County discusses farmer’s market and contract for state convicts

Published 1:24 pm Friday, April 9, 2010

Fresh vegetables and state convicts were two items of discussion yesterday at the Butler County Commission workshop meeting.

Richard Branum, representing Butler County Fair Association and Greenville Kiwanis club, presented the plans to turn the old jail building site on South Conecuh Street into a county farmer’s market.

Branum said they intend to have 10 loading docks, five on each side, that farmers can back into and sell their crops from.

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Commission Lynn Watson asked Branum what would happen if too many farmers showed up.

“We have 24 people registered with permits to sell tax-exempt crops,” Branum said. “We would love to have the problem of figuring out how to share the available space.”

Sheriff Kenny Harden discussed pursuing contracts to house state inmates.

Alabama Department of Corrections has an overcrowding problem, sheriff said.

“We got room to hold some over here now,” Harden said. “It could help bring money in to help pay for the new facility.”

The contract would have to be approved by the county commission once obtained. Harden says they have the capacity to house 30 or 40 more inmates. These would most likely be non-violent criminals, such as those convicted for felony burglaries.

County engineer Dennis McCall reported the progress of bids for the resurfacing and re-striping on County Road 15 from State Road 106 to County Road 38.

APAC Midsouth had the lowest bid at $845,703.78. The contract will require the county pay $144,984 for their participation in the project.

Bob Luman, EMA director, spoke to the commission about the availability of state funds for disaster cleanup. Disasters that require outside funds that are not covered by FEMA may be covered by the state. This would only require that the commission declare a state of emergency, Luman said.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Education, Pete Hamilton recommended renewing the ad valorem tax, a 12-mil education tax that is amended every 10 years.

Also discussed: the copier lease for the commission office is about to expire. It was recommended that a different copier be obtained and a lease be renewed.

A request was also made by Glenn King to transfer an off-premise beer license from C&H Food Mart to 31 Marathon.

The commission meeting will be held Monday at 8:30 a.m.