Another lean year for county

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tim Mims hopes the Chilton County Commission can keep spending to a minimum in 2010.

“We went through the last fiscal year without borrowing any money, and I’m hoping we can do it again,” said Mims, the commission’s chairman.

The county continues to work in the mode of emergency spending although the commission has not officially acknowledged emergency spending for this fiscal year. Any purchase order over $250 must go across Mims’ desk.

“As long as I’m chairman, I’m going to watch our spending,” he said.

A referendum for a county sales tax increase is likely to come up for discussion this year.

Currently, 100 percent of county sales tax goes to support local schools.

“We’ve got to have the backing of our state representative and senator to be able to put it on the ballot,” Mims said. “The main thing is, for a positive vote on it we’re going to have to show the public why we need it and what we’re going to do with it.”

He acknowledged the lack of funding to repair county roads and county facilities, primarily the courthouse.

“Without the funding, we’re just spinning our wheels,” Mims said.

Commissioner Heedy Hayes said his primary objective is long-range planning. This will involve taking a hard look at what the county has to offer businesses, industries, prospective residents and tourists.

“The county needs to look for land to attract business,” Hayes said.

Hayes is looking forward to the completion of new RV campgrounds at Minooka Park. He also said the Minooka entrance road needs some work.

Joe Headley thinks the county could find more ways to finance road projects. One measure he suggested was to cut money given to nonprofits. He added he was not necessarily against helping nonprofits.

“I just think we’ve got our priorities in the wrong order,” he said.