Commission honors Freddie Armstead, sets redistricting public hearing
Published 2:59 pm Friday, March 18, 2022
The Marengo County Commission began its March meeting with the presentation of a resolution honoring the late Commissioner Freddie Armstead, Sr. Armstead died on February 9 from an accidental gunshot wound after returning from a hunting trip.
Armstead served as a Marengo County Commissioner for 36 years in which he gave unselfishly of his time, experience, and talents for the benefits of all citizens of Marengo County. He played an instrumental part in the creation of the Marengo County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA), along with the Industrial Development Board of Demopolis, and the Industrial Development board of Linden so as to support and maintain commerce and industry in the county. Commissioner Jason Windham presented the resolution to Armstead’s son, Freddie Armstead, Jr.
Louis Hines with Alabama State presented the final proposed plans for redistricting. He said there have been no changes to districts 3,4, and 5, and only small changes have been made to districts 1 and 2. The Commission agreed to advertise a public hearing about the changes at the April meeting.
Kayla King approached the council to receive approval for use of the commissary kitchen in the Economic Development Center. At a previous meeting King of Clayhill Farms and Gardens, requested the use of the kitchen for three days a week to prepare food to be distributed around the county via food truck.
At the March meeting, she asked the Commission for an extra day per week access to the kitchen, making their days of usage Thursday through Sunday for three weeks each month. King emphasized that the food would not be served in the kitchen, they would use minimal storage space, and that their use of the kitchen would not conflict with others who need to use the space for other events. Commissioners tabled the request until the next meeting to allow time to review the lease.
Darryl Maguire with New Day Ministries also asked the Commission for use of the former National Guard Armory for a new faith-based program that aims to cross racial and reduce tensions. Services are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Sundays to avoid conflict with other churches in the area. The first event is scheduled for May 1 with services held on the first Sunday of the month for three months, then will move to a weekly schedule.
The Commission passed a resolution regarding the one-cent sales tax to benefit the county’s school systems. Linden City Schools Superintendent Dr. Timothy Thurman, said the Linden school system is close to getting money levied to turn the old Fun Factory property into a new high school.
Rev. Jesse Moore appeared before the Commission and reported that a contractor is set to begin constructing storm shelters as soon as the Commission determines permanent locations. Moore said the Moore-Wright group will make sure payments are made as this is a private project rather than a county project.
Probate Judge Laurie Hall reported that the approval to eliminate the Office of Constable may not be discussed in the Alabama Legislature this year. Hall said she will work with Rep. A.J. McCampbell on when to submit the legislation for either a special session or the regular session in 2023.
Hall also said that the access ramp for the Hwy. 43 voting site needs to be repaired before the primaries in May. A bid from one company has been received, and she is waiting on another bid from a second company. She was given two weeks to get the second bid, but authorized Chairman Terry Hinton to approve the first bid if needed.
Other items discussed by the board:
- Approved a bid from H&L Construction of Troy for a replacement bridge on County Road 38 for $782,032.50
- Approved rights of way for road construction projects
- Dismissed two claims against the county concerning a deputy’s salary and a cable break
- Declared items at surplus for auction by J.M. Wood for $115,000
- Renewed the CD at Sweet Water State Bank at a rate of .50 per cent.