The Blount County Commission passed a resolution to create a Blount County Public Building Authority and appointed its first slate of three directors – all registered voters and property owners in the county – to staggered terms to oversee its operations. Appointed were Randy Nelson (two years), Wendell Ellis (four years), and James Carr (six years). The initial mission of the authority is to oversee and coordinate financing with the state for construction of a new building to serve as the headquarters for the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) county operations. The Authority could also serve as the official agency to oversee other similar public works projects, although no others are envisioned at this time.
The commission also considered two bids, one a $470,726 rebid for concluding detail work on the Highway 231 bridge scenic overlook project, which it accepted; and one for more than $2.5 million for comprehensive replacement/renovation of courthouse infrastructure systems – water, electric, power, and heating/air conditioning/ventilation – that it rejected, after agreeing in previous discussion to rebid the project after streamlining the scope of work involved. County Engineer Dustin Stewart played an important role in the successful rebid of the scenic overlook project by recasting the specifications to eliminate duplication and other unnecessary work.
The commission also voted to accept the recommendations of County Administrator John Bullard for office supplies and services, and Stewart’s detailed recommendations for paving materials and components, metal and plastic pipe, striping, and contracted road work. Items and bid winners are summarized below.
Office supplies, etc.
Janitorial supplies: purchasing cooperatives for various items, as designated by
Office supplies: Blount Office Supplies
Copy/computer paper: One Source office
Oil change for county vehicles: Jeff’s
Muffler & Oil Change
Paving and road materials
Emulsified asphalt: Ergon Asphalt and
Slurry seal: Whitaker Contracting
Bituminous surface treatment (chip
seal): Charles E. Watts Inc.
Metal pipe, delivered or picked up at
supplier: Fallin Farms/Harvey Culvert
Plastic pipe: Bear Concrete Products Inc.
(primary); Fallin Farms/Harvey Culvert
Plant mix (hot mix): District 1 – Mid-
South Paving (primary); Whitaker
Contracting (secondary); Districts 2, 3,
and 4 – Whitaker Contracting (primary);
Mid-South Paving (secondary)
Plant mix (cold mix with slag), delivered or picked up at supplier: Mid-South
Plant mix (cold mix with stone), hauled
by county: Advanced Asphalt Products
(primary); Whitaker Contracting and C.
A. Langford Co. (secondary)
Plant mix (cold mix with stone), delivered to district shops: Advanced Asphalt
Products (primary); C. A. Langford Co.
and Whitaker Contracting (secondary)
Paving aggregate (washed stone): District 1 – Madison Materials (primary);
Blount Springs (secondary); District
2 – Madison Materials (primary); C.
A. Langford Co. (secondary); District
3 – Blount Springs (primary); Madison
Materials (secondary); District 4 – Madison Materials (primary); Blount Springs
Paving aggregate (washed stone) with
slag: Vulcan Materials
Aggregate (general purpose): District
1 – Madison Materials (primary); Blount
Springs and C. A. Langford Co. (secondary); District 2 – Madison Materials
(primary); C. A. Langford and Blount
Springs (secondary); District 3 – Blount
Springs (primary); Madison Materials
(secondary); District 4: Madison Materials (primary); Blount Springs and C. A.
Aggregate (general purpose with slag):
Sandstone: Alabama Wholesale Stone
Striping: Ozark Striping Co.
Full-depth reclamation with cement:
Kimes and Stone
Hot-in-place recycling asphalt: Gallagher
In other actions, the commission:
• tabled until the October business meeting a proposal from the Blount County Jail for a countywide inmate trash pickup program; the program requires an annual commitment of $5,000 per district for supervision and management, and the commission wished to weigh the benefits of the program in light of other funding needs during the upcoming fiscal year 2019 budget process.
• passed a required resolution adopting procurement procedures stipulated for Federal Transit Administration-funded purchases relating to the continuing operation of Blount County Public Transportation.
• passed a resolution endorsing and re-affirming the commission’s support of the Blount County Historical Society and Blount County Memorial Museum in light of public educational services offered by both, especially considering the state’s bicentennial, currently being celebrated.
• approved $2,035 toward updating and reprinting the Heritage of Blount County history book, to be paid from Fund 123 (tourism).
• approved three-way agreements among the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging (M4A), the host municipalities for senior centers, and Blount County for senior centers’ continued support and funding, at a cost to the county of $35,000.
• authorized transfer of $25,000 from the special inmate medical fund to the sheriff’s department fuel account to offset a shortfall in that budget for the remainder of this fiscal year.
• authorized an additional funding allocation to District 2 to complete spot patching on roads in the district and to District 3 to complete its 2018 announced paving schedule.
• approved reimbursing District 2 out of fund 100 one half of the cost ($28,768) of repairing flood damage to the banks supporting county road 47 bridge across Mulberry Fork between Blount and Cullman counties; when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement of $57,535 is received later in the year, half of it will be used to repay fund 100 and the remaining half will be forwarded to District 2.
• voted to accept a proposal from Madison County to purchase the County Line package wastewater treatment facility for $5,000; no other county entities expressed interest in the plant.
• approved purchase of two Caterpillar 12M3 motorgraders at a cost of $257,449 each – one for District 2 and one for District 3 – to be paid with funds “loaned” from the county fund 200 fiscal year 2019 budget; funds to be repaid in both cases over the course of the commissioners’ remaining term of office, supplemented in both cases by repayment to fund 200 from the proceeds of sale at auction of both districts’ existing motorgraders.
• approved sheriff’s department request to surplus two wrecked Chevrolet Tahoes and to sell by the best legal means possible.
• voted to designate three qualified assistants to the Blount County Coroner – two who have served as deputies for several years under the previous coroner and one new appointee recommended by newly sworn Coroner Lynn Sweatman– as Blount County deputy coroners as provided by state law; accordingly, existing deputies Robert Sweatman and Ron Pasnell and new appointee Michael Hart will be official deputy coroners when the probate paperwork identifying them as such is complete.
Quorum and future meetings
A quorum was present at the business meeting, as all four commissioners attended. Commissioners Allen Armstrong, Mike Painter, Dean Calvert, and Nick Washburn were present, as well as Commission Chairman Chris Green and administrative, engineering, and legal representatives.
The next scheduled work session is set for Thursday, Sept. 6, at 9 a.m. The next scheduled business meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 10, at 9 a.m. Both are in the commission boardroom at the courthouse in Oneonta.
Budget planning meetings have been announced in which commissioners will develop the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget. They are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 16, and Thursday, Aug. 30, both at 9 a.m. The budget meeting Thursday, Sept. 6, will follow the 9 a.m. commission work session. A meeting is also set for Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. A final meeting, if needed, will be Thursday, Sept. 20, TBD.