training Academy’s jail management courses.

The commission adopted a resolution recognizing the Freedom Bridge as a memorial to all veterans. It was inspired by the sacrifice of Blount County native and U.S. Air Force Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2015.

The bridge, located at the intersection of Jones Chapel Road and County Highway 27, was renamed Freedom Bridge and designed as a county landmark. It was built in record time by the District 3 road crew, with the help of Whitaker Contracting and Tremendous Stone, to create a monument worthy of veterans.

A dedication ceremony will be held Monday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. Gov. Kay Ivey and other dignitaries will attend and the Appalachian High School Band will play. The public is invited.

The commission adopted a resolution committing to the county’s participation in the Association of County Commissions of Alabama’s general liability fund through Dec. 31, 2023. That qualifies the county for a longevity bonus worth approximately $15,000.

In other actions, the commission:

• approved a request by Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon to donate a 2009 Explorer to West Blount Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

• awarded the bid for a 2019 Chevrolet Traverse to Terry Sligh Chevrolet for $26,697.

• transferred a Hyster forklift from county-wide inventory to District 3.

• appointed John Kates to fill the unexpired Blount County Water Authority term of Don Graves, who is retiring after 26 years of serving the water needs of Blount County.

• approved purchase of a truck by District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong.

• declared surplus two transportation buses, contingent on ALDOT approval.

• received updates on metal detectors ordered for courthouse and Family Services Center security (both installed and in use); and Family Services Center access doors (door frames replaced, door and lock installation scheduled to be complete March 1).

Engineering matters

County engineer Dustin Stewart updated commissioners on receipt of a $250,000 grant for a repaving project in District 2. The project will include Williams Settlement Road, Royal-Liberty Road, and portions of Nolan Loop Road, County Highway 30, and County Highway 38. Work on the project is scheduled for completion this year.

Stewart also recommended adopting two bridge-related resolutions: one concerning installation of guardrails and end anchors for bridges on high-risk rural (HRR) roads including County Highways 51, 29, and 33; and one concerning an agreement with ALDOT to replace a bridge over CSX railroad on Deans Ferry Road. Bids will be taken on the project Feb. 28. The commission adopted both resolutions.

In addition, Stewart requested authorization to re-bid the annual guardrail bid, due to changing stipulations and requirements. The commission approved the request.

Executive session

The commission recessed briefly to go into executive session to discuss security and litigation issues. When it returned, it voted to grant county attorneys authorization to pursue legal action, following failed attempts to reach a settlement, against a contractor who had damaged Center Springs Road.

Quorum and future meetings

Allen Armstrong, Mike Painter, Dean Calvert, and Chris Green were present at the business meeting. Nick Washburn was absent.

The next commission work session is Thursday, March 5, at 9 a.m. The next commission business meeting is Monday, March 9, at 9 a.m. Both are in the commission board room at the courthouse in Oneonta.