Commission confirms levy of hospital tax

Published 1:07 pm Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Chilton County Commission approved a resolution confirming the levy of the sales and use taxes for construction, maintenance and operation of a hospital in the county during its Oct. 23 meeting.

The resolution comes after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled on Aug. 31 that the hospital tax adopted in 2015 was unconstitutional.

On Sept. 14, the Commission and the Chilton County Hospital Authority filed separate applications for rehearing.

Due to the pending applications, the Alabama Supreme Court has not issued its certificate of judgment from the Aug. 31 decision.

According to the resolution, the Commission believes that the levy of the Special Hospital Tax is duly authorized and has determined that the continuation of the tax is essential to the payment of the bonds and operation of the hospital.

The Commission has determined that the continued operation of a hospital is necessary to the health and safety of its residents and visitors.

The resolution states that the Special Hospital Tax has been levied at the current rates since Aug. 26, 2015, which was the date of adoption of the last resolution included in the existing hospital tax resolution.

The Commission also approved a full retrofit or replacement of every light in the county jail.

New features will include panels that will be put in the guard tower to control lighting, and less occupied areas will use sensors to fluctuate the wattage used depending on the amount of traffic.

The lights are part of a five-year contract and have a 10-year warranty on the lights themselves.

It will take an estimated 30-45 days for complete installment.

According to Commissioner Joseph Parnell, if the lights prove to work and the expected financial savings are seen, the courthouse could be next.

The lights will cost $1,400 per month and will come out of the Sheriff’s Office maintenance account.

In other news from the meeting:

  • A resolution was approved to temporarily close County Road 63 within the limits of the Confederate Memorial Park for a two-day event April 26 and 27. The section of the road will be closed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days.
  • Chilton County Transit received permission to make adjustments to payroll within the budget. The adjustments pertaining to transit director Jessica Carter were pending approval. Commissioner Joe Headley abstained based on “not having enough info.”
  • The Commission approved Southern Health Partners as the lowest of two bids to handle inmate healthcare at the jail. It will cost $18,080 per month, and only covers medical expenses taken care of in the jail and not outside.
  • Emergency spending was discontinued under the new budget.
  • It was discussed to start charging per sheet of paper for copies of public records. A decision was tabled for the next meeting.
  • The commission approved the minutes from the Oct. 9 meeting.
  • The commission approved to pay its bills.