Jail repairs to begin

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Emergency repairs to the Pike County Jail will be moving forward soon, as the Pike County Commission voted unanimously on Monday to approve a contract with Whaley Construction.

The $49,000 contract will pay for stabilization measures to be taken at the jail, which architects have said is dangerously unstable.

The large parapet around the top of the building will be removed to relieve weight from the walls until the commission can start the process of constructing a new jail.

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The commission also decided to take that next step in that direction by approving for county administrator Harry Sanders to mail out invitations to companies to conduct a feasibility study for the new jail.

Commissioner Russell Johnson explained to the commission that he spoke with the USDA and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and learned that neither can help the commission with anything until a feasibility study is conducted.

At the last commission meeting, representatives from the USDA spoke to the commission about how the department could help to finance the new jail construction.

The commission also voted to open a savings account at Max Credit Union and put money form the rainy day fund, 50 percent of lodging tax money, a $151,000 check written by Probate Judge Wes Allen out of the tag fund and 30 percent of annual revenue from the probate office.

“This is an example of different elected officials working together to make Pike County better,” said Commissioner Chairman Robin Sullivan.

In the work session, County Engineer Russell Oliver spoke to the commission about the road department’s need for a bulldozer, suggesting the possibility of finding a way to purchase a new dozer that would cost about $141,000.

Commissioner Homer Wright asked Oliver why Oliver had asked for three $141,000 dump trucks, which the commission approved last week, instead of asking for two dump trucks and a bulldozer.

Oliver explained that the original plan was to try to get buy with a cheaper dozer out of surplus with the Alabama Department of Transportation, but that the only option they’ve found so far is a used dozer that would still be $90,000. The commission requested that Oliver and Sanders work to get some more numbers to present at the next meeting.

Tom Harrington with US Next spoke to the commission in the work session about potential website optinons that the company could offer to the county and gave examples of how pricing and maintenance would work.

The commission also approved an alcohol license transfer for Double Down Outfitters.

The next meeting of the Pike County Commission will be on January 9, as the commission voted to cancel their December 26 meeting due to the holiday.

The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. with the regular meeting following at 6 p.m. The commission meets upstairs at the Pike County Health Department.