After weeks of discussion, the St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Board was officially established.

Perry Poe, Lude Mashburn, Brad Sanders and Kenny Womack were appointed to the newly-formed board, with one more member to be appointed in the coming weeks.  

Poe will serve a six-year term, Mashburn and Sanders will serve four-year terms, Womack and another to-be-appointed director will serve two-year terms.  

The board will make decisions regarding the use of county recreation properties like the Canoe Creek park, two boat launches, the Odenville Outdoor Arena and any future purchases.  

Sand spreader for wintry weather

With the snow season dwindling, the St. Clair County Commission is looking to make the process of coping with the white stuff next winter more efficient.

The commission approved purchase of one sand spreader to fit in a county dump truck.

During the commission’s work session Jan. 6, County Engineer Dan Dahlke initially asked for two spreaders to ease the workload in the event of wintry weather.

“We’ve already had some pretty decent little ice events this year, and each time I’ve probably had around eight people or so out to try to cover the areas we need to,” he explained. “If we purchase maybe a couple of sand spreaders we could probably do what we’re doing right now with probably four people and it’d probably get done a lot quicker.”

However, with a price tag of $12,000 per spreader, the commission opted to purchase just one at this time. Dahlke told commissioners that he had heard the price would increase 2 to 3 percent in February, so purchasing one now saved the county between $500 and $1,000 on the purchase.

The equipment will also save the county money on sand and personnel, with the spreader putting out sand more quickly and efficiently than using a shovel from a truck, which is the current practice.  

The spreader will be purchased on a state bid, and Dahlke said there is a 60-day waiting period for the equipment.

Additional funds to cover the non-budgeted expenditure may come in later the year when surplus equipment is sold.

HCA responsible for hospital

construction, project manager appointed

Construction continues on the upcoming St. Vincent’s St. Clair hospital, and now, the St. Clair County Healthcare Authority is officially in charge of the project.

The Commission officially handed over responsibility for their portions of the project to the HCA, while maintaining financial responsibility for their obligations. The city of Pell City is expected to do the same, but weather conditions have prevented their official action on the matter.

Garry Staples was also appointed project manager for the hospital project. Staples was the project manager for the Ashville Courthouse, which is nearly completed. The contract between Staples and the county was amended to allow Staples to serve as project manager for any projects assigned by the County Commission.

Because the HCA has responsibility for the project, they will pay half of Staples’ salary for the project, giving him the authority to make decisions on their behalf at the worksite.

In other actions:

* A petition from residents of the New London Sewer, Water and Fire Protection Authority’s jurisdiction was accepted. The petition supported appointment of Marie Rogala to the New London board when board member Bobby Jones’ appointment expires March 1. The petition was accepted, but no appointment has been made as of yet.

* An ALDOT resolution to resurface Highway 78 from Golden Chase Drive to I-20 in the Chula Vista/Cook Springs area was approved. The road will also be widened and have a guardrail installed.

* Drew Goolsby was reappointed to the St. Clair County Economic Development Council, and Charlie Browning was reappointed to the St. Clair County Airport Authority.

* Assistant District Attorney Carol Boone was appointed as the county commission’s voting delegate to the St. Clair County Day Program.

* Sons of the Confederate Veterans Camp 308 was approved to place wreaths at the Pell City Courthouse and the Confederate Solderis Monument in Ashville on Jan. 17.

Tax Dollars at Work:  

* A bid for $28,038.50 from Norris Paving was accepted to pave the Ragland tennis courts. The money will be provided by a $50,000 ADECA grant, which was also accepted during the meeting. Additional funds from the grant will be used on the hospital road.

* Resurfacing of Sanie Road was approved as this year’s federally-funded road project. The road will be resurfaced from Highway 411 to County Road 12. The project will cost approximately $650,000, and the federal funding comes in around $500,000 per year.

* $14,000 was appropriated to the Middle Alabama Area on Aging program to provide public transportation for the Moody Senior Program. The funds will come from the senior citizens portion of the Bingo money.

* At the request of Judge Phil Seay, the council approved a $1,000 donation to the YWCA’s Children in Crisis program. The funds will come from the Juvenile Court Services fund.

* An expenditure of $2,187.18 was approved for vehicle repairs to Scott McKay, whose car was struck by an item kicked up on I-20 by an emergency vehicle on the way to a call.

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