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Road paving triggers dispute

Talks of which district needed more roads to be paved drew a heated discussion at Tuesday’s Perry County Commission meeting.

With a maximum of 15 miles to be paved within the budget, commissioners

had to make a compromise to limit the distance of new paving going on in their district.

“District three should have more paved roads this time around than any other district,” commissioner Brett Harrison said. “We haven’t had any roads paved since 2002.”

“We need to look at the fact that we have these underdeveloped roads down out here that can be paved,” commissioner Tim Sanderson said, “instead of keep spending money to fill them in.”

With only 15 mile to pave, chairman Johnny Flowers said they are “paving the residential areas” because he “wants the people to be served.”

Therefore county engineer Deandre Kimbrough will pave one road in each district and then start the cycle over until the 15 miles of paving is complete.

In attempts to make sure the Perry County youth has something to do this summer, commissioners agreed to transfer $5,000 from the

summer youth program to the Parks and Recreation program to keep school gymnasiums open and pay for supervision.

“We are trying to keep the youth out of trouble,” Flowers said. “That’s why we need to have the gymnasiums open so they have somewhere to go to occupy their time.”

The healthcare committee also met recently and decided to extend the contract with Emergystat Ambulance Service for an additional two years under some new conditions, and reported they also got two new ambulances for the area. Commissioners are also trying to figure out a way to decrease the delay between calls and response for residents in need.

“I’ve been getting complaints about calls and delays,” commissioner Albert Turner Jr. said.

But commissioners believe that once the local E-911 is established, the problem will be solved.

Although commissioners remember only having to match 10 percent of past grants for county water systems, this year’s deal requires the county to match 20 percent of the $81,000 grant. Thus, the county called on the water authority to take up half the costs since it will get revenue from the project and the county won’t.

Although they didn’t get a definite answer from the authority, the motion was passed to go ahead with the project.

“You don’t have to have the money until we’ve been approved for the project,” Flowers said to the water authority chairman, “Let’s just assume you’ll come up with your part and we will come up with ours.”

In giving his action report to commissioners, assistant EMA director Dennis Greenawalt, said there is still grant money available to assist in building safe-rooms and storm shelters onto homes in the county.

“Partial determination of who gets the grants is up to the commission,” Greenawalt said. “My recommendation is that you accept anyone who cares to get one because the money is not coming from the county.”

The shelters will be built at the expense of the homeowner and FEMA, who will pay the lesser of 75 percent or $3,500 of the final cost.

All paperwork needs to be turned in by May 19 and for more information, contact Greenawalt at 247-2779.

After only two bids came in to install a new security system in the Perry County Courthouse, the commission agreed to go with the higher bid since the warrantee was two years more than the alternative.

Homewood-based Wintel Communications asked for $14,350 for all parts, training, installation and a one-year warranty, while Birmingham’s Digital Information Systems wanted $15,850 for all parts, labor, training and a three-year warrantee.

Before tearing down old structures at near the school board site, the commission advised

Kimbrough to take a look at the building

“thoroughly from an engineer’s perspective.”

The commission would also like to inform residents that voting has changed from Pine Turkey to the 219 East Perry Fire Department.

After hiring two employees on six-month contracts, commissioners also gave a strong warning to county employees stating they will not receive holiday pay if they don’t report to work the day before and the day after the holiday, unless they are out on approved leave.

The next Perry County Commission meeting will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 9.