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Commission hires Reeves as EMA director

Herb Reeves has officially been hired as the new director of the Pike County EMA after serving in the role on an interim basis for nearly two years.

The commission voted 5-0-1 to hire Reeves to the position full-time for an annual salary of $24,000.

Reeves began serving in the role in September 2017 following the resignation of former director Jeanna Barnes. At that time, the commission began considering a merger an EMA-911 merger that would have given more entities direction of the agency.

After discussions stalled between other entities including the cities of Troy and Brundidge, the towns of Goshen and Banks, and Troy University, the commission decided to continue on running the EMA as it has been previously and began working on a contract for a new director.

“it’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing and so I agreed to continue on for another year and then we can see where it goes from there,” Reeves said.

The commission also unanimously approved a contract for the resurfacing of two additional roads as a part of the county’s 24-month plan to address repair of local roads.

The contract was awarded to Midsouth Paving for $319,727. The two roads to be resurfaced under the project are County Road 2219 east of County Road 2201 and County Road 2253 from County Road 2276 to Warrick Creek.

The commission also held a public hearing for the resubmission of a CDBG grant application that would allow the county to resurface County Road 7749 and pave County Road 2256, as well as relocating the associated water lines.

The county previously submitted the application and fell two points short of approval. County Engineer Russell Oliver said he hopes a few tweaks made to the plan, as well as less competition this year, will lead to the grant being approved.

The commission also addressed two emergency road closures caused by the heavy rains in Pike County Sunday afternoon.

County Road 6648 approximately 0.4 miles east of County Road 6647, and CR 6647 approximately 0.3 miles north of County Road 6650 will both be closed for the next two weeks for emergency cross-drain replacements.

Oliver said the vendors do not currently have the materials ready and are having to manufacture the pipes, causing an approximate one-week delay.

“As soon as we are able to get those materials in we’re going to get out there and install it,” Oliver said.

Oliver said failing culverts is a problem that the road department faces all over the county as the pipes continue to age.

“A lot of these pipes were made in the 1940s to 1960s, so a lot of them have reached their life expectancy or are well past that, so that’s why we’re seeing this,” Oliver said. “Most of these pipes were just galvanized corrugated metal pipes. There’s a lot of them out there.”

The commission also addressed the problem of shoulder maintenance on county roads, with Commissioner Charlie Harris, District 5, pointing out his concerns.

“In these areas people are driving at night, if people go off that shoulder they lose control when they get back on the pavement,” Harris said.

Oliver said shoulder maintenance is an ongoing battle for all road departments, but that summer is the season that the road department addresses problems and urged commissioners to report any specific areas of concern that they find in their districts.

The commission will meet again Monday, June 24, upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The commission expects to hear more from Ken Upchurch, consultant on the new Pike County Jail project at that meeting. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the business meeting will follow at 6 p.m.