Rhett Pinkston

Daniel Dye / The Herald

Boy Scout Rhett Pinkston explains to the Elmore County Commission how he came in contact with Foundation Forward Inc.

The Elmore County Commission approved chairman Troy Stubbs to draft a letter of intent with Foundation Forward Inc. to install an outdoor exhibit featuring the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Local Boy Scout Rhett Pinkston was researching subjects for a scouting service project.

“I’m excited to tell you that we were approved and we will be the first site in Alabama to have a Charters of Freedom Setting,” Pinkston said to the commission.

According to Foundation Forward spokesperson Ron Lewis, the cost for the project is 100% covered by donations.

“We envision an area where teachers can teach their students about the Charters of Freedom,” Lewis said.

During the presentation, Lewis asked the board provide the property to build the exhibit and appoint a steering committee to assist with the project.

Lewis requested Pinkston is included on the steering committee.

“To this date, we have yet to spend our first tax dollar — be it local, state or federal,” Lewis said. “Everything is private money. We have a branch of our organization that helps us fund our projects. They are very, very good.”

According to the organization’s website, 26 projects have been completed.

Foundation Forward is a 501(c)(3) educational organization based in Valdese, North Carolina.

The commission gave the Elmore County Board of Education a check in the amount of $19,063.10.

According to Stubbs, the payment was for 25% of taxes collected through a simplified online seller use tax during the month of October.

“In fiscal year 2020, as a commission, we decided to allocate 25% of our simplified seller use tax to the Elmore County Board of Education,” Stubbs said.

“The school system is experiencing a lot of growth and growing pains. It’s a way for us to assist them. This is money we receive on a monthly basis from the State Department of Revenue.”

Stubbs said the school system will receive a check each month during fiscal year 2020.

“We look forward to seeing this continue to grow and we anticipate big numbers during the holiday season,” Stubbs said. 

County engineer and operations officer Richie Beyer reported to the commission the county has completed $100 million worth of infrastructure, renovation and expansion projects since 2004.

“With some additional grants we recently received, the county has spent over $85 million on federal, state and local projects,” Beyer said. “We also have another $15 million in renovation and expansion projects from the past five years. Those numbers added together pushed us over the $100 million mark in projects."

Beyer indicated some of those projects in that figure are expected to be completed by 2023.

In other business, the commission:

• Confirmed Susan Robbins to the County Board of Equalization

• Approved a proposed right of way vacation by adjoining landowners of an undeveloped right of way off Lake Region Circle

• Approved to renew a consulting services contract with Crosby Drinkard Group

• Approved the hire of Lisa Henderson to the role of dispatcher Tier 1 effective Nov. 22

• Approved the promotion of Jacquelyn “Jackie” Hogan to the role of dispatcher supervisor effective Nov. 13

• Approved memorandum of warrants between Nov. 8 and 19

• Approved minutes from the Nov. 12 commission meeting

• Beyer indicated the county’s fiscal year 2019 financial report will be published in The Wetumpka Herald in the coming weeks

• Beyer also indicated the county submitted a grant application in the amount of $250,000 to the state’s Rebuild Alabama program for improvements to Jordan Dam Road, Boat Ramp Road and a portion of old U.S. Highway 213

The next meeting of the Elmore County Commission will be held 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9 in the courtroom of the Elmore County Courthouse.