Commission stresses need for help with county roads

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Butler County Commission affirmed ad valorem tax rates for fiscal year 2005-06 at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday.

Mills were affirmed at seven mills for the general fund, four and 1/2 mills for road and bridgework, and 12 mills for the Butler County School System.

Commissioner Frank Hickman reiterated again the need for some sort of state or federal funding to improve the rural roads of Butler County.

&#8220We can patch, we can do what we can do, but we can't improve the bed of the road,” he said. &#8220It's as good as it's going to be with the funding available. There's no telling how many people have died because of the condition of rural roads in Alabama.”

Between 1999 and 2003, accidents on rural, non-interstate highways in Alabama resulted in 3,166 deaths, according to The Road Information Program (TRIP), a non-profit organization that researches traffic matters.

Engineer Dennis McCall said workers have started resurfacing Sandcut Road, with Wiregrass Construction coming in as the low bidder on the project. He said Bethel Road, which has been closed for cross-drain replacement due to Hurricane Dennis damage, should be open for traffic soon. The commission also approved entering into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for bridge replacement over Pine Barren Creek on County Road 7. The commission also authorized McCall to purchase three, half-ton pick-up trucks at a cost of $13,800 each for use by the highway department.

In other business, the commission:

n Approved a request by Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram to see bids for the county for 17 generators for homeland security.

n Approved a request from Watson Animal Clinic to increase the price of euthanasia and disposal of stray animals to $1.10 for the county.

n Set the ABC License fees for FY 06-07.

n Approved a budget amendment to allow the purchase of 22 voting machines at a total cost of $150,000. The machines allow those with special needs and disabilities to vote without outside assistance as part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.