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Rhodes wins District One Board of Education seat

It all came down to the luck of the draw.

At Monday's Crenshaw County Commission meeting, Board of Education, District One candidates Ronald Rhodes and William Roper, who had tied in the recent run-off election, participated in a domino pick-up in order to decide the winner.

Rhodes, who drew the higher number of nine, will go on to fill the Board seat. Roper, the incumbent, drew a seven.

Commissioner Ricky McElwain said he believed it was the first time two candidates for any office in Crenshaw County had ended up in an exact tie.

&#8220It just goes to show you, every vote counts,” Probate Judge Jim Perdue said.

Following the domino drawing, poll worker Ruby Thompson came before the commission to lodge a formal complaint about the utility building currently used as a voting house for District 1, Beat 1. The utility building was set up two years ago after the previous structure was destroyed in a storm.

Thompson said the building, which does not have a functioning air conditioner, was very cramped and extremely hot during the warm-weather months. She said the poll workers all felt ill after spending the day in the building during the summer run-off elections.

&#8220We are asking you to please give us a decent place to vote. Insulate it, build onto it, do something,” Thompson said.

Comm. McElwain said, &#8220We did try to cool the building with an air conditioner, but it only blew hot air. We have somewhat the same problem in Danielville…I will try to do something.”

Perdue said attempts to attain funds through FEMA to replace the utility buildings had been unsuccessful.

&#8220If the commission had known we would be getting the larger handicapped accessible voting machines, we would have bought larger, better buildings to use…I know it had to be very hot, and we will look into what can be done,” Perdue said.

Among the new business, the commission:

* Approved selling maps to County Plat Book Service for a revised copy of the Crenshaw County Plat Book to be used as a fundraiser for local schools.

*Discussed upgrading the courthouse's Internet system to DSL to improve customer service.

*Discussed new contract terms with Dan Jones for jail phones, with commission rate changing from 33 percent to 40 percent. Sheriff Charles West said the additional 7 percent commission would go to the Pistol Permit Fund for the betterment of law enforcement.

*Approved plans to purchase three new vehicles for the Sheriff's Dept. on a three-year plan.

*Approved having an independent person check into needed repairs of the jail's air conditioning unit and provide an estimate of the costs of repairs.

&#8220Something has to be done or we will continue to be piece-mealing the system for the next 40 years,” Jail Administrator Hugh Smith said.

*Discussed the bids received for the renovation of the courthouse basement and whether or not portions of said bids could be accepted or rejected.

*Approved Option B, Thompson Tractor Co., for purchase of a new hydraulic motor for a loader.

*Discussed possibility of raising rates for landfill due to rising operational costs.

*Approved deeding a section of land at the intersections of County Roads 39 and 42 to the South Crenshaw Water Authority for the future site of a new water tank and well.

*Discussed need for heavy-duty truck to pull First Response trailer.