The Elmore County Commission received at Monday’s meeting a first draft of roads and bridges being recommended for repair in the 2020 fiscal year but commissioners won’t be ready to consider approving them until late July.
“Most of them are preservation projects,” county engineer Richie Beyer said.
Beyer’s office has rated the projects by grade and the county must have its formal plan for road and bridge projects complete by Aug. 31 under new guidelines for using Rebuild Alabama funds provided by the new statewide gas tax increase.
Gas taxes will increase 6 cents per gallon beginning Sept. 1 in the first phase of the plan. In all, gas taxes will rise 10 cents a gallon over the next three years and will generate approximately $380 million annually for infrastructure improvements statewide.
Beyer said previously the county expects to receive $1.22 million in Rebuild Alabama funds annually once the program is fully phased in and he hopes the final list of projects for fiscal year 2020 will be ready for the commission’s consideration by the July 22 meeting.
The Elmore County government is responsible for 1,000 miles of roads, 182 of which are unpaved. The county has 123 bridges, 20 of which are at least 50 years old, according to the Association of County Commissions of Alabama.
The county commission also approved extending the county jail’s inmate telephone agreement with Securus Technologies until 2023. Commission chairman Troy Stubbs said the agreement does not cost the county anything but warden Mike Henline of the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office said Securus and the county receive a percentage of fees when inmates use text messaging, emails and video visitation to communicate with their families. Henline said the county could earn approximately $10,000 annually which would go to the general fund.
All communications are approved by the jail staff; Henline said 290 inmates are currently held in the county jail which is designed for 242 prisoners.
Under the extension, 16 new terminals will be added. Inmates will have access to a law library and job listings, according to Henline, who said the electronic services will likely reduce traditional mail coming to inmates.
In other action at the meeting, the commission:
• Heard a proposal to move a voting precinct in Millbrook from Grandview Pines Baptist Church on Deatsville Highway to Tri City Baptist Church on Alabama Highway 14.
“We’re trying to make sure we have the fewest adverse impacts on traffic (for voters),” commissioner Bart Mercer said. “We did a site evaluation and the flow of traffic would be least likely to impact voters if it’s moved to Tri City.”
The move would have to be approved by the U.S. Justice Department and Mercer hopes it will be finalized before the 2020 municipal, county, state and presidential elections.
• Approved a memorandum of warrants totaling $986,478.03 from June 5-19.
• Approved a 30-day extension to identify candidates for appointment to the Community Action Partnership of Middle Alabama.
• Approved a request by Beverly Stone, the chief of staff of the district attorney’s office, to pay a $19,626.06 match toward a domestic violence grant of $154,500.
• Approved a proposed plat adding six lots to the Estates at Wildwood in Redland.
• Approved declaring a county highway department 2005 Ford F-250 as surplus so it can be sold.
• Approved a declaration of emergency illness for administrative assistant Cindy Nelson and the donation of 80 hours of sick leave to Nelson from Beyer and Luke McGinty.
• Was notified of the hiring of Vicky Strickland and Savannah Jo Deininger as tag clerks.
The county administrative offices at the courthouse will be closed July 4. The next meeting of the Elmore County Commission is 5 p.m. July 8.