The Elmore County Commission unanimously voted Monday evening to approve a 15% levelized lodging tax and to give the county sheriff the ability to sell legal firearms to licensed gun dealers in Alabama.
“We do not have the authority to impose our own lodging tax (in Elmore County),” commission chairman Troy Stubbs said. “This is just the beginning. We will have to advertise it for the required amount of time. Then it will be filed in the state legislature and hopefully be filed as a local bill.”
Stubbs said if passed by the state legislature, the lodging tax will be charged by all businesses classified as lodging and the money collected will used to improve the quality of life in Elmore County.
The commission also approved local legislation that will give the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office the ability to sell abandoned, stolen or unclaimed firearms to gun dealers licensed in Alabama.
“The law is as such that firearms have to be sold within Elmore County,” commissioner Mack Daugherty said. “There are not that many gun dealers in Elmore County. By going outside the county, the sheriff can obtain more money for those items. It would be a plus for the county.”
As with the levelized lodging tax, this piece of local legislation will follow the same course.
The commission said the money will go back into the sheriff’s budget for equipment purchases.
The commission also appointed county residents Lee Greer, Dr. Rocky Lyons and Frank Barnett to the Elmore County Healthcare Authority Board.
“This board receives almost $1,000,000 a year,” commissioner Bart Mercer said. “I want to thank the authority for expanding the board and recognizing the fact we need to strive to have additional representation on this board. By adding these additional seats, that is a goal is to have additional representation from across the county.”
The board recently expanded the number of chairs from seven to nine.
The commission also introduced a new awareness campaign to curb litter with signs of wildlife the county is calling its Anti-Litter Critters.
“As you can see before us, there are many different littler critters on display,” Stubbs said to those gathered at the meeting. “We are looking forward to placing these throughout the county. These are Elmore County’s latest voices to help keep our natural resources rich and our county beautiful.
They are here to remind our citizens to dispose of trash and litter and to advocate to participate in cleaning up areas of our county and to eliminate illegal dumping.”
Stubbs said the signs should start appearing at locations throughout the county in the next few weeks.
In other action, the commission:
• Approved county participation in assisting the City of Wetumpka with construction efforts of the athletic complex
• Approved the purchase of property at 219 Main St. valued at $85,000 plus ancillary costs
• Approved a resolution to begin work on Burt Mill Road from Flat Rock Road to AL Hwy. 14
• Set a public hearing date at 5 p.m. on March 23 to discuss a proposed right of way vacation by adjoining landowners of Johnson Street from Eclectic town limits to Central Avenue
• Approved the memorandum of warrants Jan. 23 through Feb. 4
• Approved change in employment status of several county employees
• Approved the minutes of the Jan. 27 commission meeting
The next meeting of the Elmore County Commission is at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 at the Elmore County Courthouse.