VIDEO: Rep. Kerry Rich presents state contributions to the Town of Geraldine
April 12, 2017
Southern Torch (3842 articles)
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VIDEO: Rep. Kerry Rich presents state contributions to the Town of Geraldine

PHOTO: Representative Kerry Rich updates the Town of Geraldine on several issues concerning the area. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

GERALDINE, Ala. — While much of the state was focused on the rapid developments in Montgomery late yesterday, the Town of Geraldine was busy taking care of business in their monthly council meeting. The council, which meets the second Monday of each month, received state funds from Representative Kerry Rich (R – 26th District) and Senator Clay Schofield (R – 9th District).

Watch the Full Video:

The first check presented was for the Geraldine Public Library, and was given to Library Director Diane Maddox. The check was for $2000, and will help repave the parking lot at the library.

Representative Kerry Rich presents Geraldine Library Director Diane Maddox with a check for (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

The Geraldine Jr. Beta Club was also presented a check to help with expenses to travel to the national convention. The check was given to Beta Club advisor Erin Smith, who is a teacher at Geraldine Middle School.

“Geraldine has an outstanding Beta Club, no doubt about that. They are going to the nationals, which is down in Florida. They are taking a lot of students, and me and Senator Clay Schofield are glad to help you go. We have a check here for $4000, and I hope that will help you on your trip,” said Rich.

Erin Smith, Teacher at Geraldine School, was presented with a check for the Jr. Beta Club to attend the National Convention. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Mayor Chuck Ables was also presented a check for $6000, to help with new playground equipment and a walking track at the city park.

“This will benefit a lot of people, especially the young folks. I’m probably a little old for a playground equipment, but a lot of young folks will take advantage of it, and that’s a good thing,” said Rich.

Mayor Ables elaborated on how the money would be put to use: “We’ve had several people working on this, and the wheels turn slow, but once we got the request to Mr. Rich it didn’t take long for him to get it to us. We’ve also got real good prices from GameTime, about 25 percent of list price they are going to sell us some stuff, so we’ll have real nice equipment.”

Rich also presented the Town of Geraldine with a check for improvements to the city park. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Representative Rich also commented on breaking events in Montgomery surrounding the governor, and other issues concerning the town that are playing out at the state level.

“I think the most serious thing to me, was that he appeared to use his security detail to intimidate people that might know about the alleged affair,” said Rich, of now former-Governor Robert Bentley.

“The affair to me didn’t rise to the level of impeachment, but some of these other things did,” stated Rich. “We at the legislature have gone on and conducted our business as normal, but it’s a cloud over the state.”

Representative Rich also discussed his views on a proposed gas tax being considered in Montgomery, and the impact it could have on the area.

“If we are going to get any road work done in the state, we are going to have to have a gas tax,” said Rich.

Rich explained that the state road department was down to, “about $45 million a year,” and is relegated to being mostly a maintenance organization, and that additional funds were needed.

“If I’m going to vote for a gasoline tax, I want to see Highway 75 finished, and I also want the relocation around the airport in Albertville, so the airport can expand,” explained Rich.

“I’ve been clear, if those projects are included, I’ll vote yes, if they aren’t included, I’ll vote no,” Rich explained.

“I know people don’t want to talk about taxes, but as I think for our economic development, not only for this area, but for the whole area, I think (Highway) 75 is very important. I’ve worked on it ever since I’ve been there. I’ve been frustrated at times; I was told once that the right-of-ways were purchased, but that fell through,” stated Rich.

Later in the meeting, Rich was asked about the status of Buck’s Pocket State Park by Geraldine Police Officer, Matt Crum.

“You were discussing, and I worked for the State of Alabama for ten years, so I understand the need for more money, but my question is, I understand that Alabama State Parks have improved recently, but what is the status of Buck’s Pocket State Park?” Crum asked.

Rich explained that the recent referendum that passed in the previous general election, which was sponsored by himself and Senator Scofield, will keep money in the park system.

“The parks are getting in much better financial shape and Buck’s Pocket is going to reopen, and it’s going to be back operating the way it was. I can’t tell you exactly when, but we’ve been promised it will be open,” said Rich.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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