BY HANNAH GOLDFINGER
LEE COUNTY —
The Lee County Commission voted Tuesday night to postpone the allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and voted to approve the Lee County Broadband Expansion Grant Program and application.
The postponement came after District 5 Commissioner Richard LaGrand asked for an update on the ARPA funds and requested outside help come in and present more information before the commission.
“I understand there is some concern about the program and the fact that it might need to be tabled,” said County Administrator Holly Leverette.
While the commission did not vote for any outside help, it did vote to postpone the vote until a later date and until it could be further reviewed.
“I’d like to make that motion to table it because $4,382,000, that’s a lot of money,” LaGrand said.
The last item on the agenda did still have to do with ARPA funds, however.
The commission approved an amendment to the Loachapoka ARPA Water Infrastructure Project.
“On April 10, you all conditionally allocated up to $1,791,500 of the approved $2,899,050 allotment to Loachapoka Water Authority to carry out three eligible water projects,” Leverette said. “Two of them were generator projects and one of them was a water main project.”
Loachapoka began preparing to bid the projects out. It was discovered, however, that the costs had gone up on the generator projects, so now the project will consist of two water main projects.
“This would be more efficient, economical and in the best interest of county to substitute these generator projects for the two additional water main improvement projects, so the county commission is respectfully requested to approve the Loachapoka ARPA Water Infrastructure Projects Allocation Amendment and delegate the authority to the chairman to sign,” Leverette said.
“… And with that, if you will approve this, all of our water projects will be allocated. And next time, I’m going to be bringing to you all the contracts for all of them so that these water authorities can actually start work.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS
– The commission recognized the Loachapoka boys track team as state champions.
– The commission recognized Communications Officer Clint Knox.
– The commission heard a proposal from an outside agency interested in working with the county on ARPA funds and how they could be used for broadband access in the county.
– The commission approved a cooperative agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for Digital Ortho.
– The commission approved a conversion proposal from Ingenuity Inc.
– The commission approved a final report of litigations and insolvencies for the county.
– The commission approved educational reimbursement requests for the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.
– The commission heard a report on unauthorized and improper paving of Lee Road 321 and voted to remove LR321 as a county-maintained road.
– The commission approved a division of parcels C-5 and B-2.
– The commission approved the reclassification of a budgeted Projects Accountant position to an Assistant Chief Financial Officer Position for the county.
– The commission approved the Southern State Bank lockbox service agreement.
The Lee County Commission meets at 5 p.m. every month, on the second and last Monday nights of the month unless otherwise noted. Meetings are held in the commission chamber at the Lee County Courthouse