Commission awards chainsaws

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By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com

The Lee County Commission had a quiet meeting Monday, approving an adopt-a-mile application, speed limit reductions and a purchase request for the Beauregard Volunteer Fire Department.

County Engineer Justin Hardee also presented the local volunteer fire departments with chainsaws Monday night.

Chief Blake Simpkins, president of the Lee County’s Fire Fighters Association, accepted the seven chainsaws that the county purchased.

“I know how great the programs are,” said District 2 Commissioner Sarah Brown. “… My son is actually a volunteer at the Farmville [program] and has learned so much. And I just really appreciate all you do. Thank you.”

District 4 Commissioner Gary Long said he knows the programs are tough after trying to volunteer with the Smiths Station volunteer fire department and said he appreciates the work the volunteers do.

“Ya’ll are a rare breed,” he said.

Simpkins said he has been with Beulah Fire Rescue for 12 years and appreciates the commission’s support.

“Over the past couple years, I’ve seen a lot of working together in the county,” he said. “And everybody knows, if you can get everybody on the same page, working together, communication, talking, everything just runs smoothly.”

Beauregard Volunteer Fire:

The Beauregard Volunteer Fire Department requested a purchase approval of seven pulse oximeters.

The purchase, which was approved, will cost the county $3,782.98.

“The equipment will be used for initial patient contact to determine oxygen saturation levels in possible COVID-19 patients,” the county’s documents said.

Seventy-five percent of the purchase can be reimbursed through a FEMA claim, which will return $2,837.24 to the county. The other 25% the fire department board will pay, said Rita Smith, EMA director.

If the FEMA claim is denied, the board will pay the full cost, Smith said.

Beauregard Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Holden said that having the oximeters is especially pertinent because of COVID-19.

Coronavirus Recovery Project

The county was recently allocated $500,000 for use toward COVID-19 recovery by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, said Wendy Swann, governmental relations.

Swann said that the county is working with the Lee-Russell Council of Governments to find an appropriate project.

“We had hoped initially to work with EAMC on some things that they were doing,” she said. “In the discussions with EAMC, EMA and Lee-Russell, we found out that the CDBG guidelines are going to apply to these funds.”

Swann said that when a project is finalized it will be brought before the Lee County Commission for approval.

Other Business:

The commission approved an adopt-a-mile application for Lee Road 288.

The commission approved an abatement extension for V2 Composites Corporation.

The commission approved a bid for a dry cleaning and portable restroom trailer.

The commission approved speed limit reductions on Lee Roads 195, 739 and 14.

The commission approved a bid for nitrile gloves for Lee County EMA.

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