Commission approves $16.9 million budget

Published 11:28 am Thursday, September 19, 2019

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The Marengo County Commission approved the $16.9 million budget for 2019-20. Total revenue is expected to be $16,966,919 with $14,239,534 budgeted for various expenses. The difference of the two amounts leaves $2,727,385 in restricted funds.

Marcus Hannah, director of the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center, approached the commission for $10,000 to support the center, which serves eight counties, including Marengo County.

Hannah has also approached other counties in the center’s service area for financial support in order to relieve some of the burden from Dallas County, which houses the detention center and provides $700,000 in funding.

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The center utilizes doctors, counselors, teachers and other professionals that work to improve the lives of those in the detention center.

“Our goal is not just to detain and or just to house. Our goal is to treat,” Hannah said.

Commission Chairman Michael Thompson said the commission would take the request into consideration.

County resident Mack Nathan asked the commission to repair two roads in Marengo County. He said  County Road 39 had not been paved in 30 years and requested that it be paved again.

He also brought forward issues with Old Dayton Road and a collapsed culvert. He said the road used to be a county road but was now a private road. However, Nathan said that in order for the road to be private, it must be deeded to him, and it never was. He also said beaver dams near his home are causing water to back up to his house.

Commissioner Terry Hinton said he and County Engineer Ken Atkins will assess Old Dayton Road and the beaver dams for any possible solutions, and Commissioner Calvin Martin said he and Hinton will look into repaving CR 39.

“[CR] 39 is going to be one of our top priorities,” Martin said.

Demopolis Mayor John Laney also approached the commission to thank them for allowing county residents to vote on the 4 mil ad valorem tax to benefit the Whitfield Regional Hospital on Dec. 10.

“I think it’s one of the most important things that Marengo County will vote on in a long time,”  he said.

Other actions taken by the commission include:

• recognizing Marengo County Jail Administrator Aquanetta Daniels and Corrections Officer Tracy Walker for being named as Administrator of the Year and Rookie of the Year respectively by the National Institute for Jail Operations in the organization’s southern region.

The Marengo County Commission adopted a proclamation declaring Sept. 22 as POW/MIA Recognition Day. Pictured, from left, are Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5377 member Chester Pugh, Commission Chairman Michael Thompson, and Post-Surgeon Phillip Spence.

• adopting a proclamation declaring Sept. 22 as POW/MIA Recognition Day. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5377 Post-Surgeon Phillip Spence and Chester Pugh were present at the meeting.

• accepting the grand jury report.

• reopening bids to resurface the parking lot at the Business Development Center due to lack of bids at the September meeting.

• approving a contract with the Department of Youth Services specifying the county’s intent to use the services of the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center.

• approving Mason Tucker as a corrections officer.

• renewing Atkins’ contract for three years.

• approving to seek the legal services of Stanley Gregory of Montgomery in relations to the county’s resolution putting the 4 mil ad valorem tax for the hospital up for vote.

• Atkins also announced he has a list of surplus property to sell.

• accepting the lowest bid for general road supplies for 2019-2020 pending Atkins’ approval. The commission accepted bids from Paul Bradford for gravel, Hunt Refining for liquid asphalt, Rush Enterprises for corrugated metal pipes, Fallin Farms for aluminized steel pipes, HD waterworks for plastic pipes and Vulcan Materials for rock. The bids for fuel are still under review.

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

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, September 18 issue of the Demopolis Times.)