By Fred Woods
Even though it was not on the agenda, Green Chapel Road (Lee Road 106) remained a hot topic for citizens traveling that road. About 20 Green Chapel Baptist Church members, their pastor and their spokesperson, Mrs. Ernestine Robinson, attended this week’s county commission meeting in an attempt to get some clarification of the issues surrounding the road to their church. They didn’t get it.
Peter Byrd, who owns the two houses on Green Chapel Road was there once more, still trying to find out why the county engineer ignored the East Lake subdivision developer’s traffic survey which would have made the developer responsible for adding a turn lane where LR 106 joins Moore’s Mill Road (Lee Road 146) and doing his own survey which found a lower traffic count which canceled the developer’s liability. Mr. Byrd called for a new, independent traffic study.
At the suggestion of District 2 Commissioner Lawrence the whole issue will be placed on the next commission meeting (July 13) agenda for discussion.
Mrs. Martha Leonard also voiced her concerns about logging debris scattered by log trucks on Lee Road 391 (Old Columbus Road). Others had previously expressed concerns about this issue.
Luanne Helms of the Autism Society of Alabama requested use of the meeting center with fee waived for Lee County First Responder Training. Persons with autism often present communications challenges in encounters with first responders. First Responder Training for law enforcement, fire fighters and emergency medical professionals decreases the likelihood that miscommunications will lead to negative outcomes. The commission approved the request as a one-time event.
Terry Andrus, president of East Alabama Medical Center, appeared, speaking for the board which oversees his work, to ask for several amendments to the East Alabama Health Care Authority Certificate of Reincorporation. The amendments dealt with (1) increasing the age limit for board members from 72 to 75 years of age and (2) adding two additional directors from Chambers County to reflect the merger of EAMC and Lanier Hospital in Valley. The latter change increases the number of directors from nine to eleven. The changes were approved unanimously.
In other action the commission:
-heard first reading (renomination) for three expiring positions on the Lee County Emergency Communications (E911) Board (Lee Roy Kelley, Anne Grady and George Dyar). Commissioner Ham asked for the length of time on the board and attendance record for past two years of each nominee.
-approved the National Center for Asphalt Technology’s (NCAT’s) request for county to haul 60 loads of chert material (which NCAT will purchase from the county) from the county pit on LR 151 to the NCAT facility, a distance of less than a mile. County Engineer Hardee indicated that this had been done in the past and could be accomplished in a day’s time.
-approved Federal Aid Agreements for the widening and resurfacing of portions of two roads: Lee Road 54 (Society Hill Road), 5.6 miles from the Macon County line to the La-Z-Bee crossroads: and Lee Road 246 in Smiths Station, 1.6 miles from its intersection with LR 179 to its junction with LR 295.
-corrected an oversight by adding “boards fully appointed by the commission” to those groups that may use the meeting facilities without charge.
-approved use of meeting center by Beulah Utilities Board for training on July 28.
-approved a one-year extension of USDA’s lease of space in Lee County’s Agriculture Extension Building on S. 7th Street. The extension is to allow time for preparation of long-term lease (probably 10 years) between the two parties.
-heard report from Environmental Services Director Chris Bozeman that the East Alabama Recycling Program (EARP) has been awarded an Alabama Recycling Fund grant of $124,420. Lee County’s portion of the grant is $29,755 which will be used for purchase of recycling materials receptacles. Bozeman reported that EARP, a recycling coalition consisting of the cities of Auburn and Opelika, Auburn University and Lee County, has received nearly $1.2 million over the life of this program. Lee County has received about 32 percent of this amount.