Pike County gains money from BP spill

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pike County Commissioners on Monday accepted almost $40,000 in damages to the county from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Pike County Commission Administrator Harry Sanders said despite being 200 miles from the coast, the county had been awarded $39,724 for losses and damages following the spill. The settlement is part of an $18.7 billion settlement paid by BP, including $3.2 million to the state of Alabama.

“From what we understand there is a pretty quick turn around on that money,” Sanders said.

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Sanders did point out that the amount is pre-expenses, meaning the county would likely receive a smaller total once attorney fees and other legal expenses were paid.

Pike County attorney Allen Jones said the damages could be from anything, a decrease in traffic along U.S. Highway 231, a decrease in restaurant or retail sales as well as decreased stays at lodgings around Pike County during that time.

Commissioners accepted the amount of the settlement and Sanders said the signed agreement would be sent today.

In other business, Pike County Assistant County Engineer John Bergschneider represented the Pike County Road Department in place of County Engineer Russell Oliver. Bergschneider presented three personnel requests as well as two separate plans for a motor grader, which is in the shop for repairs in Montgomery.

“We would like to sell it in sealed bids in an as-is condition,” Bergschneider said. “Thompson Tractor has the motor grader in Montgomery and is willing to let vendors come and view it there.”

Bergschneider said the Road Department had done this previously with another motor grader, but the department could also request sealed bids to repair the tractor.

Commissioners approved the Road Department’s request to allow for sealed bids to be taken in order to sell the grader.

After being forwarded under current business four times, the commission approved Commissioner Jimmy Barron’s request to have a certified appraisal conducted on the Rock Building.

Jones said with a certified appraisal the commission would not be able to sell the building for less than the appraised amount. Commissioners have already been in contact with engineers from Howard Barton to have the building appraised.

The commission also approved the appointment of Oliver and Commission Chairman Homer Wright to the RC&D committee; approved a refund through RDS for a company that overpaid in taxes; approved the sending out of bids for the Pike County Courthouse security contract, which will expire in August; confirmed the Pike County E911 Board appointments Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw, Troy Police Chief Jimmy Ennis, Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport, Sheriff Deputy Dennis Riley, Robert Hughes, Wayne Brooks and Glenn Atkins; approved the resignation of a truck driver for the Road Department; approved the use of emergency sick leave for an employee of the Road Department; and approved the use of the Alabama Family and Medical Leave Act for an employee of the road department.

While Commissioners took no action on the item, they discussed the state of the Pike County Jail roof, which is in need of repairs. Commissioners reported that they were in talks with engineers to have the building repaired and were waiting on the engineer’s reports to make any further decisions.

The Pike County Commission meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month on the second from of the Pike County Health Department located on South Franklin Street.