With only Commissioner Kelly absent, the meeting kicked off with a resident addressing the Commission concerning the “pathetic” condition of the dirt road he lives on, citing deep ruts. After an emotional delivery, he left the meeting before any reply was made or his concerns addressed.
Near the end of the meeting Commissioner Burt asked the County Engineer about the resident’s road, and discovered that the road crew had been working in the man’s area but was not finished, and would be working on his road soon.
The Commission agreed to pay the monthly EMS tab of just over $9,000 for June, 2019. They also approved new checking accounts be set up for use with the Rebuild Alabama fund (the new gas tax).
County EMA Director Kirk Smith asked the Commission for permission to file for a CRI non-match grant for $25,000 – meaning the county would get money without having to put any into the pot. They quickly approved.
Roads Roads Roads
County Engineer Jeff McKinney brought a lot of business to the podium. He began with a proposal from a contractor for the inspection for the Coldwater Road project. Totaling almost $50,000 but to be paid in installments and reimbursed by federal funds for the project, the Commission approved.
Last meeting the idea was to use the remainder of federal funds to stripe three roads. After further consideration and receiving more clarification on how the new gas tax money is allowed to be used, McKinney determined that the better use of remaining federal funds would be to add it to other funds to repave West Ashby Road, which would cleanly do away with the account, instead of going into the negative on the striping project.
Camp Branch Road may also be repaved using money from one portion of the new gas tax money, and the striping project may also happen using those funds. How the new funds can and cannot be used seems quite a labyrinthine rule-book. How much money goes where is becoming more clear, but how it may be used after it gets there is still fairly muddy to the average observer. One thing is clear: there will be more money overall to spend than the road department previously had available.
Here’s a simplified breakdown as explained by McKinney:
The State gets 66.67% of the new tax revenues, from which they pay each county a base of $400,000 per year.
Counties get 25%, which for Bibb County means an estimated $432,000 in the first year. (Rebuild Alabama fund)
Cities get 8.33%.