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Lodging tax one step closer

The Pike County Commission is one step closer to passing a hotel lodging tax in the county.

District 1 Commissioner Homer Wright, who is sponsoring the lodging tax proposal, asked commissioners Monday night to give County Attorney Allen Jones approval to begin drafting legislation for review.

“I would like for us to go ahead and draw a resolution, so we can see if we could come up with a figure,” Wright said.

Commission Chairman Robin Sullivan said this does not necessarily mean the tax will be implemented.

“All we’re doing is drawing it up so we can look at it,” Sullivan said.

Wright said in a previous meeting, a lodging tax may be a way to generate revenue for the county without taxing its residents.

This request came after a presentation by County Engineer Russell Oliver, where he estimated costs of necessary future bridge repairs.

With a close to $18,000 repair on the Needmore Road Conecuh River Bridge that is almost near completion, Oliver said five more bridges will need similar work, totaling around $145,000.

Oliver said this Conecuh River Bridge, which was built in 1955, had faults in the foundation, but it was in good shape otherwise. The deterioration was found during the county’s mandatory underwater inspection, done ever four years.

“We’ve got this problem on other bridges,” Oliver said. “This is not unique to Pike County at all, but we still have five other bridges that need encasement repair.”

In addition, Oliver said other county bridges are in need of different types of repair, as well.

The repairs to the Conecuh River Bridge are expected to be complete Oct. 8.

Oliver also updated the commission on the paving project for Salem and Reynolds Roads, saying the project is underway and should be completed soon.

In other business, County Administrator Harry Sanders announced a commission meeting must be held, as required by law, eight days after the Nov. 4 election. This will place the meeting on a Wednesday, which is not their regularly scheduled time.