Commission considers new equipment

Published 9:59 am Friday, February 17, 2012

Roadsides and areas with trees may soon be looking better thanks to a piece of equipment the Crenshaw County Commission voted to purchase.

During the work session before Monday’s meeting, county engineer Benjie Sanders talked to the commission about buying a piece of equipment similar to a boom mower, but with a 26-foot reach instead of an 18-foot reach.

“I think it would be a good program to use a boom mower first and then come behind that and get the higher-up stuff,” Sanders said. “This would enhance our ability to keep the right of way clean. Some of our biggest complaints are from school buses, log trucks and poultry trucks that get scratched by things we can’t reach.”

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The equipment is listed for $23,000, but Sanders said the dealer is located in Clanton and is willing to drop the price to $18,000 or even below $15,000, which is the lower limit of the bid law requiring that a project be bid.

During the regular meeting, Commissioner Charlie Sankey had concerns that the county has several pieces of equipment that aren’t being used regularly.

“Equipment is bought for an application, and this has an application,” said Commissioner Merrill Sport. “The way I understood it, when you’re trimming with rotary blades, the same person running that equipment will run this. It’s not something that will see daily use.”

Sport also suggested that the county might co-op with other counties to help offset the cost of the equipment.

The commission voted unanimously to purchase the equipment.

In other business, the commission approved the tax levies for this year after hearing from Revenue Commissioner Sherry McSwean.

“The appraisal office comes up with the property values, then we apply the tax rates set by the commission, and that comes out to what people owe,” she said.

The commission also appointed Jennifer McDougald as solid waste enforcement officer for the county landfill.

Former solid waste enforcement officer Johnny Hollis has been moved to a training position to help educate McDougald.

The commission discussed dedicating a stretch of road in the county in memory of former Sen. Wendell Mitchell.

“That would be a good way to honor him and also to serve as a reminder for us that he did have an impact here in Crenshaw County,” Sankey said.

“I think 331 is the highway to do it on,” Sport said. “That’s the one that takes you from Luverne to Montgomery. I think it’d be appropriate to put landmarks at the top and bottom of the county.”

County Administrator David Smyth said he had spoken with the Alabama Department of Transportation office in Troy, and the only cost associated with such a measure would be for the signs.

No action was taken on the matter.