By Fred Woods
Most of Monday night’s Lee County Commission meeting was devoted to a discussion of Buddy Messer’s drainage problem on his property on Lee Road 146. Messer, given short shrift by the commission at their previous meeting, brought pictures and a short videotape showing how rainwater flowing through the county’s culvert dumps onto Messer’s property. There is little doubt that this is the source of much of the water coming onto Messer’s land. The problem is that there are many similar situations in Lee County, and the county doesn’t have the resources to fix them all.
Messer didn’t ask the county to fix his problem, only for assistance. His message to the county is, “If you’ll do something about the water coming through the culvert onto my property, I’ll take care of my property and any water issues on it.’’
The commissioners asked Justin Hardee, county engineer, to work with Messer in an effort to arrive at a reasonable solution to the problem.
Commissioner Johnny Lawrence, emphasizing his hope that some reasonable accommodation be reached, said, “After all, if we’re not here to serve the public, then why are we here?”
Kathy Carson, Lee County’s EMA director, was recognized for earning recertification of her Certified Emergency Manager designation. This designation is the highest honor bestowed by the International Association of Emergency Managers, an organization of more than 9,000 emergency managers, professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters.
Carson is one of 1,518 people worldwide holding the CEM designation. She originally qualified by submitting an extensive credentials package listing personal and professional achievements and by successfully completing a Management Essay and a written examination. It is an honor neither easily attained nor maintained.
Carson also announced a free training program, “Active Shooter Awareness & Response Training for Non-Law Enforcement,” to be held Saturday, April 4, from 1-5 p.m. at The Lee County Meeting Center (formerly Johnson Gallery), located at 205 S. 10th St., Opelika.
The training will provide information to the general public on background and history of active shooter/killers. Trainers will also discuss techniques to help citizens protect themselves and increase survivability during active shooter/killer situations.
The training is jointly presented by Lee County EMA, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Opelika Police Department. Although the event is free, preregistration is required to reserve a seat. Preregister by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 749-81611 no later than March 23.
Rickey Holder of Loachapoka told the commission that three times in the past two months he had been delayed by trains at the rock quarry spur crossing Highway 14 near Notasulga. This is contrary to the promise made to the people of the area at the county commission meeting when Florida Rock, original quarry owners, were seeking permission to build the spur.
At that time quarry representatives said they would only use the spur very late at night to avoid disrupting traffic. Since Vulcan Materials has bought the quarry, that agreement has not been kept. Commissioners asked Hardee to contact the appropriate ALDOT official to see what could be done. (Highway 14 is a state highway and, therefore, under the jurisdiction of ALDOT.)
In other actions the commission
– gave permission to Lee County Relay for Life to use the Courthouse front steps for the annual Relay for Life event on Friday, April 24, beginning at 6 p.m.,
– appointed (second reading) Harry Lazenby to the Beauregard Water Authority and Dick Key to the Smiths Water and Sewer Authority,
– approved a one-day special event license for the Wagon Wheel Wounded Warrior Bash at 2487 Lee Road 266, Cusseta, March 14
– approved a retail wine license and transfer of a retail beer license for the Discount Corner 4 in Smiths Station,
– approved a six-month bid extension for ready-mixed concrete for Sherman Concrete of Auburn (two previous attempts to get one-year bids have failed to solicit even one bid),
– approved a job classification change for payroll accountant and
– heard Commissioner John Andrew Harris caution fellow commissioners that membership on various boards required commissioners to recuse themselves when matters pertaining to those boards came before the commission under provisions of Alabama’s ethics law.