Commission names Braswell to water board, approves roadwork

A vacancy on the Central Elmore Water and Sewer Authority board was filled after the Elmore County Commission took action during Monday night’s meeting. The commission moved to appoint Fred Braswell to the board, filling a vacancy created upon the death of one of the board’s members, and also discussed a pair of board members […]

A vacancy on the Central Elmore Water and Sewer Authority board was filled after the Elmore County Commission took action during Monday night’s meeting.

The commission moved to appoint Fred Braswell to the board, filling a vacancy created upon the death of one of the board’s members, and also discussed a pair of board members who have applied for reappointment.

William “Bill” Newton and Charles R. “Ronnie” Bazzell have submitted their application for reappointment to the board, and commissioners reminded everyone applications for the pair of positions will be accepted until Feb. 25.

“I’ve known (Bazzell) for many years,” commissioner Bart Mercer said. “We are fortunate he is making himself available for reappointment.”

Chief engineer and operations officer Richie Beyer brought information regarding a handful of roadway projects before the commission. During the work session, he briefly touched on a proposal to widen, resurface and stripe Coosada Parkway from the Alabama River Parkway north to Alabama Highway 14. Beyer added several spots on the roadway have become more problematic due to weather-related issues last winter. After hearing this information, the commission approved a resolution to move forward with the project.

Beyer also mentioned how the county has received funding through the federally funded High Risk Rural Roads Program to redo guardrails on three bridges in the county. He explained this money is somewhat of a mixed bag, as it means traffic fatalities are higher than average in these areas, but having the money for repairs will hopefully reduce fatalities. The bridges receiving work through the HRRR program are on Sewell Road, Baltzer Road and Peace Church Road.

After the meeting, Beyer said county work crews will be handling some of the preliminary work at these projects but a majority of the work will be contracted out to engineering firms.

During the work session, commissioners offered observations regarding public reaction to the Jan. 19 tornado that struck Wetumpka and Elmore County.

“It is impossible to thank everyone involved,” commissioner Mack Daugherty said.

Mercer added, “I want to offer my most sincere gratitude to see how our staff worked together to support Wetumpka through this. I am also encouraged by the response we saw coming from our neighboring communities.”

Commissioner Earl Reeves echoed what his colleagues said, while commission chair Troy Stubbs commended county EMA director Keith Barnett and other county agencies for their hard work during the tornado and recovery process.

“We saw over 1,000 volunteers registered in a day and a half, and that doesn’t even count people who live here and may have just stepped out their front door to volunteer,” Stubbs said. “This is a true testament to our compassion in the community.”

Stubbs also recommended following the county commission and county EMA on social media for alerts and as a source of official information from the county government.

Building on what Stubbs said, Beyer said the center registering volunteers actually had to be shut down the Monday following the tornado, as it was overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to volunteer their services during the cleanup.

The commission also approved the most recent memorandum of warrants, totaling approximately $2.1 million, for the period between Jan. 9-23.

The next meeting of the Elmore County Commission will be Feb. 11 beginning with a work session at 5 p.m.