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Commission receives legislative update

Sen. Clyde Chambliss came before the Chilton County Commission during its Aug. 14 meeting and provided an update on the most recent state legislative session.

Some of the highlights that Chambliss said came out of the session were the decisions to hire 30 full-time state troopers and an increase in funding for juvenile probation officers.

On the education front, 150 additional teachers were hired with the majority coming at the middle school level.

According to Chambliss, he was not initially sold on Pre-K when he was first elected, but after visiting schools, he has seen first-hand the difference that can be made by starting kids out at that age.

Some of the items not passed included the gas tax and the licensing of religious daycares.

Chairman Allen Caton said that the Association of County Commissions of Alabama has been looking into getting the gas tax reintroduced, and asked for Chambliss’ support the next time it comes around.

Chambliss stated that it has been 25 years since a gas tax has been done, but he will continue to look closely into the matter.

Infrastructure and roads would see the primary benefits from the implementation of a gas tax.

Carolyn Fortner with M4A was also on hand and provided the Commission with details about the Soup-er Feeding Frenzy Cook-Off that is set to take place on October 20 at Senior Connection.

The Meals On Wheels fundraiser will begin at 11:30 a.m. with the goal of creating awareness of hunger among Chilton County senior citizens.

In other news from the meeting, the Commission:

  • All RAMP projects are complete and accepted with the exception of the County Road 2 Bridge, which is waiting on a letter from ALDOT to proceed.
  • Approved a list of line item transfers that included fuels and lubricants, road building material and supply, R&M-building and grounds, and motor vehicles.
  • Approved a request from County Engineer Tony Wearren to lower the speed limit on County Road 502 (from County Road 500 to the intersection of County Road 501) from 45 mph to 20 mph. The area of road is right next to the Verbena cemetery and Wearren confirmed that support from the residents exists.
  • Approved request to advertise and hire a truck driver to fill a vacancy.
  • Granted permission to surplus a 2001 Ford F-150 and purchase a replacement truck off the ALDOT surplus yard with money in the Road Department budget.
  • Approved resolution from Tax Collector Tim Little to hire Jenny Summerlin to fill an open clerk’s position in the tag office at a rate of $14.50 per hour.
  • Approved the Sheriff’s Department to hire Jonathan Wright to fill a full-time position at a rate of $13.19 per hour.
  • Approved the Sheriff’s Department to hire Daniel Nichols for a full-time position at an adjusted rate of $13.19 per hour.
  • Approved the Sheriff’s Department to hire Jason Reeves as patrol shift supervisor at a rate of $17.27 per hour.
  • Approved the resignation letter from Ryan Bice from the Sheriff’s Department, effective Aug. 10.
  • Approved the Sheriff’s Department to hire Adam Simmons to fill a full-time position at a rate of $13.19 per hour.
  • Chilton County 911 has contacted an architect as it continues the process of moving its offices out of the courthouse and into another building in Clanton.
  • The Commission presented a plaque to Billy Singleton for his efforts in bringing the U.S.S. Chilton bell back to Chilton County.
  • Approved a one-year contract with AT&T. It will be the last year that the courthouse will be using fax lines.
  • Approved the resignation of Red Turnipseed from the M4A board, due to health reasons. The Commission will begin taking nominations over the next three meetings to fill the vacancy.