PHOTO: Fort Payne City employee Tony ‘Buck’ Keef is challenging longtime District III County Commissioner Chris Kuykendall in the June 2018 Republican Primary. (Contributed Photo)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Tony ‘Buck’ Keef is challenging incumbent District III Commissioner Chris Kuykendall in the June 5th Republican Primary.
DeKalb County’s Commission District III covers Fort Payne, much of Lookout Mountain, and Collinsville.
Keef has worked for the City of Fort Payne for the last 7 years; currently serving as the building maintenance supervisor. Keef has also worked in construction most of his life and built houses as a general contractor. Currently, he also owns and operates a cattle farm in Portersville.
Buck also worked in sock industry for a little over 10 years; serving as the Co-Owner, Vice President, and Personnel Director for over 240 employees at Specialty Knitting in Fort Payne. He is a graduate of Plainview High School.
During his time as the building maintenance supervisor for Fort Payne, he has overseen projects such as the renovations of the Coal & Iron Building in downtown and building the stage at the Rotary Pavilion.
When it comes to what Keef would like to do at the county level, he related that the conditions of DeKalb County’s roads are a big concern of his.
“I’d like to develop a rating system of all the roads,” said Keef. “We need to determine our worst roads with the most traffic on them to prioritize our paving projects.”
“The conditions of our roads also affect the Sheriff’s Office Budget and the Council on Aging Budget. County vehicles traveling on rough roads need more in maintenance,” said Keef.
Keef also related that DeKalb County needs more revenue to conduct more paving projects.
“I think the legislature has a bill coming up next year to increase the gas tax or fuel tax. I don’t know if it will pass or not, but President Trump has an infrastructure bill he wanted to raise fuel tax 5 cents a year for the next four years. That would help us out tremendously,” explained Keef.
“The county is operating on about a $19 million dollar budget, and the fuel tax or gas tax is 18 cents in the State of Alabama, and that’s pretty much where they get their money from. Every cent is about $1 million dollars. And they have no other way to get revenue, besides when they sold the dumptrucks, and made $350,000.00 this year,” he said.
Keef also praised Director Tommy Broyles of the County Road Department for his efforts at selling the county’s dump trucks at Auction for a profit. He explained how by purchasing trucks on the state bid and properly maintaining them, the county is able to sell them for a profit each year and purchase new trucks.
“They have new trucks all the time, never have any maintenance, and they are always under warranty. Plus the revenue from selling these vehicles also help us have more money to pave roads. It’s a pretty sweet deal,” said Keef.
Keef is hosting a Meet and Greet at the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Fort Payne this Saturday, from 4 - 6 pm; right before the first Third Saturday Event of 2018. Light refreshments will be served.