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Attorney outlines concerns about road vacation to Lockheed Martin

An attorney representing a family neighboring Lockheed Martin is asking for the company to bring forward documentation showing agreements that the company has said they are securing.

The concerns arise out of Lockheed Martin’s petition for the county to vacate 2.7 miles of County Road 7717 to the company, which representatives have said is necessary for future expansion of the manufacturer.

Attorney Vernon Wells, representative for the Henderson family, had brought forward concerns previously about utilities being accessible by Pike County Water Authority and South Alabama Electric Cooperative.

“We are not aware that any such agreements have been provided to the Commission,” Wells said in a letter to the commission Wednesday.

“At a minimum, complete copies of the proposed or executed agreements should be provided to the Commissioners and made available to all interested parties.”

Mark Schaub, a spokesperson for the company, said more details will be finalized and shared before the next commission meeting on Feb. 26.

“We anticipate finalizing agreements with the water and electric utilities as well as the Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department next week, as requested at the initial commission meeting,” Schaub said. “There are no plans to change the main entrance from its current location on County Road 37. We intend on having more details at the next commission meeting.”

Matt Baker, an attorney representing Lockheed also addressed the Hendersons’ concern that a water meter servicing their lodge would be absorbed into Lockheed property if the road is vacated. Baker said that Lockheed would pay for the meter to be moved off the property and relocated closer to the lodge, but Wells said the family is unaware of any arrangements for the meter’s relocation.

“No one has contacted me or Mr. Henderson about this issue or any of the pertinent details, so we are not clear as to with whom Lockheed has agreed to pay or for what,” Wells said. “Any documents concerning this purported agreement should also be provided to the commissioners and Mr. Henderson and made available to the public.”

Wells also addressed concerns that no documentation has been presented to show an agreement with the Meeksville Fire Department to ensure gates would be open to allow uninhibited access in emergencies.

“Lockheed’s responses to all of these serious issues are uniformly and totally inadequate,” Wells said. “… From what we can see, it does not appear that any of the questions raised at the January 22 hearing have been addressed sufficiently or even at all. There is absolutely no mechanism for the enforcement of any of the representations which Lockheed has made to Pike County. We sincerely request the commission not to let itself be duped into ignoring the sincere and serious objections and questions of affected landowners and taxpayers.

“If the commission does not do its job in answering these concerns, it will have to address them with much greater specificity in any ensuing litigation challenging its inadequate consideration of Lockheed’s patently improper request.”

Allen Jones, county attorney, said Lockheed will have a presentation at the upcoming meeting and that there will also be time for public comment following the presentation, which will be held at the beginning of the work session.

The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will be followed by a business meeting at 6 p.m. Both meetings will be held upstairs at the Pike County Health Department.