By Fred Woods

The Lee County Commission voted to proceed with a new County Recycling Building to be constructed on the west side of Williamson Avenue near its intersection with Society Hill Road. Of the estimated $900,000 cost of the project, $260,500 is already budgeted with the county “lending” the remaining $639,500 which will be repaid from future Environmental Services budgets, primarily from county garbage fees.
After voting to approve the funding as an adjustment to the 2016 budget the commission then voted to award the Recycling Building Project to the low bidder, Don Allen Development of Auburn. Allen’s bid was $787,900 and the company promised to complete the project in 120 calendar days.
Reflecting the improved Lee County economy and increased county tax revenues, commissioners approved three upward budget adjustments: the first lets the Sheriff’s Office add an additional two Deputy-School Resource Officers for a total of 10. Second, two additional customer service representatives are authorized for the Revenue Commissioner’s office. This restores that office to its pre-2008 employment level, the last county office to be restored. The final adjustment, to the Highway Department budget, reflected far better than expected results from the sale of surplus equipment and vehicles, authorized a transfer to the Highway Capital Expenditures budget of $229,600.
Environmental Services Director Chris Bozeman announced Alabama PALS 2016 Spring Cleanup will be April 16-23. PALS stands for People Against a Littered State and will provide all cleanup materials and supplies needed for the roadside, stream and streamside and public areas cleanup.
Public and private employee groups, civic clubs, schools and other volunteer groups are asked to target specific areas in their vicinity for their cleanup efforts. Contact Chris Bozeman, (334) 737-7013 or Alabama PALS (334) 263-7737 for materials and supplies and additional information. This year’s theme for the annual event is “Don’t Drop It On Alabama.”
County Engineer Justin Hardee reported that all roads damaged and closed as a result of heavy rains during Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2015 were now repaired and reopened with the last closed road, LR 651 in extreme northwest Lee County, having a culvert replacement completed last week.
In other action the commission:
-approved an Access Management Policy variance for a commercial development just across US Hwy. 280  from the Flea Market at Smiths Station,
-approved execution of right-of-way agreement for the Lee Road 65 bridge replacement over Saugahatchee Creek west of Loachapoka,
-tabled action on the Beulah Senior Center land survey, and
-approved a transfer of a retail liquor license for the CJS Steakhouse and Spirits on Summerville Road just outside Phenix City.