Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 1999
By AMY S. LANSDON
Published Sept. 14, 1999
Saving money and warning citizens of severe weather were on the minds of the Pike County Commissioners when they decided to lease 10 emergency warning sirens for the county instead of five.
The lease program will allow the commission to lease-to-own 10 sirens at a cost of $21,651 compared to the original number of five sirens for $13,000. The additional sirens will be placed at the volunteer fire departments in Pike County.
At the end of the five-year lease the Pike County Commission will own the sirens after paying $1 per siren. All that is required for the lease program is a $20,000 deposit which will come from the commission or the $20,000 grant from the Emergency Management Agency. If the commission makes the down payment, the EMA grant will be deducted from the first year’s payment.
A need for more office space moved the commission to discuss the possibility of moving the Pike County Commission office and the Pike County Solid Waste office from the courthouse to the Pike County Health Department building. The move would save the commission about $10,000 per year.
Other options presented were remodeling the basement of the courthouse for $10,485 or closing in the garage at the courthouse for $30,415.
The health department has offered office space on the second floor for the commission office and on the first floor for the solid waste department. To make up the rent difference the commission discussed moving the Pike County Juvenile Probate Office to the courthouse. Leasing the present juvenile office on Walnut Street costs the county $10,980 per year.
"We will be making a good move saving $10,000," said Commissioner Charlie Harris. "Across the state commission office are not in courthouses. I feel we should move on it and vote tonight."
Although the commissioners did not disagree with Harris, they were not ready to make a decision on the move.
"I am not for it or against it," said Commissioner Larry Meeks. "Personally, tonight I am not prepared to vote on it. It has been thrown in my face and I would like more time to think about it and get more information."
Commissioner Willie Thomas and Commission Chairman Larry Penn suggested a survey be performed among county department head to find out how they feel about the commission office not being in the courthouse.
County Administrator Steve Hicks said he did not think the relocation of the courthouse would be a problem for the county department. He said at the job he held prior to his position with Pike County, the commission office was located outside the courthouse and it cut down on walk-in traffic and productivity was higher.
"The Pike County Road Department is the biggest department we have," said Hicks. "They are across town and we work with them and it is not a problem."
The commission forward making a decision until Hicks received a statement from county department heads stating their feelings on the move and until more information was gathered.
Commissioner Karen Berry requested a copy of the figures for the move and renovations at the courthouse. Penn said he would still like to look at doing something with the Rock Building.
"I know it will cost a lot of money but we need to do something with it," said Penn. ‘And it’s in walking distance to the courthouse."
In other business, the Pike County Commission …
· approved for the Probate Judge to hire for the Court Clerk II position.
· approved a request for a change order for the Pike County Board of Education Project.
· approved a maintenance agreement with Capital Refrigeration, which will include coverage for the new board of education building and the health department.
· approved a software and hardware maintence agreement with S& W Minicomputers. The agreement covers the computer systems in the Probate
· Office and the Revenue Commission office.
· approved a long-term detention subsidy contract with the Alabama Department of Youth Services.
· rescheduled the public hearing with the Alabama Home Builders/Licensure Board for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19.
· reviewed proposals for liability and property insurance.
· approved closing documents on the 1999 Four Cents Warranty Bond Issue.
· discussed the Scrap Tire Licensing and Disposal Act (99-957).
· approved a resolution for the use of county credit cards.
· approved social security payments for county inmates/sheriff.
· approved solid waste adjustments.
· approved claims.
The county commission will meet again Sept. 27 at the Pike County Courthouse. The work session will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. The public is invited.