Commission to apply for state ATRIP funds for county roads, CDBG grant for Sugarland area

The Blount County Commission in its Monday business meeting approved applying for Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) funds to improve designated county roads. The ATRIP program was announced last month by Gov. Robert Bentley to improve local transportation infrastructure with a $200 – $300 million statewide program created through federal Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE) funds.

Specific roads to be included have not been chosen yet, but Commission Chairman David Standridge said that efforts should be made to assemble required information so as to include as many qualifying roads as possible before the approaching application deadline of March 30. The program requires a 20- percent county match of funds awarded.

In a separate effort, the county is applying for a grant of $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to renovate deteriorating roads in the Sugarland Lake area. Funds are restricted to use in areas designated “low to moderate income” areas. The grant also requires 20 percent in county matching funds.

The commission discussed a change in days of operation at the Blount County Landfill and Recycling Center. Based on demand and utilization by citizens, days of operation could be changed to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong said the change is under consideration, but no effective date is currently planned. The commission also authorized creation of a part-time position at the landfill which will be shared with District 1 road crew work. The position will be paid from existing budgets.

The commission proclaimed May 11 and 12 as Relay for Life Days in Blount County, urging citizens to participate in the anti-cancer fundraising campaign and honoring those who are still battling or have lost their lives to cancer.

The commission nominated and approved Danny Riggs for membership to the Blount County Health Care Authority, place 6.

It also distributed funds from FEMA to the following eight county fire departments for activities relating to the storms of April 2011: Ricetown, Mt. High, Royal, Summit, Brooksville, Straight Mountain, Cleveland, and Rosa.

Among budget amendments, one stood out: a $57,257 award from the Alabama Department of Transportion (ALDOT) to the Blount County transportation fund to be applied to operational costs of the Blount County Public Transit bus system. No matching funds are required.

In other actions the commission:

•authorized the county administrator to sign an agreement with Southern Linc for installing a communications antenna at Bryant Mountain.

•approved reclassifying a county housekeeping job from grade 3 step 1 to grade 4 step 1 to correct an administrative error and place all part-time housekeeping employees at the same grade and step.

•authorized the creation of one fulltime and one part-time position in the maintenance department, to be paid from the current budget; also authorized the continued employment of a temporary employee beyond one year because of failure as yet to settle a workman’s compensation employee issue.

•approved transfer of a Ford F-150 pickup truck and a two-way radio from District 3 to the maintenance department.

•designated the following pieces of District 3 equipment as surplus and authorized the administrator to sell: knuckle boom loader, 1989 Ford LN 800 truck, 1987 Eagle 10-x-44 office trailer, a desk, and a pressure washer.

Budget amendments

•$856.13 to District 1 from Hayden for reimbursement for fuel pump repairs at Hayden Fuelman site.

•$1,326.48 to District 4 for routine potholing road repairs in Locust Fork.

•$8,942.74 to District 1 for FEMA reimbursement.

•$26,919.53 to District 2 for FEMA reimbursement.

•$7,796.50 to District 3 for FEMA reimbursement.

•$1,066.35 to District 4 for FEMA reimbursement.

•$3,252.46 to the Sheriff’s Department for FEMA reimbursement.

•$1,656.70 to the Emergency Management Agency for FEMA reimbursement.

•$2,009.28 to commission office for FEMA reimbursement.

•$1,481.20 to District 3 for sale of scrap metal.

Engineering items

At the recommendation of assistant engineer Glenn Peek, the commission:

•established a maximum speed limit of 25 mph on Panoramic Circle in District 1.

•established a maximum speed limit o 35 mph on Boat Landing Road in District 3, with a section approaching the lake posted at 25 mph, and an advisory curve speed limit of 30 mph.

•authorized a speed study on old Ala 75 at Armistead in District 3.

•authorized making a three-way stop at the intersection of Pine Mountain Road and Tyler Road in District 4.

•accepted Allison Drive in Easley Estates as a county road, subject to the developer’s submitting payment in the amount of $18,575.08 for asphalt paving of the road.

•authorized the engineering office to request quotes and hire a licensed land surveyor to do needed survey work in connection with the closing of a short section of Cannons Crossing in District 1.

All members of the commission were present at the business meeting: 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 scheduled work session is Thursday, April 5, at 9 a.m. The next business meeting is Monday, April 9, at 9 a.m. Both meetings will be in the commission boardroom at the courthouse.