Leadership DeKalb visits County Commission meeting (VIDEO)
February 14, 2017
Southern Torch (3399 articles)
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Leadership DeKalb visits County Commission meeting (VIDEO)

PHOTO: Leadership DeKalb’s 2017 Class at Tuesday’s DeKalb County Commission Meeting. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — After the acceptance of the minutes from the previous meeting, Commission President Ricky Harcrow acknowledged the 2017 Leadership DeKalb class which was in attendance for the ‘Local Government’ portion of the program.

“We are thankful that the DeKalb County Commission has had a part of this since it’s inception. We want to thank you for taking the time to come visit us. We appreciate you visiting with us today and your dedication to leadership in our county,” said Harcrow.

Watch the full video:

Leadership DeKalb takes select emerging leaders from the county and educates them on topics such as local and state government, agriculture/economic development, tourism, education, public safety, media, health and social services within the county.

According to Jason Harper, the program’s chairman, “Leadership DeKalb is vested in improving the lives of area citizens, moving the local economy forward and serving those in need. The commonality of DeKalb is anything but and our differences can serve to unite in the advancement of DeKalb. Pressing for and expecting excellence in all we do is an attainable goal, not a hope or ‘maybe one day’ dream.”

Leadership DeKalb 2018 attended the commission meeting as part of their, “Local Government” Day. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

The commission then presented educators with a proclamation recognizing the Career and Technology programs within the county.

“Our tech schools in the county are very important, they play a vital role in the eduction of our children. I would encourage all of you if you are not aware of what they do, it would be a great experience for you to go through and see exactly the progress that they have made,” said Harcrow.

Educators representing the County’s Technology programs were acknowledged with a proclamation. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Representatives from the DeKalb County Board of Education’s Technical School and the Fort Payne City Schools were on hand to receive the proclamation.

Jonathan Langley, Chief Administrator for the DeKalb County Jail, received recognition from the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) for completing a training course.

Chief Jail Administrator Jonathan Langley received recognition from the ACCA. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

“We thank you for your dedication to your job, law enforcement, and helping us during the times that we live in,” Harcrow said.

Tom Broyles provided an update from the road department. Broyles reported all the new dump trucks and road tractors were operational. The department is in the process of cleaning up the old equipment and getting it to the auction. The county had received four of the new bush hog tractors and three of the new bat-wing bush hogs, with the fourth bush hog expected to be delivered today or tomorrow.

Broyles asked the county to accept the resignations of Dale Faraday and David Pack from the department. He then asked for permission to post two positions to be filled at the next meeting. The commission approved.

District III Commissioner Chris Kuykendall then addressed the commission on road repair in his district: “We spend a great deal of time and don’t have a lot of money to be able to repair our roads. Over the last several years, I’ve saved back a considerable amount of money, I’ve fought considerably to actually be able to do some paving and resurfacing of existing roads in District III. We have many miles of roads in that district that are beyond repair. Those funds will be diverted this year to basically reclaim as many miles of road as we can. We’ll be paving those roads up and installing dense grade blue gravel to try and make the roads safer.”

“It reinforces our need for additional funds,” Kuykendall said. “It’s a shame when we have to plough up paved roads to make these roads safer and better than they are for our constituents.”

County engineer Ben Luther updated the commission on the widening and resurfacing of County Road 255. The road runs from Adamsburg to State Road 176 on the Canyon Rim. The bids have been submitted and Good Hope Contracting sent the low-bid at $487,159.38 for the construction, bringing the total cost to $511,517.35.

80 percent of the price is being footed by the federal government, while the county is responsible for the remaining 20 percent. This leaves DeKalb County paying $102,303.47 (about $100,000 cheaper than the original estimate) and the U.S. Government paying $409,218.88.

Luther also recommended that they hire Trey Wallace as the new Assistant Engineer on a six month probationary period. The commission authorized Luther to post the position back in September. As Harcrow pointed out, the state pays 50 percent of the position’s salary. The hire was approved.

County EMA Director Anthony Clifton asked the commission to adopt the 2016 Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and the new recovery plan. The EMA is updating it to be a comprehensive emergency management plan, which will include Threat Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (THIRA), recovery, and emergency operations in one plan. The plan was adopted by the commission.

Clifton also mentioned a recent study conducted on Hazardous Materials being transported through DeKalb County; giving a monthly average for the amount moved through the county. The study was paid for by a grant from the Department of Transportation. The results of the study were discussed in the recent EPCRA a meeting, which can be viewed here.

Michael Edmondson brought forward personnel changes at the sheriff’s office. He asked to accepted Riley Schrader’s resignation and hire Michael Gibson as a corrections officer (CO) to replace him and hire James Shaver as a CO to replace Taylor Johnson who also resigned. Edmondson also asked to hire Seth Bryant as a CO to replace Seth Cagle who transferred to a deputy position, and promote Tracy Hamilton from CO to Correctional Sergeant to replace Johnson. The sheriff’s office also sought transfer of William Formby from Corrections Sergeant to Transport Officer, to replace Cagle’s position. William Clay Monroe was also transferring from CO to Correctional Sergeant to replace Formby’s position. Pay rates were also asked to be changed to reflect the transfers and promotions.

Harcrow confirmed that, “the changes are revenue neutral,” and the personnel changes were approved.

Edmondson also reported the main control for the air conditioning system went out about a week ago at the County Jail. According to maintenance personnel, the computer system is obsolete and will be completely out in a week or two. Replacing the system will reportedly cost $25,350.00.

County Administrator Matt Sharp discussed combining the maintenance project with a similar problem at the county courthouse.

“If we can get both of them together and get both at the same time we might get a better price,” Sharp said.

Harcrow made a motion to proceed in, “the quickest way we can under the bid process.” The motion passed.

The commission then moved to reappoint two members to the County Parks and Recreation Board; the motion passed.

The commission then approved a resolution for the Arony Fire Protection Board. Mr. Harcrow noted there was an error in the original resolution defining the terms of board members. The new resolution rectifies those problems, and passed unanimously. Commissioner Scot Westbrook then moved to reappoint Darryl Ross, Edwin Cash, and Mark Cotton to the aforementioned board, with the motion passing.

This concluded the meeting. The next meeting of the DeKalb County Commission will be held on Tuesday, February 28th at 10:00 am in the DeKalb County Activities Building.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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