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Commission moves on new water source

Morgan County Commission voted unanimously at it last regular meeting on Thursday to form a Government Utility Services (GUS) advisory board for the purpose of conducting a study on the need for an additional water treatment facility in the county.

The move earlier received the support of the governing boards of Hartselle Utilities and the Northeast Morgan County Water & Sewer Authority,

Chairman Ray Long said the next step would be to appoint a three-member GUS board, which will consist of representatives of the county commission, HU and Northeast Morgan County Water & Sewer Authority.

The need for an alternate potable water source has been a subject of discussion since the Decatur Water Department was forced into a temporary shutdown due to inclement weather about a year ago, according to Long.

He said he would work with County Attorney Bill Shinn to form a GUS corporation, after which members of its board will be appointed. It will be the board’s task to study the need and feasibility of constructing a second water treatment plant within the county’s borders. He said it has been estimated that such a facility would cost between $8 and $10 million.

“The only cost to the county to move the process forward will be the legal fees involved in setting of the corporation,” Long stated. ”

In another matter, Chairman Long was authorized to advertise for bids on additional garbage carts for the Environmental Services Department, as needed for one year.

Director Ricky Brook said the initial purchase was not sufficient to provide a cart for every household customer and for households wanting an additional cart. He said the use of the cards is being delayed because vehicles needed to handle them have not yet arrived. The start-up date is projected to be March 5.

The chairman was also authorized to enter into an agreement with Cobblestone Masonry Inc. to repair the façade of the Morgan County Archives Building on Bank Street in Decatur. The cost of the project is estimated at $42,100. The project is considered a pubic works project and will b funded partially from a 2012 Alabama Historical Commission Preservation Grant in the amount of $15,880, with the balance being paid from county funds.

The commission acted on other matters as follows:

• Rejected bids for telephone service for Morgan County and authorized the chairman to rebid with revised specifications, including all taxes and charges.

• Authorized the purchase of 50 support hours from Teklink in the amount of $6,000 for the Morgan County Data Processsing Department, to be paid from Data Processing as a budgeted item.

• Authorized payment of $1,000 to the Morgan County FFA/4H Steer Show from the Tourism, Recreation and Convention Fund.

• Authorized a $250 donation to The Princess Theatre in support of the Petals for the Princess fundraiser, payable out of the District 3 Road and Bridge Fund.

• Authorized Jeff Simmons, on behalf of Morgan County, to execute the Memorandum of Understanding between the Mental Health Center of North Alabama and Morgan County Juvenile Probation office to provide outpatient substance abuse treatment and related services for adolescents referred by IPO.

• Authorized the chairman to execute the Cooperative Grant Agreement, #9PEQ, from the Alabama Department of Homeland Security for federal funding in the amount of $22,318.31 for the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency, effective Jan. 4, 2012, through Apr. 30, 2012.

• Authorized registrations totaling $699 each and other expenses for Marsha Keeney, HR/payroll officer and Belinda Ealey, chief administrative officer, to attend ”Essentials of HR Management” in Florence, AL Mar. 22-23, payable out of the Contingency Fund.

• Approved checks totaling $6,581,584.22 for the month of Dec. 2011.

• Adopted the Tax Levy for 2012 in compliance with the 1975 Code of Alabama.

• Approved 2012-2012 budget amendments for various departments totaling $70,802.70.

• Approved a $2,040.85 sales tax refund to Lynn Layton Ford Inc.

•Approved certificates to subdivide and consolidate properties for Michael K. and Leisa D. Williams, N. Greenbriar Dr. and Crawford Lane, and Union Hill Development Inc., Morris Rd., both in District 4.

• Authorized the chairman to sign a 2012 Special Grant Application to the Alabama Tourism Department for $25,000 for the creation of historical exhibits in the Morgan County Archives.

• Authorized District 4 Commissioner Greg Abercrombie to trade a 2000 Chevy Van for a 2005 Colorador truck that is being used by the Morgan County Park and Recreation Department.

• Authorized District 4 Commissioner Greg Abercrombie to sell a 1979 Ford brush truck to Jeff Clark, commissioner of District 1, for the sum of $2,500.

• Authorized the chairman to execute an agreement with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management pertaining to the disposal of various scrap equipment.

• Declared Mar. 26-30, 2012, at Spring Clean-up in Morgan County.

• Approved payment of $5,131. 50 to Harris, Caddell & Shanks PC for legal services provided during January 2012.

• Approved payment of $1,072 to Shelton Hunter for a Priceville Waste Removal Bond for Environmental Services, effective Feb. 10, 1212, through Feb. 10, 2013, payable out of the Environmental Services Fund.

• Approved payment of $8,000 to Charles Sherrod for consulting fees for the Neel Senior Center, payable out of the Neel Senior Center Grant Fund.

• Approved payments as follows for repair work on a fire-damaged parking shed at the Morgan County Environmental Services facility in Hartselle: Building Construction Associates, $18,812.39; Mayer Electric, $7,239.50; TVW Electrical Supplies, $319.11; and Sherman Industries, $1,454.

• Authorized the chairman to advertise for bids for an 84 horsepower, 62-inch gauge crawler dozer (new or used) for Morgan County District 2.

• Authorized the chairman to execute an agreement on behalf of the Morgan County Board of Registrars with Keet Consulting Services, LLC to provide GIS services, including district creation, precinct part creation and Processing Multi-Source Addressing soft ware at a cost of $12,000. Also approved was a separate monthly maintenance and support fee of $500, to be paid out of the General Fund election budget.

• Appointed Clint Shelton to fill the unexpired term of Jim Page on the Prior Field Airport Authority, effective until Oct. 15, 2015.