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County votes to award bid for tag office repairs (updated)

Published 10:03pm Monday, September 9, 2013

Cobb showed the commission a list of 86 cases the sheriff’s department worked from January 2012 until August 2013.

Cobb said even though 86 were listed, there were at least 15 more worked by Cobb since the list was printed.

“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t work on a case,” Cobb said. “There are a lot of kids in this county that have not gotten justice, and Child Protect helps win cases for us.”

Cobb said due to the sheriff’s department fielding so many phone calls regarding child abuse cases, the department appointed Cobb in June to work on all of the cases.

Commissioners asked Cobb if he knew what age was the youngest child abuse crime in the county.

Cobb said the youngest case he has worked so far involved a 21-month-old.

“It is very hard to work these cases,” Cobb said.

Caton thanked both Cobb and Zuelzke for the work they do with the child abuse cases.

“It is not an easy job and we appreciate what you are doing,” Caton said.

The commission heard a report from Billy Singleton with the Chilton County Airport Authority  as he provided updates for the commission regarding the airport.

Singleton said plans for a second hangar that will house 10 additional airplanes is underway with the Airport Authority ready to order a building.

“The new hangar will put our county with over 30 units,” Singleton said. “Our level of activity will increase and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will look at that very closely. We are excited about that option.”

Singleton requested that the commission transfer the first installment of money to the Airport Authority to purchase the building that would house the 10 additional airplanes.

The commission unanimously voted during the March 11 meeting to give the airport $25,000 for 12 years for the use of new hangars.

The money was taken from the Trade School and Industrial and Rural Development Fund, and the money would be used at a lending institution as collateral to borrow more funds for the hangars.

County attorney John Hollis Jackson told commissioners they didn’t have to vote to transfer the first installment due to previously voting to commit the money.

Singleton said the second project going on at the airport included a land acquisition of six parcels west of the airport and U.S. Highway 145.

“When we get those trees cut down, it will be the first time in 25 years that we can utilize all of the airport’s runway,” Singleton said.

Singleton said the Airport Authority assured the FAA the trees would be taken down to ensure the entire runway would be usable.

“We are very excited about that,” Singleton said.

Singleton also mentioned a grant for $1.8 million that will improve the runway lighting system by providing additional lighting and upgrading the current lighting that is more than 50 years old.

Currently, the lights at the airport stay on, but the new lighting system will save thousands of dollars due to the lights being able to be turned off unless used by a pilot, according to Singleton.

“These lights will be turned on by the pilots with their aircraft,” Singleton said.

Singleton said Kevin Morgan, the FAA contact person for the Airport Authority based out of Jackson, Miss. stopped by the airport two weeks ago with positive feedback about the airport.

“He was astounded that the work had been done for prepping for the hangars,” Singleton said. “He assured us that the FAA backs our plans to move forward.”

Singleton told commissioners the city of Clanton had also invested in the projects the airport was working to accomplish and highlighted a collaborative effort between the city of Clanton and the county.

In other news, the commission:

•Awarded a bid to Foresight Computers and Networking for $19,387 for iPad software. Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin received a grant to pay for the software to update iPads used at polling places throughout the county during elections.

•Voted after taking an executive session for the purpose of land acquisition to appoint the Industrial Development Board as the sole entity to be in charge of negotiations for any property relating to the county fair.

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