Session conclusion delays county budget bill

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2005

Residents in south Crenshaw County may be better prepared for the future in case another catastrophic hurricane decides to make landfall along the coast of Alabama.

Kathy McHugh, with Roth, McHugh & Associates, met with the county commission on Monday to discuss a proposed grant that would provide one new well and two new tanks for citizens in parts of southern Crenshaw County.

Over 500 residents in those areas were left without water when Hurricane Ivan blew through parts of Florida and Alabama last September. The funds would come from FEMA and would be applied for by South Crenshaw Water.

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The commission agreed to authorize Chairman Ronnie Blackmon to sign all appropriate documentation in support of the grant.

For the past few months the commission has been looking at a way to increase salaries for county employees. However, a proposed bill to prorate the county budget will likely be tabled until the next legislative session. Revenue Commissioner Sherry McSwean told the commission she spoke with Rep. Charles Newton who said it's likely Gov. Bob Riley could call the legislation into special session sometimes in June or July and the bill could be introduced then. Prorating the budget would decrease the amount of revenue going to entities like the Crenshaw County School System and Crenshaw Community Hospital.

"I'd like for us to set up a meeting with the Board of Education and the hospital board to explain our reasons for wanting to do this," said Commissioner Ronnie Hudson.

The commission agreed. Prorating the entire budget would mean an additional $45,000 of funding in the county's general fund for employee salaries.

"We have to have professionals working in this courthouse," said Commissioner Charlie Sankey.

In other business the commission:

n Approved to pay Lightfoot & Nichols $37.91 for services.

n Approved to pay the Alabama Department of Transportation at total of $8,079.92 for engineering on the Dongwon highway project.

n Approved to pay Lee Helms Associates the amount of $1,750 for consulting on the county's Homeland Security grants.

n Approved to pay CDG Engineers the amount of $11,286 with a county match of $3,275.10 for engineering work on the Daniel Branch Road project.

n Appointed Commissioners Ricky McElwain and Ronnie Blackmon to the Courthouse Security Committee.