Commission discusses safety policies

Published 8:09 pm Monday, May 9, 2011

Safety was at the heart of the Pike County Commission meeting as elected officials convened Monday night.

From cell phone policies to disaster plans, the commission took steps to bring safety to the front of county employees’ and residents’ minds.

Though the commission took no formal steps Monday, it gave the OK to county administration to begin looking into adopting several policies.

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The first will be a cell phone use policy for county employees. “It’s all about safety,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders.

The plan, though not finalized, will cover both personal and county cell phone use for employees while they are driving or operating county vehicles.

“The main thing about this is many accidents are caused by inattentive driving while on cell phones, and we want to encourage safety with phones,” Sanders said.

Once this policy is adopted, it will be part of the personnel handbook.

The commission also gave Sanders the go ahead on forming a County Wide Safety Committee, also for employees. Currently, Sanders said each department has its own safety committee of some sort, and this will be an effort to collaborate that.

Both of these policies were recommended by the commission’s insurance company.

Along the lines of safety, County Emergency Management Agency Director Jeanna Barnes and Deputy Coroner Sandy Nasca discussed looking into the county’s disaster plans, after the devastating tornados that struck north Alabama late last month.

Also in the meeting, the commission awarded bids to resurface County Roads 2259, 2270 and 3341 as the first part of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Community Block Development Grant. The low bid was for APAC Mid-South around $326,590. County Engineer Russell Oliver said the next part of the project will pave County Road 5521. Until that bid is awarded, he said he’s unsure exactly how much of the project will have to be funded out of the county’s pocket.