County#039;s E-911 needs fundingBy Regina Grayson

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2006

A public hearing was held at 9 a.m. Monday in the Crenshaw County Commission chambers for the purpose of discussing the county's potential amendment of their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Project DR-05-003 to provide for water improvements to benefit residents served by the north system of the South Crenshaw Water Authority.

SCWA Director Tom Compton told the commission that there was a need to amend the project proposal in order that the new well would be covered by Rural Development funding instead of under the CDBG program. Compton said that the CDBG grant would provide $368,000, Rural Development Funding would provide $410,000, and there would also be a loan of approximately $1 million.

The well should be under construction by Dec. 29.

&#8220With this amendment, it won't cost the county anything,” Compton said. &#8220This makes it much easier on the county, and it will be less paperwork.”

Compton said that South Crenshaw Water Authority would approve all bids for the project. Two resolutions concerning this issue will be presented at the next regular commission meeting for approval.

E-911 Director Ben Pynes addressed the commission with concerns about funding for E-911. The system is in the process of moving from the Luverne Police Department to the EMA building located behind the Crenshaw County Courthouse.

&#8220A recent lightning strike hit one of our consoles, and that needs to be repaired,” Pynes said.

Presently, E-911 has six employees on the payroll, according to Pynes, with two employees working per shift.

&#8220We have some employees in training now,” he added.

The E-911 system currently receives $2,000 per month from the Crenshaw County Commission, but Pynes said that they would need an extra $50,000 in order to finish the calendar year.

Pynes also added that they would need about $5,000 to pay CenturyTel to change everything over whenever they move, in addition to an estimated $15,000 needed for moving expenses.

Commissioner Ronnie Hudson said that the county needed &#8220a new way to fund E-911.”

&#8220We need to form a committee,” he said.

Presently, E-911 receives $2 per phone bill from residents in the county, plus donations from the towns of Rutledge and Dozier as well as the Crenshaw County Commission.

&#8220Everyone needs to pay his fair share for E-911, which means the whole county needs to be represented,” Hudson said.

Pynes said that at the end of the month of September, E-911 would be &#8220out of money, and we'll fold.”

&#8220We can't let E-911 fold,” Commission Chairman Ronnie Blackmon said.

The commissioners discussed asking representatives from each municipality of the county to possibly serve on an E-911 committee.

In other business, the commission approved invoices from John Nichols in the amount of $1,000 and to Johnston Barton Proctor & Powell, LLP, in the amount of $1,025 for financing expenses for the new courthouse elevator.

County engineer Benjie Sanders said that a public hearing would be held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 9 concerning the closing of McDougle Road.

The commission also approved a motion to pay the county match of $59,748 for the resurfacing and restriping of County Road 43 in concurrence with the Alabama Department of Transportation. The contractor for the project will be Wiregrass Construction.

The commission voted to recess until today at 1 p.m. for a special-called meeting to discuss the 2006-07 budget.