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County signs with Haynes

It was a pre-Valentine's Day love-fest at the Pike County Commission meeting Monday night, with every vote a unanimous one in favor of the proposed resolutions. In rapid fire succession and without a hint of the acrimony that has marked previous meetings, the commission unanimously agreed to replace three small county bridges, sent out bid requests for new brush-cutting technology for the county engineer, approved the removal of a wheelchair ramp at Park Memorial Methodist Church, gave employees anniversary-based pay raises and approved a travel request for the revenue commissioner's office.

With only Commissioner Willie Thomas absent, the commissioners also put a cap on a string of controversial moves with regards to the county ambulance contract by extending a deal to Haynes Ambulance through Nov. 30. Haynes had already been providing service to county residents since the departure last month of Emergystat, but the unanimous vote made the deal official. Emergystat was originally awarded the contract by the county after promising service for no subsidy but subsequently was allowed to void the contract after the cities of Troy and Brundidge opted to stay with Haynes, who had been providing service in Pike County since 1987.

&uot;We're happy that the county has elected to let us continue to serve the residents of the county,&uot; said Daniel Martin of Haynes. &uot;We're proud to have been here for 15 years and we'd like to be here for 15 more.&uot;

In addition, the commission granted tax loopholes to Production Component Manufacturing, a four-year old metal fabrications company from Brundidge. Doug Miles pleaded the company's case before the commission, saying that the factory, which employs 16 people, needed the tax abatements in order to continue to grow. He said the company made bus seats for mass transit vehicles, secure windows for government embassies and covers for pickup truck beds.

After unanimously approving the 10-year ad valorum tax break for PCM, which did not exempt the company from educational taxes, the commission gave County Administrator Harry Sanders permission to purchase a new vehicle. Sanders was involved in a single-vehicle accident last week that destroyed the county SUV.

&uot;As I'm more than a little bit painfully aware, we are down one vehicle,&uot; he told the commissioners.

Sanders missed several days at work and, though bruised, said he was not severely injured.

Stephen Stetson can be reached at stephen.stetson @troymessenger.com.