County Commission OKs extra cleanup day
July 9, 2018
By Bill Wilson
The Anniston Star

The Cleburne County Commission's ranks were depleted during its Monday night meeting but there was still a quorum to pass resolutions, such as one authorizing an extra countywide cleanup day at the end of this month or early August.

Commissioner Laura Cobb was absent due to an illness in her family and Commissioner Jake Durham had a work-related class to attend.

The county holds two cleanup days each year but there’s extra money in the scrap tire grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to hold a third, county engineer Lee Estes said.

The two commissioners present, Terry Hendrix and Emmett Owen, both voted to spend $23,000 which will be reimbursed from the ADEM grant.

Estes said that the cleanup day will have the same timeline as the others — roll-off containers will be available for county residents to throw away large trash items on Friday and Saturday and the containers will be hauled off on Sunday. Estes said the locations used in the past for the containers will be used again.

The two commissioners present also both voted to appoint Hendrix to serve on the 2018-2019 Association of County Commissions of Alabama representative for Cleburne County. The legislative committee consists of 67 members from all counties in the state.

During discussions Owen brought up ways to educate the people of the county concerning where their tax dollars go. Owen said that some people have the mistaken notion that their property taxes and probate-related taxes goes to roads and bridges.

Owen wants the public to know that it’s the gasoline tax paid at the pump which is sent to Montgomery, and the county’s population, that determine how much money is available to fund roads and bridges. Owen discussed ideas with Kim Brown, county administrator, concerning education of the public on the matter.

County attorney Jason Odom told the commission about a request from coroner-elect Adam Downs for a vehicle to transport bodies and a fee of $150 for each transport.

Odom was OK with one request, not the other.

“Providing a vehicle is something the commission can do. The $150 per transport is something that’s not permissible under the laws,” he said.

Odom said that actual expenses such as mileage for a private vehicle and expenses for the operation of the coroner’s office can be reimbursed in the same manner as other county officers.

Commissioners discussed options available for the coroner’s office including subcontracting the duties of transporting bodies or providing Downs with a used vehicle that the county already owns.

Owen said that the current coroner, Tracy Lambert, is willing to help in any way he can once Downs takes office in January.

Commissioners Monday also approved submitting a request on behalf of the Cleburne County Water Authority to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

This is for a formal amendment to a CDBG  project called Cleburne County Water Authority Water System Extension and Improvement Project — Macedonia and Fruithurst. The goal is to get residents off of well water which historically contains a high level of radon — a known carcinogen.

Also approved in the commission’s consent agenda:

— Alcohol license for Stop N Shop Liquors in Muscadine.

— Harold Forsyth for project manager services related to the roof replacement at the Cleburne County Courthouse.