Commission appoints Rogers to BCWA

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Butler County Commission voted on Tuesday to appoint Greenville resident Charles Rogers to the county's water authority board.

Rogers replaces Earl Bozeman of Georgiana who chose not to seek reappointment to the water authority, an entity that has drawn criticism from some for accepting a contract with an outside management source to operate the county's water system. In December the Butler County Water Authority voted to contract with Artesian Utility Systems Management, effectively ending 30 years of supervision by Pioneer Electric Cooperative over rural water operations in the county.

Rogers - who was openly critical of the water authority's decision at the board's December meeting - was one of four candidates who asked to be appointed to Bozeman's position. REMAC President Margaret Pierce, local businessman Chris Sells, and Hope Pynes also asked to be considered.

The commission voted 3-2 for Rogers.

Commissioners Jerry Hartin and Glenn King cast the dissenting votes.

&#8220I - as did Commissioner King - felt Margaret (Pierce) was the best candidate,” said Hartin. &#8220My vote in no way reflects on Charles (Rogers), who I feel will do a good job.”

Pierce said Rogers was a &#8220splendid” choice and pledged to support him in his work with the water authority.

Commissioner Frank Hickman said he was pleased with the qualifications of all candidates, but he felt Rogers - who once managed the Butler County Co-Op - was the ideal choice for the position. Rogers also unsuccessfully campaigned as a Democratic candidate for probate judge in June.

Hartin said he had never seen such a protest as he did following the water authority's decision to accept Artesian's bid.

&#8220This water (issue) is a hot button topic,” he said. &#8220It's clear that many people in the county were upset with the water authority's decision not to continue with Pioneer.”

Pioneer Electric chose not to bid on the water operations contract, submitting a proposal instead to purchase the system from the water authority.

Hartin also asked the water authority board members to consider ending its relationship with Malloy Chandler, the former general manager of Pioneer Electric who now serves as a consultant for the BCWA.

&#8220In my opinion Mr. Chandler's name is like a lighting rod anytime you mention it,” he said. &#8220I would like to see the water authority cut ties with him.”

In other business:

The commission approved a salary request from sheriff-elect Kenny Harden for four certified deputies at the rate of $10.50 per hour, one Sergeant at the rate of $10.75 per hour, one Lieutenant at the rate of $11 per hour, one Chief Deputy at the rate of $12 per hour, and one investigator at the rate of $12 per hour. The request also included a pay request for certain support personnel, such as an on-duty guard at the county courthouse and administrative positions inside the sheriff's office.

The commission approved the transfer of an off-premise only retail table wine license for Crockers Grocery LLC.

The commission approved a recommendation by the county engineer to contract with Wiregrass Construction in the amount of $273,000 to re-pave four roads in the county: Hall Rd., Blue Round Rd., Royal Crest Rd., and Montezuma Rd. The funding for the project comes from a $400,000 grant received from ADECA, according to county engineer Dennis McCall.