Henry County Commission Administrative MeetingMatt Boster - Rickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jun 04 2019 10:29 AM
HENRY COUNTY: This morning the Henry County Commission met in an Administrative Meeting at 9 AM.
Henry County Commission Chairman/Probate Judge David Money said in the years he has been with the county this legislative session was the best he has had. There was not much defense in the legislative actions.
Jerry with Sanitation gave the commission updates on automated garbage. The target dates are in July. A company has been hired to deliver the cans. Also a truck is down and they started late today with sanitation pickup. So if calls about sanitation late it was due to mechanical issues.
Ronnie Dollar, EMA Director/Personnel Director – three active federal grants that look positive. Some $ 500,000.00 of Homeland Security grants. A lot of hoops to jump through but they are working through the process.
June 15 will be declared Elderly Abuse Prevention day, a request by Alabama DHR.
Request for records storage at Troy University in Dothan. Currently a lot of records are kept in the second floor of the Courthouse Annex. Should something happen and the records get destroyed it would be devastating. They are attempting electronic retention but a lot of time and effort involved. Troy University has offered a climate controlled location for those records.
Agreement with ALDOT for a turn lane. For three months several have worked on this project. The County Engineer and State Representative Dexter Grimsley has worked on this project. This is for the building across from Hardee’s on Highway 431. The County Engineer said they are just administering the grant. There is a private firm that will do the engineering and construction. The county will administer the contract only. The agreement has to be executed by the Commissioner and ALDOT, then to the Governor for signature. Then the document will return to Troy. The project will then have to be advertised which will take about three weeks. But the go ahead has to be given by ALDOT. It will be a stretch to have done by July. Once the document is approved today it will be returned to ALDOT but do not know how long for the Governor to sign. The County Engineer said realistically it will be August but they have done all they could do.
Discuss work session day. The purpose will discuss a county transportation plan. A requirement that this plan has to be filed by the end of August. Looking for sometime end of June for the work session. June 26 at 8 AM is set and will be voted on at 10:30 AM meeting.
Chairman Money introduced Revenue Kristy Allums about changing the office hours. Revenue Commissioner Allums said after Dale County started four ten hour days to be open and closed on Friday she has had extensive discussion with her counter part in Dale County. The Revenue Commissioner in Dale County is also responsible for license plates where in Henry County that falls under the Probate Judge. Allums said Dale County Courthouse nis comparable to Henry County with everything in one building. The Revenue Office started a pilot program and trial basis of four ten hour days and closed on Fridays. People tell Dale County Revenue Commissioner they like the opening early in order to get car tags and transact business.
Allums said that if someone does not step out and try it how will they ever know if the people like it. The Revenue Commissioner said they are keeping a list of those who support it and who do not and then after one year will make a decision of what the citizens want. Allums said ultimately that decision rests with the citizens and their comments.
Chairman Money said there are some concerns from the public. Some are access to the vault. Revenue Commissioner Allums said those who do title work said they love it because they can stay longer during the work week and have no issue on Friday’s being closed.
In Henry County they can not cut off part of the courthouse in order to save on utility bills. Chairman Money said they are looking at different lighting and ways to save money on utilities but that is a project ongoing for the future.
One commissioner asked if any statistics on people who come into the courthouse. Chairman Money said the first of the month on tags and the last of the month on those who wait on car tags until the end of the month are heavier days for the courthouse in the Probate Office.
One commissioner said he sees it both ways and those who work 8 to 5 in Dothan. This will give them the opportunity to come in before work or after work. The commissioner asked are the complaints just being off on Friday. Security was the main issue for Chairman Money.
Chairman Money said elected officials can set their own hours. It is suggested the commission approval but not required. There are Attorney General Opinions on this issue. The security is an issue. Chairman Money said DSI is paid from 7:30 AM until 4:30 but normally at the courthouse by 7 AM. Chairman Money said security is the number one issue and wants to protect the people in the courthouse and guests. Chairman Money said without security in place he will oppose it. That is an issue the commission will have to address with DSI.
Chairman Money said give a 60 to 90 day notice before implemented. The Probate Office is 8 AM to 4:30. Chairman Money said he was going to talk to the supervisor about extending Headland hours and possibly work 8 AM to 12 PM on Friday’s.
Chairman Money said Revenue Commissioner has a menu on the telephone. And he gets calls because the calls are routed. Chairman Money said he is not much on menu system and they answer the phones unless really busy. Allums said her office has had compliments on the phone system but her office also gets calls for others in the courthouse.
Chairman Money said security is the main issue for him. Some people who come in early like it. Dale County went to it in April and in February or March of this year they voted unanimously to continue.
Revenue Commissioner Allums said if they do not try it they will never know. They ultimately answer to the citizens and she just wants service to the people and what serves the public best.
The Commission will vote at 10:30 AM on this issue or could table the issue. Allums is not bound to the action of the commission in her decision as she is an elected official.
One Commissioner asked are they going to decide on security before they vote. Chairman Money said the issue can be tabled and the security issue addressed. The security would be 7 to 5:30 Monday through Thursday and on Friday 8 AM until 4:30 PM. One suggested that would be about an additional $ 7,000.00 a year.
A land surveyor spoke in opposition of the change and suggested some type of survey of the citizens.
Chairman Money said the ladies in the office mention it to him. He said there are good points but there are some obstacles that have to be looked at. Revenue Commissioner Allums said as an elected official she is responsible to the people. She said that she will always do what is best for the citizens and her employees.
Another gentleman said the general public needs to be polled as what their thoughts are. And the public expects the courthouse to be open. The public needs to be polled. Chairman Money asked how do you accomplish that without spending a lot of money.
One commissioner said people will have to adjust to rules and regulations. The commissioner suggested trying it for 90 days. Chairman Money asked again the security issue. Another commissioner said he is for trying it but the security issues and other related issues need to be nailed down before they vote on it.
Sheriff Will Maddox said the Sheriff Department will work with the courthouse and commission in any way requested.
Chairman Money said good discussion on this issue.
The County Engineer said the Hurricane Michael clean up is almost completed. They really need to get that project completed and submitted for payment from FEMA. He hopes that will be completed by next week.
The County Engineer is researching scales and ways to measure debris that is brought into the landfill. They are looking into possible options and will report back to the commission.
The County Engineer said his involvement with the National Engineer Association. He appreciates the commission allowing him being a part of this program. His travel as an officer is reimbursed. Next year Padgett is considering a officer in the National Association which would be a 5 year commitment. If Padgett does that they year he would be President would require travel all over the year he would be President. Padgett wanted to make sure the commission would understand the commitments and if they support this participation. Padgett feels comfortable in making this commitment because of his staff. Only once is he gone for a week but he always available by phone. Padgett wanted to bring to the attention, address any concerns because he has to let the National Association know whether he would be available for national office holder. The National Association is being more advocates on the Federal level. Before they advised but now they take more of an active role in issues that affect the states.
Chris Champion is the County Engineer.
NOTES AND COMMENTS
Matt Boster is at the meeting and live streamed the meeting. I am in Dothan and typed as they talked. That is why the names of each person that spoke is not listed if they did not identify themselves.
The Henry County Commission meets in an Administrative Meeting at 9 AM and then adjourns for a few minutes. At 10:30 AM they start the regular meeting where the items on the agenda are voted up or down. The discussions are normally held at the Administrative Meeting.