Commission approves EMA funding

Published 9:16 pm Monday, August 25, 2014

The Pike County Commission approved funding to keep an assistant in the EMA office through the end of the fiscal year.

EMA director Jeanna Barnes asked the commission to amend the 2014 budget and allow her to spend $4,000 to continue to fund the operation specialist position through Sept. 30.

“(The employee) be able to work as my operations assistant for the remainder of the fiscal year,” Barnes said. “She can act in my place if needed, and it takes a lot of the burden off of me so I can focus on other issues. We’re reaching the peak of hurricane season and it would be difficult to be without help should we need it.”

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The group also heard from District 6 Commissioner Joey Jackson, who is concerned about ongoing litter problems on County Road 7755. Jackson said litter is once again becoming a problem on Gardner Bassett Road, as he cited the recent dumping of multiple copies of out of town newspapers on the roadside.

“What’s sad to me is what a good job we have done with the litter campaign and people don’t appreciate it,” Jackson said. “Some people do, but some don’t and it’s sad to me because we want our county to look the best.”

City Engineer Russell Oliver said the first occurrence of littering on the road happened three weeks ago prior to the most recent Pike County Commission meeting.

“We don’t know who is doing it, but it needs to stop,” Oliver said. “We recently started using work release inmates from the Elba Department of Corrections. One of the things they’re helping us with is litter control. We’re going the extra mile to do something about the litter problem and this just makes it worse.”

In other business on Monday, the Commission approved the placement of a speed bump in front of Speed Hill Baptist Church on County Road 3350. The speed bump was advocated by District 4 Commissioner Ray Goodson. The Commission also approved the use of accumulated sick leave as retirement service credits for county employees. The ceiling for sick-leave hours was 480, and now those hours may be used as credits for service leading up to retirement.

The next Pike County Commission meeting will be Monday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. in the Pike County Health Department. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m.