Bittersweet moment for Chilton County CommissionersBy Emily Etheredge Published 5:00pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012
It was a bittersweet evening Monday as current Chilton County Commissioners acknowledged the last meeting of the group as a whole, before the Nov. 6 election and the retirement of Commissioner M.L. “Red” Turnipseed.
Commission Chairman Tim Mims started the meeting by thanking Turnipseed for the work he has done with the commission over the last four years and thanking the commissioners for working well together.
“I think we have done a wonderful job working together like we have done,” Mims said. “I don’t know who will be here the next time we meet, but I want everyone to know that I have enjoyed working with all of you. I think we have done a wonderful job serving the people of this county.”
The meeting transitioned into Turnipseed requesting the commissioners to convene into executive session to discuss good name and character. The commissioners allowed Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis and County Administrator Connie Powell to stay in part of the executive session that lasted for 50 minutes.
When the meeting reconvened, county engineer Tony Wearren asked the commissioners for permission to purchase dump trucks and motor graders from the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) bid list due to the county’s dump trucks being in disrepair.
“The machines I am wanting to purchase have a five-year warranty with them, and the manufacturer has agreed to buy back the machines when we are finished with them,” Wearren said. “We work machines hard, and right now our dump trucks are in bad condition.”
Turnipseed asked Wearren how he was going to pay for the new equipment to be purchased.
Wearren said the money was coming out of his budget, and selling the current motor graters would help in purchasing new equipment.
Commissioner Bobby Agee said the county had 8-year-old machines that are getting older by the day, and if the commissioners did not do something soon, the machines would be of no value to the county.
Commissioner Allen Caton made a motion to allow Wearren to purchase five motor graders and seven dump trucks. The motion was approved with commissioners Joe Headley, and Heedy Hayes voting against the motion.
Chilton County Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford addressed the commission, wishing them well in the upcoming election and reminding them that economic development is one of the most important things they will handle over the next couple of years.
Crawford gave updates of several projects going on and told commissioners he planned to give statistics of where the county was in terms of economic development after the election.
“I would like to make a presentation once the election is over to let everyone know where we stand,” Crawford said.
Toward the end of the meeting, county maintenance supervisor Pete Davenport told commissioners that his company truck fell apart causing him to slide into an 18-wheeler that was parked on the side of the road.
“The truck was parked and thankfully no one was injured but due to the damage, I am now using my personal truck,” Davenport said.
Mims told Davenport to come to the meeting and tell commissioners about the accident due to him using his personal truck and the county paying mileage.
Commissioners told Davenport to research availability of vehicles and come back with information at a future meeting.
“We are just glad no one was hurt and that you (Davenport) are doing OK,” Turnipseed said.
Powell invited the commissioners to the annual costume parade for preschoolers on Oct. 30 and 31 at the courthouse from 9-10 a.m.
The meeting concluded with Turnipseed thanking the commissioners for allowing him to serve on the commission for four years.
“I wish everyone the best of luck,” Turnipseed said. “I have enjoyed every minute of it.”
In other business, the commission:
• Approved a resolution for a maintenance agreement between the state of Alabama and the County Commission for railroad crossing improvements on CSXT Railroad and County Road 25.
• Approved a resolution to sign an agreement with Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) regarding the County Road 29 resurfacing project.
• Passed a resolution to sign an agreement with Montgomery County Youth Facility for secure detention care of alleged delinquent youth at a rate of $85 per day. Turnipseed abstained from the vote.
• Passed a resolution appointing Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed to the Chilton County Library Board.