By Michelle Key

The Lee County Commissioners met Monday night to discuss a resolution to support the Statewide Gas and Diesel Fuel Tax legislation that is expected to be presented by the Alabama Legislature in the 2019 regular session. The legislation proposed will increase the rate of Alabama’s gasoline and diesel fuel taxes in order to provide new revenue for the repairs of county roads and bridges. Lee County is currently working on a 57-year cycle for road resurfacing due to the lack of funding. The recommended period for resurfacing roads is every 15 years.
Lee County resident Kenneth Busby spoke to the commission and asked that they reconsider the resolution and to look at other options. “Raising the fuel tax will hit the poor people the hardest. You have single mothers scraping up change just to make it back and forth to work,” Busby said. “I think the state can do a better job and find a better way to get the money the need.”
The resolution to support the increases fuel tax was passed by the commission with a 4-1 vote with Commissioner LaGrand being the lone nay vote.
Dr. Elizabeth Yorke presented a powerpoint presentation to update commissioners on the SNYP program. Doctors Buddy Bruce from Animal Health Clinc and Gary Hunt from Opelika Animal Hospital both addressed the commission about the ongoing program. Bruce stated that for his facility the live outcome rate for dogs and cats combined was up to 91 percent.
Also during the meeting, the commission:
• approved the minutes of commission meeting held Feb. 11, 2019.
• approved motion to ratify and approve claims
• held the second reading of vacancies on various boards and approved the following people for the board positions:
Beauregard Water Authority – Wes Goodson
East Alabama Mental Health Center – Bill English and Anne Penney
Loachapoka Water Authority – Sheri Todd and Mark Aderholt
Smiths Water and Sewer Authority – Mary P. Henry and Joseph Walden
• received a request from the Alabama Council on Human Relations and the Community Action Partnership of Lee County requesting that the commission select a representative to the local board of directors
• approved a change order for Smiths Station Ballfield and Plaza in order to cover additoinal costs associated with the removal of rock at the site as presented by County Administrator Roger Rendleman
• approved a budget adjustment on the Courthouse Annex Project as presented by Rendleman – this was not a request for additional funding but just a moving of funds into the general fund in order to complete the project. The project is expected to be completed under budget
• approved a bid for a new track mounted compact radius hydraulic excavator with a mulching head in the amount of $198,366 – this machine is used to cut and mulch limbs, trees and brush on county right-of ways.
• approved a request from the Environmental Services Department allowing the Chairman to sign a resolution allowing Lee County to administer a grant for the 2019 program year for Alabama Recycling Fund Grant Program. Lee County parnters with the city of Opelika, Auburn and Auburn University in securing grant funds. The partnering cities take turns administering the grant each year.
The Lee County Commission meets on the second and last Monday nights of the month. The next meeting will be March 11 at 5 p.m. Meetings are held at the Lee County courthouse which is located at 215 S. 9th St. in Opelika.