County reviews Rebuild Alabama Annual Report
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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
During a relatively short meeting of the County Commission, lasting only approximately 35 minutes, the commission struck two of the four new business items from its agenda and added one item, leaving them with a short agenda and only two items that saw action.
As part of last Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners acknowledged and were able to review the county’s fiscal year 2021 Rebuild Alabama Annual Report.
The report reflects that through the Rebuild Alabama funds, the county was able to complete eight road projects in the 2021 fiscal year. The total Rebuild Alabama funds expended were $910,175.68.
All eight projects completed were deemed road improvement projects and have been 100% completed per the report. The roads included were County roads 77, 11, 111, 27, 56, 42, 97, and 103.
County Road 77 included a project length of 2.62 miles and entailed leveling, patching and surface treatment from County Road 85 to Alabama Highway 9.
County Road 11 was a 1.48 mile project. It included leveling, patching and surface treatment from County Road 7 to the Clay County line.
A 2.46 mile project, County Road 111 involved patching and surface treatment from U.S. Highway 280 to County Road 52.
County Road 27 was a 2.27 mile project and included leveling and surface treatment from Alabama Highway 22 to Mimosa Point Road.
The longest project included in the 2021 fiscal year spending and report was County Road 56 with a project length of 4.94 miles. It entailed leveling and surface treatment from Spear Branch to U.S. Highway 231.
County Road 42 was a 1.22 mile project and included patching, leveling and surface treatment from 1.22 miles west of County Road 71 to County Road 71.
County Road 97 was the shortest project at 0.59 miles. It included patching from Alabama Highway 9 to Alabama Highway 115.
County Road 103 entailed a project length of 1.24 miles and included leveling and surface treatment from County Road 71 to County Road 40.
No action was taken regarding the report as it was just for informational purposes and review.
Separate from the Rebuild Alabama report, Commissioner Unzell Kelley asked County Engineer Tad Eason about any update on the work done on County Road 40, as discussed at a previous meeting. Eason said that they are in discussions about the road and looking into it.
Also under new business, Tina Fuller, a board member with Cancer Outreach and Community Hope, approached the commission to ask each commissioner to help raise funds for C.O.A.C.H.
She explained that C.O.A.C.H. is a 501(c)3 organization designed to help relieve cancer patients and their families of financial burdens. She said that cancer ravages not only the body, but also finances, and C.O.A.C.H. strives to help provide financial assistance to local cancer patients and their families.
While the organization is excited to be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Fuller said that unfortunately COVID-19 has hindered their fundraising efforts the last couple of years, even though cancer has raged on.
During her presentation to the commission, Fuller also read a letter that had been given to each commissioner.
“Cancer Outreach and Community Hope is asking for your help and support in raising awareness, being actively involved and help with funding for Coosa County cancer patients and their families,” she said.
She shared that C.O.A.C.H. was established in 2012, but that there are still people in the county who do not know the organization exists. She asked the commissioners to help them raise awareness by giving information about C.O.A.C.H. to those in their districts with cancer and telling them that C.O.A.C.H. is here to help.
Further, she said that they were asking for each commissioner to become actively involved.
“Each of you have citizens in your districts who have either had cancer or are family members of those stricken with this disease,” Fuller said. “As leaders of Coosa County, it is imperative that citizens see you being actively involved. There are events and meetings held throughout the year.”
Lastly, Fuller explained that C.O.A.C.H. was asking each of the commissioners to pledge to “help fight the financial battle of cancer.”
“This pledge is for each of you to lead the citizens of your district in raising $5,000 by December 3, 2022,” she said. “This can be through fundraising events, corporate sponsorships, or private donations. If you decide to have fundraising events, the board members of C.O.A.C.H. will be there to help. What better way to show the people of your district that you care? Because there are established fundraising events throughout the year, you and your district will need to come up with some fresh ideas.”
Following her presentation, all five commissioners voiced support of the organization and is efforts, but none of the commissioners signed the pledge letter.
Commission Chair Randall Dunham spoke up first, stating that C.O.A.C.H. had helped his mother who had cancer and voicing his appreciation for the organization. He then turned the floor over to any other commissioners who wished to comment.
Commissioner Kelley shared that he has supported C.O.A.C.H. in the past. He said that he was not going to sign the pledge, but that he will support the organization.
Commissioner Bertha K. McElrath told Fuller that there are several people in her district who have cancer. She said that she would inform them, as well as local groups, about C.O.A.C.H. so that they would know to reach out for assistance.
Commissioner Lamar Daugherty said that he supports C.O.A.C.H. wholeheartedly but that he was not going to sign the pledge letter, adding that supporting the organization or donating money to it is the personal choice of the people in his district.
Commissioner Ronnie Joiner stated that he supports the organization 100% but that he was not going to sign the pledge and obligate the citizens of his district to that, adding that it was not his right to do so.
In other business, during her staff report County Administrator Amy Gilliland said that in each commissioner’s packet was a letter from Palmer Place asking the county for an appropriation of $2,000.
The commission unanimously approved adding that matter to the agenda and then unanimously approved the $2,000 appropriation to Palmer Place.
The only other item the commission officially took action on was to once again table proceeding with the bid of the roof for the Board of Education and Department of Human Resources building. Gilliland explained that CRS has written a proposal and that the appraiser is getting quotes.
Under public comment on the agenda, Stephen Lowery was listed but was not present for the meeting.
Also under public comment, as reported in last week’s edition Leslie Hardy and Dennis Hill addressed the commission regarding an animal shelter for the county. They laid out their ideas and plans, adding that they wanted to know if they had the commission’s support in moving forward.
Chair Dunham said that he appreciates what they are trying to do, and Commissioner Daugherty said that he would be on the feasibility study with Hardy and Hill, who had asked that a commissioner consider joining them for that endeavor.
Following their presentation, the duo had the full support of the commission to move forward and conduct the feasibility study. Hill said that they hope to have a report within 30 days to present to the commission at next month’s meeting.
The next meeting of the Coosa County Commission will be held Tuesday, January 25, at 6:30 p.m.