By Michelle Key
On Monday night, the Lee County Commissioners and Commission Chairman/Judge Bill English thanked Sheriff Jay Jones, Lee County Emergency Management Director Kathy Carson and the Lee County Highway Department for their efforts and perserverance in aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that hit Lee County March 3.
Jones took the opportunity to recognize his staff and praised them for the swift response to the disaster.
“They were on the way without having to be called,” Jones said. “I’ve never been prouder of a group of people as I was Sunday night. I am humbled and extremely honored to recognize them.”
“I don’t know anybody that could have made us any prouder and I don’t know anyone that could have represented Lee County better than you did,” English said.
Carson presented a digital presentation with photographs that showed the difference in the landscapes of the areas most affected by the tornadoes . The presentation demonstrated just how wide-spread and severe the destruction was.
The next step in the recovery process is to open two disaster recovery centers later this week. These centers will be a “one-stop-shop” for citizens that citizens can visit to speak to FEMA, the Red Cross, and other relief organziations. The centers will be located in Beauregard and in Smiths Station.
The commission also received an update from FEMA regarding the relief efforts for the storm victims. Gerard Stolar told the commission that as of Monday afternoon, FEMA had registered 376 households for federal assistance and $512,000 approved for housing assistance. FEMA has nearly 200 members of its staff working in the area to assist those in need. Stolar stressed that the most important task is to get people registered for assistance.
In other business, the commission:
• approved the minutes of commission meeting held February 25
• approved a motion to ratify and approve claims and procurement card transactions from February
• approved the activation of storm debris removal and monitoring contracts – The bids for these contracts are administered by the Alabama County Commissions Association (ACCA) in compliance with the Alabama competitive bid law, Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines and regulations. During the meeting, the highway department requested the commission to authorize the chairman to sign the Notice to Proceed to activate the contracts for KDF Enterprises, LLC as the debris removal contractor and Tetra Tech, Inc, as the debris removal monitor.
• received a request from Wendy Swann asking each of the commissioners to recommend two members from their districts to serve on the Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census.
The Lee County Commission meets on the 2nd and last Monday nights of each month.