Commission approves budget, insurance provider

Published 11:15 pm Monday, September 24, 2012

By the end of Monday night’s county commission meeting, commissioners had agreed on a budget for FY 2013 and an insurance provider due to current insurance expiring on October 1.

At the last Pike County Commission meeting, commissioners deadlocked in a three to three vote concerning next year’s budget.

Commissioners Robin Sullivan, Homer Wright and Ray Goodson voted for a budget that allowed county employees three days off at Christmas and two days off at Thanksgiving. That proposed budget would also have  allow for a three percent raise for all employees.

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Commissioners Jimmy Barron, Oren Fannin ad Charlie Harris voted against that proposal, noting they didn’t agree with the three percent raise or the days off.

At Monday night’s meeting, Commissioner Robin Sullivan moved to cut days off to two at Christmas and one at Thanksgiving with employees being allowed to schedule vacation days around the holidays. The proposed budget still included a three percent raise for county employees.

Commissioners Sullivan, Wright, Barron and Goodson voted for the budget and it passed.

In another difficult decision, commissioners deadlocked three times over what insurance company would provide coverage to the county after Sept. 30.

The Association of County Commissions proposed the  Alabama Liability Self-Insurance Fund would provide liability insurance to the county at a cost of $96,600 per year for the next three years. The Witherington Insurance Group quoted the county a package total of $121,844 for liability, casualty and property insurance with liability insurance solely costing about $90,371.

Commissioners Sullivan, Barron and Goodson voted to go with the lower cost of liability insurance packaged with property insurance by Witherington Insurance Group. However, commissioners Harris, Fannin and Wright believed the ACCA’s liability coverage plan was better.

After the third vote on the issue, the commission was about to recess the meeting to reconvene on Thursday. However, Commissioner Fannin reported that he wouldn’t be present on Thursday, so he would save the commission time and simply change his vote at Monday’s meeting.

The commission voted on the issue once more and it was decided that the Witherington Insurance Group would continue on as the county’s insurance provider.

Also at the commission meeting, commissioners voted to sign a proclamation noting that Oct. 21-27 is Pro Bono Week, sponsored by the Pike County Bar Association. Engineer Russell Oliver announced that county roads 6606 and 2203 will undergo repair.  The commission discussed a new proposed logging notice ordinance and resolution, but decided to look into the proposal further before voting.

The next scheduled Pike County Commission meeting was set for Oct. 8, which is a holiday, so the commission voted to not hold a meeting that day. The next commission meeting will be Oct. 22.