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County ready for Ivan

Pike County Engineer Herb Huner and his staff hope they are prepared for Hurricane Ivan. It's not like they haven't had practice lately.

"We've gotten ready twice already," Huner told Pike County Commissioners at Monday's meeting, referring to Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Frances. "We'll try to get a decent load of fuel into the vehicles and equipment on Wednesday - and hope we don't need it."

Huner said emergency road equipment is positioned where workers can get to it. Barricades and chain saws are ready, if needed.

"Everybody in our department is on call," Huner said. "After hours, we can still get them in on short notice."

While the two previous storms didn't have the impact on Pike County that forecasters predicted, everyone is taking Ivan seriously.

"I'm about as ready as I can get," Pike County Emergency Management Agency Director Larry Davis told commissioners. "We're prepared to open five shelters that will hold 50 people apiece. We'll have more meetings on Tuesday before we can announce final plans about the shelters.

The County Commission on Monday also scheduled a special work session for Wednesday, Sept. 22, regarding next year's budget. The public meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Pike County Health Department on Franklin road. It is hoped prospective new members of the commission may attend to familiarize themselves with the budget.

In other business, the Pike County Commission:

€ Approved the state's recommendation that H&L Construction be hired for three bridge replacements at Sandy Run Creek, Panther Creek and Silers Creek.

€ Approved a request to send out annual bid replacements for some common goods and services. For example, the county could have a price in advance for any section of road that needs repaving or traffic striping. They could get bids on the general service, say, striping any five-mile stretch of road, rather than waiting for a particular project.

€ Approved a request that allowed the county to attempt to purchase a used dump truck for $15,000 from the state.

€ Approved attendance of a county solid waste enforcement officer at the SWANA 2004 Fall Forum from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in Orange Beach.

€ Approved a job reclassification request and a request to hire an additional appraiser. The number of parcels in the county mandated the hiring of another appraiser. The new appraiser also will have a car. Floyd Shirley Ford's bid was approved by the commission.

€ Approved the rewording of the job description to the maintenance technician opening. Also changed the direct supervisor of the maintenance supervisor to administrator Harry Sanders. Commissioner Charlie Harris objected to the change, saying, "We've got all these chiefs out there and no Indians or braves working. I see a problem with that."

The next scheduled meeting for the Pike County Commission is Monday, Sept. 27 - although the special work session will be Wednesday, Sept. 22.