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County to begin road work soon

Some residents of Pike County could see the roads they travel frequently updated and in better working condition.

Russell Oliver, county engineer, on Monday asked commissioners to approve a plan to update and resurface six roads: County Road 1107 in Briar Hill; a portion of County Road 1101 from the river to north of the river about five miles; County Road 2201; County Road 2214 to Thomas Crossroads; County Road 6602 from County Road 6600 to the creek; and County Road 3306 from Alabama 87 to Co. Rd. 3307.

“I’m not putting them in priority, ordering them as far as which ones are done first, second or third, but those are the ones I am recommending we work on,” Oliver told commissioners at Monday’s meeting. “We’re going to do whatever is called for on each road the best that we can.”

Oliver said the Road Department had been trying to repair several of these roads since 2012 when the commission made its priority list for deteriorating roadways. The Road Department has approximately half a million dollars of federal aid money that must either be used or have an intended use by May 2015, and Oliver said doing some preventative work to the roads could stop them from deteriorating further saving the commission money in the long run likening it to getting an oil change in your vehicle.

“If you have a car or pickup truck, you know you can go and spend $30 and get an oil change for that car and prevent an engine failure,” Oliver said. “But, if you don’t get that oil change, eventually you’re going to have engine failure. Roads are the same way. If you have four cars, and one needs a new engine and the other three need oil changes, but you only have money to fix either the engine or get the oil changes, I would change the oil. In some cases spend $25,000 a mile to do preventative maintenance to them and keep those roads good for another 10 years or more.”

Also on Monday, commissioners deferred making a decision on a liquor license request from Ice House Bar and Grill on County Road 3304. The commissioners were unsure of the location of the bar and grill and did not feel comfortable making a decision on the liquor license without that information.

Commissioners also heard a proposition from County Administrator Harry Sanders asking to suspend the rules and allow him to request bids for a new solid waste management for the county.

The county previously had contracted with Advanced Disposal, but Sanders said the commission had received a letter from company saying it would no longer service Pike County at the end of its contract term, which ends March 31. The Advanced Disposal letter cited issues with collecting bill payments from residents.

Commissioners approved sending out requests earlier may be beneficial to both the companies and residents. “We will be able to send out bids and award the winning bid by the first meeting in February, which would be Feb. 9,” Sanders said. “That would give the new company almost 60 days to get new bins out to customers, if new bins are needed.”

Sanders also said his only concern throughout the process is a potential rate increase for residents.

“My only concern is that the price will go up. We will go through the bid process first, and then, we’ll see where it puts us.”

During the meeting, Commissioner Joey Jackson District 6, said the amount of garbage littering the sides of Shellhorn Highway was appalling.

“I was totally disgusted at what the public had done to that road,” Jackson said. “We, the commission, are doing our job picking up that trash. I saw the guys we pay to go out there and pick that trash up picking it up. It’s sad to me that we have to call them off of whatever they’re doing and get them to clean up the trash in another area. I wish I could have found those people that threw that trash out along the highway.”

In other items of business, the Commission:

• Motioned to accept the minutes from the last held meeting.

• Motioned to accept a Social Security exemption.

• Motioned to honor engineer’s personnel recommendations for two Operator One positions for the Road Department.

• Approved the appointment of Casey Salinksi to the Southern Bullock County Water Authority Board.

• Went in to executive session to discuss pending litigations concerning the Commission.