By Michelle Key
The Lee County Commission voted to approve the fiscal year 2018-19 budget during Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting. The budget as approved has a proposed total of $45,355,570 which is 4.53 percent more than last year. Important items included in the budget include single coverage portion of employee health insurance which will remain at 100 percent county cost, a cost of living adjustment of 2.74 percent to the pay classification plan as well as a 1.76 percent range adjustment bringing the total pay adjustment for employees to 4.5 percent. As part of the budget the commission authorized the chairman to execute funding agreements with the agencies and for the amounts on the service contracts and appropriation list for fiscal year 2019 and authorized granting additional annual leave hours based upon employee annual evaluations.
Also during the meeting, the commission continued the discussion on the status of Lee Road 79. Lee County resident Terri Lamb addressed the commission.
“The reason we keep coming back, is to ensure that it (Lee Road 79) is designated as a public road, even if it is not a county (maintained) road,” Lamb said.
After a lengthy discussion, Commissioner Eckman made a motion to reaffirm that Lee Rd 79 is a non-county maintained public road. Commissioner Harris seconded the motion and the motion was approved.
Furthermore, Lee County resident Eddie L. Webb brought forth concerns regarding the north side of Lee Road 79. Webb stated that a gate has been installed across the north side of Lee Road 79, blocking assess to the back side of his property.
Weyerhaeuser Company, a forestry company, owns the land where the gate has been installed and approximately four or five property owners are being blocked from accessing their property due to this gate. City Engineer Justin Hardee will attempt to make contact with the owners regarding the removal of the gate.
In other business the commission:
– heard from Justus Armstrong, Vice President and Alabama representative of the Youth Infrastructure Coalition for Interstate 14. Armstrong presented the commission with information regarding an innovative for the possible future implementation of interstate 14 running from west Texas to Augusta, Georgia.
– heard the first reading of a vacancy on the Lee County Recreation Board from District 5- Earnest Griggs has submitted a citizens interest form for this position
– heard the first reading of a vacancy on the Beulah Utilities Board – Andrew Bryan has submitted a citizens interest form for this position
– announced a vacancy on the Mid-South Resource Conservation and Development Board. This board covers 8 counties within Alabama. Robert (Bob) Harris has submitted a citizens interest form for this position
– received an update from Commissioner Shelia Eckman regarding the Hunstville Animal Control Website as a potential template for the Lee County Animal Control website that is currently being developed
– approved travel to legislative meetings brought forth by Commissioner Johnny Lawerence
– approved a request from Jennifer Lolley of the Forest Ecology Preserve Assistance Request for work on the parking area at the preserve
– approved the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to be able to receive the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $12,815
– approved bids for regular unleaded gasoline purchases to Petroleum Traders Corporation and low sulfur diesel fuel to W.H. Thomas Oil Company, Inc.
– approved the 1-year extension of Bids #11, 12 and 13 for maintenance stone from Vulcan Materials Company, Plant Cold Mix from Chris Clark Grading & Paving Inc., and Ready Mix Concrete from Argos USA, LLC
– approved the ACCA Worker’s Compensation Self-Insurers Fund Renewal Resolution. This would allow Lee County to participate in the fund for a three-year period concluding on Sept 30, 2021.
The Lee County Commission meets the 2nd and last Mondays of every month. The meetings are held in the Lee County Courthouse located at 215 S. 9th St. in Opelika.
The minutes of the meetings can be found at www.leeco.us/document/commission_minutes/.