By Fred Woods


This week the Lee County Commission approved, on a motion by Commissioner Sheila Eckman, establishment of a county archives study group. The study group will investigate the feasibility of creating a Lee County Archive that would preserve, store and make available for study the historic records of the county, both public and private.

The group, proposed in a petition signed by representatives of 10 local organizations and the Alabama Department of Archives and History, will make recommendations to the county commission relative to the establishment of an archives commission as well as the archive itself and will include such things as space requirements, staffing, governance, mission and estimated operational costs. Establishing an archives commission, similar to the Lee County Cemetery Commission would require local legislation but would allow the receipt of donations and application for grants.

According to Steve Murray of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, there are 52 local repositories in the state, operated by city and county governments as well as some private groups.Those individuals signing the petition plus Commissioner Eckman will be asked to form the study group.

The commission, at the request of District 4 Commissioner Robert Ham, delayed further discussion and a possible vote on a county noise ordinance until the next commission meeting. Ham said he had made progress on developing at least two alternatives to the original draft found on the county website but wanted additional input from the other commissioners.

Commissioner John Andrew Harris reported on an award he recently received from the Alabama Voter Education and Registration Alliance as Top County Performer (in voter registration). He circulated an impressive plaque and received the congratulations of the other commissioners.

Commission Chair Bill English announced that, in accordance with Alabama law, the next meeting of the Lee County Commission would be on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The Alabama code provides that (Section 11-3-1 (e)) “Each county commission shall meet on the Wednesday following the election and tabulation of provisional ballots … (and) shall establish the regular meeting days for the county commission.”

Chairman English also issued two challenges to those present and, by extension, to the citizens of Lee County:

1. Go to the polls and exercise your right to vote on Nov. 4, and

2. On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, seek out a veteran and thank him for his service.

In other actions the commission:

– approved the nomination (by Commissioner Harris) of Janice Frazier of Loachapoka to the Lee County Recreation Board.

– heard the first reading of two nominations (Dianne Carleton of Opelika and Jerry Bentley of Smiths Station) to the Lee County Youth Development Board.

– approved a retail liquor license for CJS Steakhouse and Spirits on Summerville Road in Smiths Station.