Commissioners schedule trip to visit County Road 352

Published 1:31 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Members of the Chilton County Commission scheduled a trip to visit County Road 352 on May 4 at 4 p.m. after residents expressed concern about the closing of the road.

Commissioners decided during the regularly scheduled meeting Monday to take a trip to see the road after residents who live in the area brought up the issue to commissioners in March.

The commission closed the road after advertising the move, but residents said they didn’t know about the proposed closure because they don’t travel the road currently because a bridge is out.

Commissioners told the residents during the April 13 meeting they would look into the issue.

The road was vacated to Williams-Transco Pipeline, which owns adjoining property, six months ago, which would be past the amount of time when an appeal to the decision is allowed.

Larry Hayes addressed commissioners on Monday about any updates regarding the situation.

“I would just like to know what is going on with everything,” Hayes said.

County Attorney John Hollis Jackson told Hayes he had spoken with county engineer Tony Wearren and would like to get the commissioners together to go visit the road.

Commissioners decided they could go May 4 to visit the road to be able to address the situation.

The commission tabled a discussion regarding a request from Stephen Curlee with CSX Transportation to close the highway railroad crossing at County Road 233 and U.S. Highway 31.

Curlee told commissioners he spoke with the one individual who lives near the crossing and the individual was fine with it being closed, but there were two property owners across the property on County Road 29 who Curlee had not met with.

Commissioners thought it would be best to speak with the two property owners on County Road 29 before taking a vote to close the railroad crossing.

Curlee told commissioners if they decided to close the crossing, CSX could fund $7,500 toward the closure and ALDOT would match $7,500, meaning a $15,000 net for the county.

Commissioners Shannon Welch and Bobby Agee thought the two property owners on County Road 29 should be made aware the crossing would be closed.

Commission Chairman Allen Caton said he knew both of the property owners and would contact them to let them know of the discussion regarding closing the railroad crossing.

In other news, the commission:

•Approved a resolution from Wearren authorizing the selection of County Road 81, known as Bell Lane Church Road, as the next federal aid resurfacing project. Wearren explained the project would be from Alabama Highway 145 to U.S. Highway 31 and be 2.1 miles. Half of the project is in the city limits of Clanton, and the city agreed to pay half of the match. The estimated cost for the county would be $40,000, and the cost for the city would be $40,000.

•Heard from Higgins Ferry Park Ranger Jacob Sim regarding an upcoming fishing tournament at Higgins Ferry Park. Sim told commissioners the tournament will be held May 9 with Birmingham Bass Masters helping with the event. Twenty percent of the funds generated from the event will go toward Higgins Ferry Park’s budget.

Sim told commissioners he is currently working to get the word out regarding the tournament and hopes to have about 50 registered. Commissioners commended Sim and Chilton County Parks and Recreation Manager Gerald Arrington for the work they are doing at the parks in Chilton County.

•Voted to allow Caton to meet with Jackson and Rep. Jimmy Martin regarding the possibility of drafting a bill to be introduced during the current session of the Alabama Legislature focusing on animal control. Some of the commissioners expressed concern with the short time frame commissioners would have in drafting a bill and getting it sent and approved during the last few weeks of the 2015 session.

Some commissioners thought it would be best to wait until 2016, while others thought it might be possible to have something drafted this year. Commissioners voted to allow Caton to meet with Jackson and Martin and come up with something to bring before the commission before having Martin introduce it at the session.

Commissioner Joe Headley opposed the vote, saying he thought the decision was too rushed. Commissioners Welch, Greg Moore, Agee, Heedy Hayes and Caton voted in favor of the motion. Commissioner Joseph Parnell was absent from Monday’s meeting.

•Passed a resolution authorizing the continuation of employment for Melanie Crawford in the Janitorial Department through Fiscal Year 2015.

•Approved the addition of a Long Term Care product to the supplemental benefits offered to county employees.

•Voted to have Wearren look into a situation regarding Gary Hinkle, who is having issues with drainage in his yard due to construction of the East Chilton Fire Department.

•Heard from Chilton County Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford, who announced a $2.2 million expansion from Kumi Manufacturing that will fuel additional job growth and allow the company to conduct its research and development in-house.

•Met in executive session to discuss a pending legal matter. Commissioners took action after the executive session concluded around 8 p.m., authorizing Chilton County Tax Collector Tim Little to work with Jackson to secure outside legal counsel, should legal representation be required for a possible pending legal matter that is outside the scope and limitations of the county’s insurance coverage.