By Fred Woods

At Monday’s county commission meeting, Commissioner John Harris continued to state his opposition to the changes in two county polling places, which occurred at the first regular March meeting of the commission in accordance with Alabama law. Harris alternated between threatening to sue the county commission to reverse the changes and stating he does not want to sue the county. No action was taken.

The Lee County Highway Department has closed a portion of Lee Road 56 about 0.2 miles east of its junction with Lee Road 57 to replace a deteriorated drain. LR 57 joins Alabama Highway 14 just east of Loachapoka.

Longtime Lee County Chief Appraiser Bobby Armstrong announced his retirement, as of April 30. He will be succeeded by Richard (Richie) LaGrand, an Opelika native who joined the appraisal staff just after graduating from Opelika High School in 1996. LaGrand was selected after an extensive job search.

Several citizens also addressed the commission about various concerns.

Margaret Young Brown, resident of Lee Road 392 in the extreme southern part of the county near B.W. Capps store, addressed a problem she said was created when the county highway department put a red clay mixture on her dirt road several years ago. Brown said the red clay mixture has made travel on her road difficult and dangerous, particularly when it is wet. County Engineer Justin Hardee said he had inspected the road and found no immediate danger to the driving public – a substantial difference of opinion. Hardee expressed his willingness to relook at the issue.

Martha Leonard reported that her son Kelly was temporarily transferred back to Lee County (from the Tallapoosa County Jail) because his lawyer had resigned. Leonard said she was very disturbed that Kelly’s prescriptions for high blood pressure and anxiety, which had accompanied him, had been withheld during the period he was in the Lee County facility.

Mike Ward, owner of Bar W Farm and RV Park on Lee Road 395 off U.S. Highway 29 southwest of Auburn, complained that poor road conditions had made it impossible for RVs to access his park without risking substantial damage to the vehicles. He said his complaints to the commission had not been addressed for more than a year.

Hardee had already checked out the road earlier in the day and agreed with Ward that tree limbs and other vegetation overgrowing the roadway was a major problem. He promised Ward men with pole saws and chain saws immediately and to schedule the county’s specialized tree trimming machinery a quickly as possible.

In other action the commission

– heard a request for financial support to the Silver Haired Legislature presented by local businesswoman Selena Daniel, accompanied by J.O. Conway. Both are delegates to the SHL. The request will be considered at budget-time.

– approved a temporary position in the Probate Office due to an unusually high number of employees with medical issues.

– awarded the Justice Center reroofing project to low-bidder Superior Roofing Systems, Inc., of Griffin, GA. Their bid was $479,823.

– approved a contract for a structural design to replace the bridge over Osanippa Creek on Lee Road 375 in the northeast corner of the county.