Pike Co. Courthouse almost ready

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Staff Writer

Pike County offices should be back home soon, although more than a month later than expected.

Monday night, the Pike County Commission set moving date for courthouse offices that have been temporarily housed in the old Wal-Mart building on U.S. 231 while the courthouse was being renovated.

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Commission Chairman Willie Thomas said he toured the courthouse earlier that day and found work progressing as expected.

While the Probate Office area is currently under construction, the second floor lacks only some "basic cleanup," he said.

Although the jail may not be ready because of problems with the phone system all other areas of the courthouse will be ready by the end of the month. The commission approved an additional expense of $40,000 for telephone cable needed to connect the jail with the new phone system.

"We’ll be able to start moving Thursday, May 31," Thomas said.

"I feel like we can do it in two days," Thomas said of the move.

In other business, the commission:

· Voted to extend its bond issue from $80,000 to $100,000 at rate of %.60 percent over the next 25 years.

· Awarded Goshen Tractor Company the bid for a backhoe, which will cost $69,731 and approved the sale of dump trucks at $76,200.

· Was asked by District Attorney Mark Fuller and Assistant District Attorney Scherryl Harrison for support in applying for a grant that will provide 75 percent funding to create an abuse task force. The local match will be split between the county, municipalities and the District Attorney’s Office.

Harrison said the grant will allow the DA’s office to better prosecute cases because it will provide better training, improve collection of evidence and limit trauma to the victim.

Fuller said the grant will not cost the county additional money because existing personnel can be assigned to the task force.

· Was given information on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program,which will provide 100 percent federal funding to improve 19 sites throughout the county. Work can begin as soon as the county gets land rights to certain pieces of property.

· Approved the job description for an information specialist/switchboard operator, which is not a budgeted expense.

· Approved travel to the 73rd ACCA Annual Convention for the commission and for the Revenue Commission office to attend the Alabama Tax Administrators Conference, Alabama Tax Administrators District Meeting and Basic Mapping class in Montgomery. Emergency Management Agency Director Larry Davis was also granted permission to attend a hurricane workshop in Robertsdale and the annual EMA conference.