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Falkville votes plan for use of new gas tax

The Town of Falkville approved a plan for the use of the gas tax revenue it expects to receive from the Alabama Rebuild gas tax increase at a special called meeting Aug. 26.

The six cents per gallon increase went into effect Sept. 1, 2019. 

The town expects to receive approximately $13,592 from the Alabama Rebuild Fund in the first fiscal year. These funds will be used for first phase resurfacing and repairs on Culver Street, in accordance with a transportation plan approved by the town council. 

The plan also stipulates a separate fund will be established to manage the receipt and disbursement of Alabama Rebuild funds, the proceeds of which shall be used solely for the maintenance, improvement and construction of roads and bridges.

The Alabama Legislature approved a 10-cent gas tax increase in March, after which it was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.

During the council’s work session, Jeanie Pharis, director of the Morgan County Emergency Management Communications District, presented a proposed dispatch services contract for consideration. 

She noted the contract reflects an increase from $3.98 to $4.35 per call, with the total amount based on the number of calls MCEMCD received from Falkville Police Department during the prior fiscal year. 

When objections were raised about the increase, Pharis said she is looking for ways to lower costs of providing dispatch services.

“It is what it is,” said Mayor Ken Winkles. “What bothers me is they have a monopoly.”  

Discussed and approved as agenda items for the next regular council meeting were the following: 

  • Contract renewal with the Morgan County Emergency Management Communications District
  • Purchase of camera for detecting problems in sewer lines
  • Personnel positions and grade adjustments
  • Approval of fiscal 2019-2020 general fund budget
  • Surplus equipment designation on a Savin30/30 printer
  • Purchase of replacement body armor for seven police officers
  • Authorize police officer Levi George to attend the refresher police academy at a cost of $2,221.90
  • Purchase of six body radios for the police department

The council also discussed service awards for seven employees; continuing education for Fawn Estes and Aaron Burgess; replacement of SRO Seth Sullivan, who resigned; transportation of Morgan County trustees to and from Falkville; and employment of a school crossing guard for U.S. Highway 31.