Commission split, chairman election postponed

The Chilton County Commission was split Monday on electing its new chairman, and the election was postponed until its next regular meeting, on Nov. 14.

Current chairman Tim Mims will continue in the role until a new chairman is elected.

He was nominated for the position again by Allen Caton, but first, commissioner Bobby Agee nominated Heedy Hayes.

The vote was along party lines, with Hayes receiving votes from fellow Democrats Agee and “Red” Turnipseed. Mims, who was elected to the commission as an Independent but has announced his candidacy for probate judge as a Republican, received votes from Republicans Caton and Joe Headley.

Greg Moore, a Republican, was absent from Monday’s meeting.

“I’ve served for three years, and I’ve enjoyed it. You learn a lot being chairman.” Mims said before the vote, and pointed out that the commission hasn’t had to borrow money to meet its expenses in his three years as chairman. “This commission has done it together, and I think it’s something we should all be proud of.”

In other business, the commission:

•Tasked Turnipseed with continuing to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on funding to replace the leaky roof at the Chilton/Clanton Public Library. Turnipseed said the project would cost about $251,000. He made a motion to go ahead and pay for the work out of the county’s Land Management Fund, but the motion died for lack of a second. “I’m just trying to get a roof,” Turnipseed said. “We’ve got to do something,” Agee agreed.

•Agreed to a plan presented by representatives with insurance broker Shaw Hankins. The broker worked to find the county’s best insurance options, including county-provided life insurance. Under the new plan, life insurance costs will increase by about $8 a month but the benefit for most employees would increase about $10,000. Shaw Hankins representatives will also meet with each county employee and present new insurance options, though employees could keep their current policies. Headley and Turnipseed voted in opposition to the measure.

•Awarded a bid for janitorial services at the Chilton County Jail to Alabama Paper and Supply.

• Appointed Rick Lawrence and Gene Sorrell to the Tax Equalization Board. The county gets three appointees but didn’t name anyone to replace Larry Popwell.

Also, Mark Conradi and Edwin Petty were nominated to the Airport Authority Board. They would be appointed at the next meeting.

•Allowed Engineer Tony Wearren to pave two-tenths of a mile of a road maintained by the town of Thorsby—a value of about $9,000—in exchange for a ditching machine. Wearren said the working parts from Thorsby’s machine could be combined with the county’s similar but inoperable machine to produce one adequate ditching machine.

•Heard from Nolan Easterling and Lee Poe about needed road improvements on County Road 455 and Lake Mitchell Road, respectively.

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