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Commission searches for final price on project

The Marengo County Commission continued discussions of the purchase of the Tucker Building, a former gas station on the corner of U.S. Highways 28 and 43 in Linden on May 14.

At the April meeting, the commission voted to move forward with the $10,000 purchase provided the county enters the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF) and have access to funds from the ATF for clean-up purposes in the event of a gasoline spill. Commissioner Jason Windham said the county was eligible for the fund with the ADEM requirement that the gas tanks be removed from the ground.

The cost of such a project could reach up to $20,000 with a licensed contractor. The county would also need to pay an initial fee of $840 to join the ATF.

Windham is also in touch with an individual who is certified to oversee the removal through non-licensed companies for a cost, which opens the doors to more options and lower bids.

“I think that would cost us an additional $1,000 to use him. Otherwise, we would have to use a licensed petroleum tank removal company,” Windham said.

With plans to turn the area into a parking lot, the commission ultimately decided to bid out various parts of the project, including removing the gas tanks and demolishing the two buildings on the site, and get estimated prices on asphalt. The commission will consider the estimated final price when deciding to move forward with the purchase and joining the ATF.

“I say stay away from it unless we get in the trust fund,” Windham said.

The commission also executed the sales agreement of $100 in earnest money. The remainder of the $10,000 is set to be paid at the close of the sale.

Other items discussed by the commission include:

• rebidding lawn maintenance for the courthouse and other associated properties specifying the maintenance be performed on an as-needed basis and an hourly rate be provided in the bid.

• accepting lowest bid to install energy-efficient LED lighting pending approval from County Engineer Ken Atkins. The commission was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs in December to support the project.

• adopting a resolution providing stipulations for part-time summer workers including working 20-25 hours a week, receiving minimum wage and two per district be hired.

• reappointing Robert Shamburger to South Marengo Water and Fire Protection Authority.

• approving a letter of support for West Alabama Public Transportation.

• acknowledging Back to School Sales Tax Holiday which is July 19-21.

• Commissioner Terry Hinton informed the commission that plans to make Dogwood Hill Lane public were underway. Nine more residential signatures for right-of-way approval are required before the project can move forward.

• Probate Judge Laurie Hall also announced that the probate office is now participating in the EasyTag Program, which allows citizens to register vehicles purchased from Alabama dealerships online at easytagal.com

• accepting a pay increase for the engineer and assistant engineer per the recommendation from the state gas tax bill increase.

• accepting a pay increase for the maintenance supervisor.

The Marengo County Commission meets the second Tuesday of every month at the courthouse at 9 a.m.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, May 22 issue of the Demopolis Times.)