Commission gives update to Exit 200 project

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The Chilton County Commission discussed updates to the project planned on land by Interstate 65, Exit 200. Commissioner Allen Williams asked fellow commissioner and Chilton County Industrial Development Authority representative Matthew Mims to provide an update on the IDA’s plans in the coming months. Mims said the IDA is assessing the property at the Exit 200, and the land is having to be divided into three different projects rather than one large project. Supply chain issues have also stunted the growth of the project and not allowed the project to move as quickly, and the project is currently being put on hold until materials and prices go down.

Williams and Mims continued their discussion into the IDA, and Williams made the motion to have the IDA disband. There was no second, and the motion died on the floor. Williams was concerned about the land deeds that were signed back over to the county from the IDA after the Alabama Farm Center project did not happen. Mims said those deeds and wetland mitigations have been transferred back to the county.

Williams ended his commissioner report by asking for a resolution to add funds from the sale of surplus land to the courthouse fund. The motion was passed unanimously.

Chilton County Administrator Sylvia Singleton gave some clarity on the $22 million the county is investing into treasury bonds. Singleton said the money was not just money laying around, but money that needs to be budgeted for future use, such as employee liability insurance. That money is not needed unless something were to happen with an employee, and the other funds have to be used for a specific purpose, such as infrastructure improvements. The county chose to invest the money to earn some more rather than just letting it sit stagnant, according to Singleton.

The commission also discussed both Amendment 2 and 7 that is on the ballot on Nov. 8 that would promote broadband expansion and economic development, respectively. The commission chose to table the resolution till the next meeting to have more opportunity to look more into the amendments, and make sure it does not conflict with any county amendments. The resolution is just stating whether the county is in favor or against the two amendments, and the public’s vote on Nov. 8 will dictate if they are passed or not.

Also, at the meeting, the commission:

  • Did not pass a resolution to participate in the Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday.
  • Unanimously passed a resolution to move the maintenance department under the supervision of the County Administrator and implement a new work order system.
  • Accepted and approved bids to Alabama Paper & Supply for the jail and courthouse janitorial services.
  • Approved Judson Etheridge as a school resource officer, approved Gabriel Fuller as a property tax clerk, approved to advertise and hire a tag division clerk, approved the board of registrars pay increase of $3.50 per day, approved pay adjustments in the road department, accepted the resignation of the county engineer effective Dec. 31, approved a pay increase of 10% at Higgins Ferry and transfer $90,000 from the road construction/maintenance supplies and construction equipment for new equipment. Commissioner Randell Kelley abstained from voting on the consent agenda due to a personal conflict.