Lower speed limits in Highland Home?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 14, 2007

Speeding on rural roads has proven to be very deadly for many drivers across the nation and the state of Alabama, and the Crenshaw County Commission, during its regular meeting Monday morning, has taken a step forward in lowering the speed limit through Highland Home.

County engineer Benjie Sanders explained that since Highland Home is not a municipality, the commission must go through the proper procedures in order to change the speed limit through the area.

The speed limit along Highway 331 is 55 miles per hour with the exception of the area in front of Highland Home School where it is 25 mph during school drop-off and pick-up hours.

In a letter addressed to J.M. Griffin, Division Engineer, in Troy, Commission Chairman Ronnie Hudson said that with the &#8220school, various businesses, and numerous residences being located along this busy route, there is much concern over the safety of the traveling public as well as pedestrians in this area.”

Commissioner Ricky McElwain had brought the subject to the commission's attention at the June 11 meeting. He particularly pointed out the area from Chix to Citgo. In the letter addressed to Griffin, it stated that this request had been brought before the commission &#8220due to concerns that have been expressed by citizens and business owners in this area.”

The letter did not give a specific number to which the speed limit should be lowered.

Hudson said that this was just the first step in the process.

In other business, Rutledge Mayor Joe Dexter Flynn had sent a letter to Attorney Mike Jones requesting a county deputy to patrol the town of Rutledge on a part-time basis, and the town would pay the county for the deputy's services. At Monday's meeting, Sheriff Charles West said that he needed to check into the liability of doing that.

&#8220We can only enforce county and state laws, not city ordinances,” West said.

Chairman Hudson added that Mayor Flynn was referring to approximately 20 to 25 hours a week extra for the deputy's services. West said that he would meet with the mayor and discuss the situation with him.

Also, during the morning's work session, Solid Waste Officer Johnny Hollis asked the commission for part-time help in the landfill area.

&#8220You can hardly do the job with just one person,” he said. &#8220We lose some space by not monitoring where trash is being dumpedŠ.and, on a safety factor, I don't think just one person needs to be there.”

During the regular session, after much discussion, the commission approved a motion to move Hollis' office from the courthouse to the landfill office. The commission also approved within the same motion that all safety issues be directed in such a way that all work in the landfill cells should be conducted while Hollis is on the premises. The motion passed with a 4-1 vote, with Chairman Hudson voting against it.

The commission also approved the following motions:

… Payment of an invoice for $1,043 to Terra Engineering for landfill permit work.

… Approval of Dawn Rayborn and EMA Director Jessica Tomlin to the Building Authority.

… Provided office space to Revenue Examiner Brian Richardson for the State of Alabama Dept. of Revenue to use. The office is located in the basement of the courthouse. In addition, Richardson reported that sales tax revenues for the county had seen an increase of six percent in 2005 and seven percent in 2006, and the current collections had already exceeded $1 million as of May of 2007.

The commission voted to go into executive session at 11:15 a.m.

The next Crenshaw County Commission meeting will be held on Monday, July 23, at 6 p.m.