The new year’s first commission meeting began with a discussion of various engineering projects around St. Clair. County Engineer Dan Dahlke presented project options and expenditures, and the commission discussed and approved the projects.
The commission and Dahlke discussed possible rerouting in Moody because of traffic backups. Chairman Stan Batemon brought up turn lanes for Highway 411 and County Road 10 in Moody. Dahlke said that he was not sure if there would be enough money to start on this project in the spring, but there might be enough when money comes in the fall for turn lanes.
The commission did, however, approve an agreement with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to perform preliminary engineering work on U.S. 411 from County Road 10 to Kerr Road in Moody. “They are going to be studying overall and smaller problems to figure out how to help us set the project up,” said Dahlke.
Another project discussed for Moody is one to reduce the traffic flow at the Brompton exit. With the construction of two gas stations at the exit, traffic has increased over the past few months. And the traffic is anticipated to increase as the stations open for business.
Batemon said that he would like to see a project started here. Dahlke said that this project is estimated to be around $4 to 5 million. While the project does not currently fit in the engineering budget, but it does qualify for federal money.
Dahlke said that the county does have enough money to start the Hazelwood road project in Pell City. He said that this project would not be going into ATRIP. But the good news, according to Dahlke, is that the project does now qualify for borrowed money. The next step in getting this project underway is an engineering review of the property. However, one landowner has denied the county access to survey the land.
County attorney James Hill said that he would be looking into getting the county a right to entry. This right to entry would allow for the county to come in for engineering purposes only.
Also approved at last weeks meetings were the resolutions for ATRIP Round III projects. Dahlke said that 2014 would be dedicated to around three ATRIP projects, with around 40 miles of paving, total.
In other matters:
-Last week’s meeting started with a closed session. County commissioners recessed from the work session to discuss economic development for Pell City.
Pell City officials were in attendance and waited for the commission to return from the session. Upon their return, attorney Hill said that he would be writing up a note arrangement between the county and the city of Pell City for up to and no more than $600,000. He said that details would be discussed at a later time. Before leaving, Pell City Mayor Joe Funderburg thanked the commission for their contribution. “I think this is going to benefit the entire county, and we appreciate your support,” said Funderburg.
-The commission approved the request of St. Clair County’s Day Program for reimbursement of Internet charges, drug screening and transportation cards in the amount of $3, 315.61. The resolution was approved by Judge Alan Furr to be paid form the Juvenile Court Services Fund.
-Also approved by the commission was a request from the St. Clair Soil and Water Conservation District. The commission will appropriate $1,000 to the annual water festival set fro March 4.