By Michelle Key
District Attorney Brandon Hughes addressed the Lee County Commission on the work the Lee County Alternative Sentencing Board is doing in the community.
The organization has requested a $30,000 appropriation increase to be included in the upcoming budget for 2020.
According to Hughes, the drug and veteran court programs have seen more than 130 offenders graduate from the programs with only a 2% recidivism rate. He also stated that the participants have completed more than 20,000 hours of community service.
“These are folks that are having a tough time. They are committing crimes because they are drug addicts or because they have some issues related to their service to our country and the traditional criminal justice system is just not the place where they need to go to get the help they need otherwise they will keep coming back over and over again,” Hughes said.
“So these courts exists to take care of the folks that need taken care of and in a way that if they do what the drug court or the veteran court asks them to do that we don’t see them again and they become productive members of our society which is what we all want.”
Other groups also addressed the commission regarding appropriations in the 2020 budget including:
- Domestic Violence Intervention Center
- Lee County Historical Society
- Opelika Main Street
- Valley Haven School
In other business, the commission:
• approved the minutes of the Aug. 12, 2019 commission meeting
• voted to approve and ratify claims
• held the first reading of various board appointments:
- George Ervin – Lee County Youth Development Board
- Bill Scott, III – East Alabama Health Care Authority Board
- Roberta Greene – Horseshoe Bend Regional Library Board
- Randy Price – Public Building Authority Board
• held the second reading for three openings on Lee County Department of Human Resources Board and voted to approve the following individuals to this board:
- Vicki Hudson
- Gina Ivey and
- Bill White
• voted to approve a resolution refunding the 2010 Warrant Issue as presented by County Administrator Roger Rendleman – The resolution authorizes Frazier Lanier to market the warrants and authorizes Judge Bill English to sign a purchase contract with Frazier Lanier, provided that the final pricing does not produce more than $5.5 million in warrants and the true interest cost does not exceed 3%
• heard a presentation from Smiths Station Fire & Rescue’s Deputy Chief and Public Information Officer Daniel Sextion and Austin Bayles from ETS regarding the successful work that they are doing in the Smiths Station community and their continued relationship with East Alabama EMS
• held a discussion and then approved a request from EAMC Emergency Medical Services regarding their contract for FY2020 – EAMC is requesting an increase of $26,000 in the operations section of their service agreement with the county as well as an a $30,000 increase in the capital subsidy provided by Lee County. This will bring the total combined annual subsidy request to $375,476
• voted to approve a job description changes for Compactor Operator I & Compactor Operator II
• voted to hold two work sessions in September to develop the 2020 budget – the meetings will be held on Sept. 9 and 30 following the scheduled commission meetings. The county administrator is waiting on the soon-to-be completed Classification and Pay Plan in order to finalize the 2020 budget. As a result of the delay in receiving this information, it is anticipated that the commission will be presented with a resolution to accept and approve the current 2019 budget as the new budget in order to meet the Oct. 1 deadline for budget approval. Following the receipt of the classification and pay plan documents, Rendleman stated that budget amendments would then be presented to the commission for their approval to effectively create the new 2020 budget.
The commission meets on the second and last Monday nights of every month at 5 p.m. in the commission chambers on the 2nd floor of the courthouse annex. The next scheduled meeting will be on Sept. 9. The meetings are a matter of public record and are open to the public.