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Marengo Commission clarifies employee leave; makes poll changes

Confusion about bereavement leave cuts along with polling changes were discussed by the Marengo County Commission during a regular business meeting Tuesday at the Marengo County Courthouse in Linden.

The commission cleared up a policy in the employee handbook about bereavement leave. As written, employees were to use either vacation days or sick days as bereavement leave and employees were not designated three days. This caused an issue if sick leave and vacation days are used up, because employees would need to reimburse the county for days paid while out of work beyond the time specified in the county’s policy.

After lengthy discussion and suggestions from Marengo County Probate Judge Laurie Hall, the commission decided to grant employees two paid bereavement days separate from sick or vacation hours. However, if an employee uses more than the two days then vacation time or sick leave hours must be used if available. If such hours aren’t available, the employee will be responsible for reimbursing the county.

Multiple voting poll changes were made ahead of the special elections for the U.S. Senate seat left behind by Jeff Sessions after he moved to serve as the U.S. Attorney General.

The Taylor (McKinley) polling place will be moved to Thomaston. Putnam voters will now vote at Putnam Baptist Church. Nanafalia Baptist Church will host the voters of that area. Aimwell residents will now vote at Sweet Water Town Hall.

According to Hall, the special election schedule starts with the primary on Aug. 15, a run-off if necessary on Sept. 22, and the general election on Dec. 12.

The special election is needed after Gov. Kay Ivey decided to move the originally scheduled election to replace Session from the same date of the regular general election in November 2018. Former state Attorney General Luther Strange was appointed by then-governor Robert Bentley to fill the role before Bentley resigned.

The state legislature pushed up the school sales tax holiday weekend to the third full weekend in July, which is July 21-23, and the commission passed a resolution to participate and honor that weekend in Marengo County. The City of Demopolis has already passed a resolution for the weekend.

District 1 Commissioner Freddie Armstead made a motion to allow Frazer Lanier to explore the option of refinancing the current bond issue with Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital and look into a new bond issue.

Other actions made by the commission include the following:

•A letter of support for West Alabama Public Transportation as a Section 5311 rural service provider

•Hazard mitigation grants resolution worth $344, 807 for the Town of Thomaston to build a community storm shelter.

The next meeting will be held June 13.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, May 10, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)