BY HANNAH GOLDFINGER
LEE COUNTY — The Lee County Commission voted Monday evening to move forward with Avenu Insights for collection and administration of taxes, rather than switch to the state’s program.
Over the last few weeks, the county has heard from both Avenu and the state on what each would offer to the county.
Avenu has been serving the county for over two decades, but the past three-year contract ended recently and the county is reevaluating.
“We adopted a resolution in September to change from Avenu to ADOR and at the next meeting we adopted a resolution to rescind that vote,” said Probate Judge Bill English. “So currently I don’t think we’re obligated, or contracted or in business with either one.”
County Administrator Holly Leverette said the state just needs to know in 90 days.
Two weeks ago, a representative from the state presented and Monday night, Mike Poth with Avenu spoke, asking the county to consider another three-year contract.
Originally the county voted to end its relationship with Avenu and move to the state, but after further discussions amongst commissioners, they rescinded this.
Now, the county has revoted to move forward with Avenu again.
“We had a call earlier this week with the representatives from Avenu,” said County Administrator Holly Leverette, sharing with the county what fees the state wouldn’t be able to handle.
There is savings associated with the move to the states program — $150,000 per year. But because the state couldn’t collect some fees, the county could collect in house itself, but District 3 Commissioner Gary Long expressed disapproval of this.
“If we have to let Avenu do it all because the state can’t, then that would be my suggestion,” Long said.
District 5 Commissioner Richard LaGrand was in favor of staying with Avenu because of the long-lasting relationship the county has had with the business.
District 1 Commissioner proposed a motion to stay with Avenu for a two-year contract.
Avenu agreed to a two-year contract.
The commission voted to add new polling places in the county to help alleviate voting day stress and lines.
Auburn city wards got their own precincts from the change.
Ward 1 will still be at Boykin, Ward 2 will still be at Frank Brown, Ward 3 will now vote at Embrace Church, Ward 4 will move to Church of the Highlands, Ward 5 will stay Dean Road, Ward 6 will move to Parkway Baptist Church, Ward 7 will move to Auburn Community Church, Ward 8 will be the Auburn Soccer Complex.
“It significantly adds voters but by splitting it up … all eight of those will be smaller than the currently smallest one in Auburn, so it really is helping,” English said.
- EMA Director Rita Smith gave the Mid-South RC&D check presentations.
- The commission approved an appointment to the Smiths Station Fire District.
- The commission approved the allocation of ARPA funds to the Lee County Youth Development Center.
- The commission revoked an ABC Application for lounge retail liquor license for Thirsty’s (D3).
- The commission approved moving the Parks & Rec Department into the Highway Department.
- The commission discussed local legislation that could help raise money for the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.
- The commission approved an educational reimbursement request for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
- The commission approved the final play approval for The Cottages at Southern Ridge Estates.
- The commission voted to approve the deputy coroner status change from contract workers to salaried employees.
- The commission voted to approve the Loachapoka Community Park bid .
- The commission approved the proposed 2024 Holiday Schedule.
- The commission approved to forego the second December meeting.
The next meeting will be Dec.11.