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Residents present road concerns

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Commission heard road concerns from Jim Dollar and other residents of Highlands of Lay Grand Pointe on Jan. 26 during a voting session.

Residents spoke to the Commission about the possibility of getting some help with the upkeep of the subdivision’s asphalt road. The subdivision was created before the current requirements by the county were put in place. The developer has since gone bankrupt, and the residents have been collecting funds and maintaining the road. Because it was never brought up to the county specifications by the developer to make it acceptable as a county road, it has remained a private road.

Residents said the neighborhood is becoming a nice community.

The Commission said if they took in the road there would be several other similar roads that residents in other neighborhoods would want accepted as a county road, and there is not enough revenue to maintain all of them.

Commissioner Randell Kelley said the Commission cannot use county taxes to improve a private road.

Residents of Highlands of Lay Grand Pointe community asked if they could pay the county crews to come work on the road, which would be less costly than them hiring someone else.

Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell said the Commission would research what they are legally allowed to do and what they would be willing to do, and he would get back to them.

Commissioners Jimmie Hardee and Darrell Bone mentioned plans to go out to the neighborhood to see the road and get an idea of where it is located.

The Commission also received at update on the Higgins Ferry playground project from

Durwood Brown. Brown said a projected completion date would be before March 27 with a celebration of the project on that day, if all goes well. Among the many donations to the project is four benches from Alabama Power. Brown said the committee is now looking for a company that could provide covers for the benches to provide some shade. Anyone interested in contributing can contact Brown at durwoodbrown1952@gmail.com.

Also during the meeting, the Commission:

  • Appointed Clanton Mayor Jeff Mims to the Chilton County Airport Authority.
  • Appointed Commissioner Allen Williams to the Central Alabama Wellness board to take the place of Hardee who resigned from the board.
  • Approved the final plat for Bell Lane Estates Subdivision.
  • Accepted the annual report on how Rebuild Alabama Act funding to the county was spent. The $909,842 received was used for improvements to County Road 37 from Highway 22 to Thorsby.
  • Approved allowing employees to donate sick time to an employee who is in the hospital and has used all of his paid sick leave.
  • Approved having a mechanic co-op student from LeCroy Career Technical Center work in the road department shop for the semester. County Engineer Tony Wearren said this is a partnership that they have done in the past and had some good students.
  • Approved hiring Chilton Contractors for $6,600 to expand the driveway for the tag and title office.
  • Approved two motions that will need to go to the state legislature for final approval — allowing the Sheriff’s Department to auction off in expense items, shovels, etc., that are collected in seizures, abandonments, etc. in a local auction and setting up an automatic increase in base salary for the Sheriff when the base salary of the deputy chief comes within 10% of it. If approved by the state legislature, at the current rate that county employees are getting paid, this pay increase would not take effect for seven or eight years. Passing such a resolution eliminates the need to send a resolution to the state legislature every time they want to increase the salary of the position, which can only be done before an election year.