Monday commission meeting will deal with economic development, ownership of U.S. 231 river bridge

For those interested in the upcoming commission business meeting Monday, the following significant matters will be addressed.

• The commission will discuss and possibly take the first official steps toward creating a Blount County economic development council. Action could take the form of passing a resolution sanctioning the effort to establish the agency, and providing a supporting advisory draft of articles of incorporation for the agency. The draft would specify the council’s purposes, powers, method of selection of directors, and other operational matters. Once established, the agency would operate independently of the commission.

•The commission will consider options for taking ownership of the U.S.231/Ala 79 Locust Fork River bridge north of Cleveland. The recommendation from the administrator is to take ownership of the bridge, assuming liability for it in exchange for a credit of $658,100 from the state of Alabama, which could be applied to the county’s required match for ten Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) projects over the next three years.

•The commission will consider adopting a recommended 2014 Blount County holiday schedule for county employees. The plan mirrors the official holiday schedule for state employees, except that it allows employees to choose to work four designated state holidays, taking alternate days instead as personal vacation days, with the approval of their department head. The “optional” holidays are President’s Day (Feb. 17), Confederate Memorial Day (April 28), Jefferson Davis’s Birthday ( June 2), and Columbus Day (Oct. 13) next year.

•Action on the Pay Plan Study of county jobs and compensation will be postponed until a later meeting in order to allow time for commission staff to further research the recommendation to be made. A recommendation on a policy for dealing with requests for building school bus turnarounds and associated right-of-way issues was also postponed until a later meeting.

•Board appointments to the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization and to Hope House will be made.

•The commission will also entertain and handle other routine items.

The meeting will be held Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. in the commission boardroom at the courthouse.