VIDEO: County Commission passes resolution to move Kilpatrick voting location
January 9, 2018
Southern Torch (3399 articles)
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VIDEO: County Commission passes resolution to move Kilpatrick voting location

PHOTO: County Commission President Ricky Harcrow discusses changing a polling location in Kilpatrick at 2018’s first meeting of the DeKalb County Commission. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor 

tyler@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Video at the Bottom) In today’s meeting (Tuesday, January 9th) of the DeKalb County Commission, the commission passed a resolution to move the polling location in Kilpatrick.

County Commission President Ricky Harcrow said, “Sometime ago, the fire departments and others around the Kilpatrick area have requested that we move the voting location from the fire department. There has been a relocation done, a building has been provided, and it meets all the specifications, as far as I know.”

“Mr. Sharp will explain all the legal ramifications. It’s not what it once was, the process to change a voting location, but we have to go through some avenues to make it acceptable,” said Harcrow.

DeKalb County Administrator Matt Sharp then explained that changing a polling location once required approval by the U.S. Justice Department, but now the process has become simpler.

“Now, all it takes is a resolution by the commission, and approving that,” said Sharp. “We would notify the board of registrars, and they will notify any of those voters in that location that the change has been made.” He also explained that he had contacted the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office to verify that a resolution was all that was needed for the change.

“The first step would be the commission adopting a resolution, moving it from the current location, to the community center,” explained Sharp.

The commission then approved the resolution, moving the Kilpatrick polling location from the Fire Department to the Community Center, which is, “less than a minutes drive” from the old location, according to Sharp.

At the end of the meeting, DeKalb County EMA Deputy Director Michael Posey addressed the meeting on yesterday’s icing event.

“Yesterday morning, beginning around 4 o’clock, we began to see some accumulation of freezing rain and ice. Within about 30 minutes, we started seeing multiple accidents. We had 5 separate tractor trailer accidents yesterday within the matter of about an hour. We had one in Ider, two in Mentone, and two on Alabama Highway 35 here in Fort Payne, up on Lookout Mountain,” said Deputy Director Posey.

“With that I discussed with (County Engineer) Ben Luther and Mr. Harcrow about issuing an order of impassable roadways to try and prevent any further accidents. So we did, and we also pushed that out on social media and media,” he said.

“We wound up having a lot of stranded motorists out on Alabama Highway 68; between the Cherokee County line to Collinsville. Lucky for us, the temperatures began to rise around 10 o’clock, and we were able to coordinate with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and the road department here in the county. I also want to commend Tim, he was a big help yesterday, working to get the county roads slagged and treated,” he said.

“The mountain gap roads we were having issues with; basically everything north and east of Fort Payne. We had a little pocket down around Geraldine and Crossville that didn’t get hardly anything. They may have had a little sleet and had a few icy patches, but other than that we were mostly ok in that area, District 2. The rest of the districts were heavily impacted; especially those along Lookout Mountain, and points North and West of Fort Payne in the Ider and Henagar area,” said Posey.

“We did have a few injuries, we had three transported to the hospital. Two from Ider, and three from Alabama Highway 35 at the brake check where a tractor trailer jackknifed and a passenger car came around the hill and slid into the back of the truck,” Posey explained.

“Fortunately, that resolved very quickly. Our temperatures went back above freezing at 10 o’clock, and by noon, we were back in business,” explained Posey.

Michael Posey, Deputy Director of the DeKalb County EMA, provides an update on yesterday’s icing event. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Posey also explained that the DeKalb County EMA was short staffed yesterday, due to employees being sick, but the agency worked well at dealing with numerous calls regarding road conditions. He also said that all the local schools coordinated together to delay or close the schools and that all the surrounding counties delayed or closed schools at the same time, making it easier for media and the public to keep track of.

The delays and closures were, “just for the sake of being safe,” said Posey.

“You can always look in hindsight, and you can always kind of question yourself, but if I’m making a decision to try and save lives, I’ll never second guess that. You want to always protect life and safety; that is always our main priority,” said Posey.

Posey also explained that we actually have a chance of Thunderstorms on Friday, and temperatures will continue to climb to around 60 until then. On Saturday, our high will drop back down to 32.

Harcrow then said, ‘We appreciate all that you did, the road department, and law enforcement everywhere. Thank you for what you did. However we can help you, we want to work with you in every way we can, and take your advice under those kinds of conditions.”

“With a wintry system like we had yesterday, with ice and everything, does take a team,” said Posey. “We had the Sheriff’s Department transporting workers to keep the essential county offices open. We had the City of Fort Payne working with our folks to try to get first responders to the accidents on (Highway) 35.”

“It is a team role thing we have to play, and we appreciate all the support we get,” concluded Posey.

An accident on Highway 117 in Mentone yesterday morning. (Contributed Photo)

Other items addressed at the Meeting: 

  • Road Department Director Tom Broyles said that the weather had, “really hampered our efforts at the road department the last few weeks.” The department had been hauling chert when they could. Broyles explained that he did not yet know how much damage the recent hard freeze had done to the roads, but the lack of moisture in the ground hopefully spared them from extensive damage. The department asked that the commission approve the hiring of Bradley Higgins for the job posted at the last meeting. The commission approved that request.

Watch the Full Video: 

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