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County placed under emergency spending

The Chilton County Commission last night voted unanimously to go into emergency spending.

Commission chairman Tim Mims had warned that the county would have to be extremely tight this year, and had hinted at the possibility of going into emergency spending early in the fiscal year.

Included in the measure was a provision that all purchase order requests of $250 or more must be approved by the chairman.

“This will mean a lot more phone calls for me,” Mims told Commission Administrator Vanessa Hendrick, “but I would like to be contacted on every deal regardless.”

When asked to provide a definition of emergency spending, County Attorney John Hollis Jackson said it basically means that the county anticipates the income provided in its budget will not be sufficient to cover expenditures.

“I think [going into emergency spending] is a good thing to do,” Jackson said. “This is a red warning flag for this year. We’re going to have a rocky time with this budget.”

With department heads facing more pressure than ever to stay within their already tight budgets, commissioners stressed the need to watch the budget and individual purchase orders very closely.

Mims said all department heads should be notified of the decision so they will understand the need for the county to spend only what is absolutely necessary.

In other business, the commission:

Approved specific job descriptions and titles for each commissioner

Voted to participate in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Wellness Day on Feb. 19

Declared some desks surplus at the request of Tax Assessor Tom Powers

Agreed to talk to a contractor about various environmental studies that need to be conducted around the county.