The Russell County Commission, while cancelling the work session on May 11, held its regular session on May 13. The meeting was open to the public, however, seating was arranged to adhere to social distancing guidelines and everyone wore protective masks. All commissioners, except for Carl Currington, were in attendance as were the county attorney and the administrator.
Under business items, the commission is waiting to approve the bid for the new roof on the courthouse until after attorney Kenneth Funderburk reviews the contract. The Hatchechubbee Fire Department, represented by the Director of Building Inspections, Bubba Roberts, requested building permit fee relief on the building they are constructing on County Road 4, west of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The building will be used to house a tanker. The item was approved unanimously.
The annual asphalt bid, presented by County Engineer Shawn Blakeney, was approved to be awarded to East Alabama Paving whose bid came in $7 a ton less than the other two bidders, which creates a savings of $130-150,000 for the county.
Sheriff Taylor requested that the Commission approve a six-month extension to the existing ambulance contract with the company CARE, which was approved.
Under the Discussion portion of the agenda, Commissioner Chance Corbett proposed that the commission look into giving a stipend to all essential workers employed by the county. He provided Lee County as an example. Commissioner Cattie Epps suggested paid leave be considered as an option. The question of legality arose and the commission decided to investigate the matter further before coming to a decision.
“It’s very nice to know…services are continuing,” Corbett said. “Revenue is going to be tough, but we also need to take care of our employees.”
Corbett said he’s received many compliments for the county due to the fact that the sanitation department has not missed any pickups during this time and roads are also being maintained.
Also under Discussion, Commissioner Ronnie Reed brought up the availability of a grant from the office of the Secretary of the State that would be used for sanitization of voting machines prior to the upcoming elections this fall. Administrator LeAnn Horne is looking into it.